University of Oulu

H. Rezaei, N. Rajatheva and M. Latva-Aho, "Low-Latency Multi-Kernel Polar Decoders," in IEEE Access, vol. 10, pp. 119460-119474, 2022, doi: 10.1109/ACCESS.2022.3221742

Low-latency multi-kernel polar decoders

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Author: Rezaei, Hossein1; Rajatheva, Nandana1; Latva-Aho, Matti1
Organizations: 1Centre for Wireless Communications, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.1 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-12-08


Polar codes have been receiving increased attention for application in beyond 5G networks. They offer low-complexity decoding algorithm and can achieve symmetric channel capacity. However, the majority of research works have focused on the codes constructed by the binary kernel (2×2 polarization matrix) which bounds the code length to an integer power of 2. Multi-kernel polar codes have been proposed as a method that allows the construction of polar codes with sizes different from powers of 2 by mixing multiple kernels of different dimensions. A hardware implementation based on the successive cancellation (SC) algorithm found in the literature shows that it suffers from a long decoding latency. In this paper, we design and implement a multi-kernel decoder based on the fast-simplified SC (fast-SSC) algorithm to decrease the decoding latency. It can decode any code constructed by binary and ternary (3×3) kernels featuring flexible code length, code rate, and kernel sequence. FPGA implementation results reveal that a polar code of length N = 1536, rate R = 1/2 with Processing Element (Pₑ) value of Pₑ = 240, gains 84.6% lower latency compared to the original algorithm. Also, the architecture supports polar codes constructed by purely-binary and purely-ternary kernels. A polar code of length N = 1024, rate R = 1/2, and Pₑ =120 achieves an information throughput of 432 Mbps

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Series: IEEE access
ISSN: 2169-3536
ISSN-E: 2169-3536
ISSN-L: 2169-3536
Volume: 10
Pages: 119460 - 119474
DOI: 10.1109/access.2022.3221742
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 213 Electronic, automation and communications engineering, electronics
Funding: This work was supported by the Academy of Finland through 6G Flagship Program under Grant 346208.
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 346208
Detailed Information: 346208 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © The Author(s) 2022. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. For more information, see