ISSN : 1796-2021
Volume : 3    Issue : 2    Date : April 2008

Reed-Solomon Codes for Low Power Communications
Lionel Biard and Dominique Noguet
Page(s): 13-21
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Power consumption is a critical issue for many applications running on autonomous battery
operated devices. In the context of low power communications, the use of Forward Error Correction
(FEC) schemes shall therefore not only be considered as a way to improve communication
robustness but also as a way to reduce transmit power. The benefits of this approach can be
assessed by analyzing the tradeoff between the additional performance gained and the power
consumption overhead resulting from extra computations.
In this paper, a selection method is described to size the parameters of a low power Reed-Solomon
(RS) code. The rationale highlights the influence of code parameters on computational complexity
and performance of the code. An efficient set of code parameters can be deduced from this analysis
to reduce the global power consumption of the system. Among the RS codes considered, the
shortened RS(40,32,4) code over GF(28) is selected for further implementation analysis. Several
design improvements are investigated step by step, and the relative power savings achieved with
each enhancement are quantified. These results tend to illustrate the improvements that can be
reached with only little design efforts.

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