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Internet of Things Network Synchronizer

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In EC-GSM-IoT the signal level lies far below the noise floor.


By the end of the decade billions so called Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices will be connected to the Internet. IoT nodes can range from electrical energy meters to tiny positioning nodes connected to a network. While legacy 2G GSM has long been used for cellular IoT applications, recent advancements in the 3GPP standardization organization address the growing need for IoT modems. In particular, the Extended Coverage GSM for IoT (EC-GSM-IoT) standard with 20 dB coverage increase and low-power features is getting finalized during 2016 [1]. Current research at the institute includes a first prototype of an EC-GSM-IoT modem by the end of 2016.

Project Description

A state of the art 2G GSM modem can synchronize to a base station as long as the signal level lies above the noise level (10 dB SNR or higher). Lower SNR ranges are not interesting for normal communication. With the introduction of EC-GSM-IoT, synchronization is all of a sudden necessary far below the noise level (-6 dB SNR and lower) . During this project, algorithms regarding frequency synchronization for EC-GSM-IoT shall be studied and evaluated. Depending on the progress and interest of the student the most promising candidate can be implemented in HDL. A tested is available for real world data testing with the modem from the stoneEDGE project and the evalEDGE RF board. Synthesis and ASIC design are also an option.

Status: Available

Looking for interested students (Semester or Master Thesis)
Supervision: Benjamin Weber


10% Theory
50% Algorithm evaluation
40% HDL implementation and testing


VLSI I (only for HDL, testbed, and ASIC design)


Qiuting Huang


[1] Cellular system support for ultra-low complexity and low throughput Internet of Things (CIoT), 3GPP TR 45.820 v13.1.0, 2015.