Infoscience

Journal article

LLR-Based Successive Cancellation List Decoding of Polar Codes

We show that successive cancellation list decoding can be formulated exclusively using log-likelihood ratios. In addition to numerical stability, the log-likelihood ratio based formulation has useful properties that simplify the sorting step involved in successive cancellation list decoding. We propose a hardware architecture of the successive cancellation list decoder in the log-likelihood ratio domain which, compared with a log-likelihood domain implementation, requires less irregular and smaller memories. This simplification, together with the gains in the metric sorter, lead to to higher throughput per unit area than other recently proposed architectures. We then evaluate the empirical performance of the CRC-aided successive cancellation list decoder at different list sizes using different CRCs and conclude that it is important to adapt the CRC length to the list size in order to achieve the best error-rate performance of concatenated polar codes. Finally, we synthesize conventional successive cancellation decoders at large block-lengths with the same block-error probability as our proposed CRC-aided successive cancellation list decoders to demonstrate that, while our decoders have slightly lower throughput and larger area, they have a significantly smaller decoding latency.

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