Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Electrical Engineering

Committee Chair/Advisor

Noneaker, Daniel L

Committee Member

Pursley , Michael B

Committee Member

Russell , Harlan B

Committee Member

Gao , Shuhong


Most digital signal processors contain one or more functional units with a single-instruction, multiple-data architecture that supports saturating fixed-point arithmetic with two or more options for the arithmetic precision. The processors designed for the highest performance contain many such functional units connected through an on-chip network. The selection of the arithmetic precision provides a trade-off between the task-level throughput and the quality of the output of many signal-processing algorithms, and utilization of the interconnection network during execution of the algorithm introduces a latency that can also limit the algorithm's throughput.
In this dissertation, we consider the turbo-decoding message-passing algorithm for iterative decoding of low-density parity-check codes and investigate its performance in parallel execution on a processor of interconnected functional units employing fast, low-precision fixed-point arithmetic. It is shown that the frequent occurrence of saturation when 8-bit signed arithmetic is used severely degrades the performance of the algorithm compared with decoding using higher-precision arithmetic. A technique of limiting the magnitude of certain intermediate variables of the algorithm, the extrinsic values, is proposed and shown to eliminate most occurrences of saturation, resulting in performance with 8-bit decoding nearly equal to that achieved with higher-precision decoding.
We show that the interconnection latency can have a significant detrimental effect of the throughput of the turbo-decoding message-passing algorithm, which is illustrated for a type of high-performance digital signal processor known as a stream processor. Two alternatives to the standard schedule of message-passing and parity-check operations are proposed for the algorithm. Both alternatives markedly reduce the interconnection latency, and both result in substantially greater throughput than the standard schedule with no increase in the probability of error.



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