Power optimization of digital baseband WCDMA receiver components on algorithmic and architectural level

M. Schä­mann, M. Bücker, Sebastian Hessel, Ulrich Langmann

Advances in Radio Science, Volume 6, pp. 325-330, June 2008


High data rates combined with high mobility represent a challenge for the design of cellular devices. Advanced algorithms are required which result in higher complexity, more chip area and increased power consumption. However, this contrasts to the limited power supply of mobile devices.

This presentation discusses the application of an HSDPA receiver which has been optimized regarding power consumption with the focus on the algorithmic and architectural level. On algorithmic level the Rake combiner, Prefilter-Rake equalizer and MMSE equalizer are compared regarding their BER performance. Both equalizer approaches provide a significant increase of performance for high data rates compared to the Rake combiner which is commonly used for lower data rates. For both equalizer approaches several adaptive algorithms are available which differ in complexity and convergence properties. To identify the algorithm which achieves the required performance with the lowest power consumption the algorithms have been investigated using SystemC models regarding their performance and arithmetic complexity. Additionally, for the Prefilter Rake equalizer the power estimations of a modified Griffith (LMS) and a Levinson (RLS) algorithm have been compared with the tool ORINOCO® supplied by ChipVision. The accuracy of this tool has been verified with a scalable architecture of the UMTS channel estimation described both in SystemC and VHDL targeting a 130 nm CMOS standard cell library.

An architecture combining all three approaches combined with an adaptive control unit is presented. The control unit monitors the current condition of the propagation channel and adjusts parameters for the receiver like filter size and oversampling ratio to minimize the power consumption while maintaining the required performance. The optimization strategies result in a reduction of the number of arithmetic operations up to 70% for single components which leads to an estimated power reduction of up to 40% while the BER performance is not affected.

This work utilizes SystemC and ORINOCO® for the first estimation of power consumption in an early step of the design flow. Thereby algorithms can be compared in different operating modes including the effects of control units. Here an algorithm having higher peak complexity and power consumption but providing more flexibility showed less consumption for normal operating modes compared to the algorithm which is optimized for peak performance.