The use of error-correcting codes has proven to be an effective way to overcome data corruption in digital communication channels. Convolutional encoding with Viterbi decoding is a powerful method for forward error correction. This paper presents a Viterbi Decoder (VD) architecture for correcting data errors in data transmission system, implemented using a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) device. This viterbi Decoder has been conceived as a building block of error correcting system for wireless transmission of data. To improve the limited capacity of the communication channels, it has been widely deployed in many wireless communication systems. The Viterbi algorithm is the most extensively employed decoding algorithm for convolutional codes. In this paper we present a Field Programmable Gate Array implementation of Viterbi Decoder with a constraint length of 3 and a code rate of both 1/2 and 1/3. The chosen architecture implements the Trace Back Algorithm (TBA). The architecture has been tested and verified with a Xilinx SPARTAN-3E FPGA, to provide a generalized co-simulaton/co-design testbed. Keywords: Convolutional Codes, Viterbi decoding, Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) implementation.
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