DSP implementation of successive interference cancellation (SIC) receiver for 3GPP WCDMA uplink transmission

Yu Jung Chang, Yu Nan Lin, David W. Lin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The 3GPP WCDMA is a widely accepted third-generation cellular system standard. By using nonorthogonal codes for different users, the multiple access interference (MAI) can be a limiting factor for system performance, as for other CDMA systems. Multiuser detection (MUD) is known to reduce MAI and improve CDMA system performance, but many such techniques have high complexity. Successive interference cancellation (SIC) is an effective MUD technique with relatively low complexity. We consider the software implementation of an SIC receiver for WCDMA uplink transmission on a commercially available general-purpose multi digital signal processor (DSP) platform. This also goes in line with the recent interest in software-defined radio. Issues addressed in this work include job partitioning and signal routing for multiprocessor implementation, design of SIC components (especially the channel estimator and the signal regenerator), determination of the precision of fixed-point computations, consideration of the receiver's error performance and analysis of the implementation's complexity and efficiency. These issues are tightly coupled with the 3GPP WCDMA specifications. Because the employed platform only contains four DSPs, the implementation only considers up to three users. But this is sufficient for us to appreciate various DSP implementation issues of an SIC receiver. Moreover, by the nature of SIC, it is easy to extend the implementation to handle more users with an enlarged platform. Our present implementation achieves real-time speed in the RAKE receiver part of the complete receiver. Due to the complexity in signal regeneration, the overall SIC receiver still falls short of the real-time requirement when interference cancellation is activated. In fact, the platform employed presently cannot support real-time processing when the number of multipaths is four or more, unless either the system architecture or the SIC algorithm is redesigned. Such and other ways of improvement are relegated to potential future work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)789-800
Number of pages12
JournalWireless Communications and Mobile Computing
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2003


  • CDMA
  • Digital signal processors (DSPs)
  • Multipath channels
  • Multiuser detection (MUD)
  • Successive interference cancellation (SIC)
  • Third-generation partnership project (3GPP)

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