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4th Generation Synchronization

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LTE Synchronization.png

Short Description

Wireless communication imposes immense challenges on receiver design in case the transmitter and receiver are not synchronized. Strongly centralized network topologies such as cellular communication networks rely on high-quality hardware at the base transceiver station (BTS). This allows the network to be in sync with a common external signal (such as GPS). On the Mobile Station (MS) side, however, it cannot be guaranteed that such an external common clock signal is available at all times. Therefore, the BTS transmits synchronization data which allows the MS to synchronize in time and frequency to its serving BTS. Each cellular standard (GSM, UMTS, LTE) has its own set of synchronization signals.

LTE synchronization consists of 4 parts [1-5]:

  1. LTE center frequency detection.
  2. OFDM symbol timing and fractional frequency offset detection.
  3. LTE specific Primary Synchronization Sequence (PSS) detection.
  4. LTE specific Secondary Synchronization Sequence (SSS) detection.

A Matlab model performing above detection exists. During this project, the student is asked to find a suitable ASIC architecture for LTE synchronization, implement it, and send a chip to fabrication. The fabricated chip can then be tested on a commercial chip tester.

Status: Obsolete

Contact: Benjamin Weber


[1] K. Manolakis, D.M. Gutierrez Estevez, V. Jungnickel, W. Xu, and C. Drewes. A Closed Concept for Synchronization and Cell Search in 3GPP LTE Systems. In Wireless Communications and Networking Conference, 2009. WCNC 2009. IEEE, pages 1–6, April 2009.

[2] W. Xu and K. Manolakis. Robust Synchronization for 3GPP LTE Systems. In Global Telecommunications Conference (GLOBECOM 2010), 2010 IEEE, pages 1–5, Dec 2010.

[3] Jung-In Kim, Jung-Su Han, Hee-Jin Roh, and Hyung-Jin Choi. SSS Detection Method for Initial Cell Search in 3GPP LTE FDD/TDD Dual Mode Receiver. In Communications and Information Technology, 2009. ISCIT 2009. 9th International Symposium on, pages 199–203, Sept 2009.

[4] H. Xu, R.N. Challa, and H.A. Mahmoud. Frequency Scan Method for Determining the System Center Frequency for LTE TDD, September 6 2013. WO Patent App. PCT/US2013/028,674.

[5] T. Erpek, K. Steadman, R. Krishnan, and Qiao Chen. LTE Signal Classification and Center Frequency Detection Without Priori Information. In Dynamic Spectrum Access Networks (DYSPAN), 2012 IEEE International Symposium on, pages 299–304, Oct 2012.