University of Southampton spin-out unveils breakthrough 5G latency technology

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Southampton University spin-out, AccelerComm, has announced the 5G NR LDPC version of its error correction software, which reduces latency up to 16x to support numerology 4 in 3GPP 38.211 and also provides significant power savings for mobile networks with lower order numerology networks.

The company’s LDPC IP is optimised and configurable to support high performance base station solutions or low power (small size) mobile terminal solutions.

Channel coding, also known as forward error correction, is used to correct transmission errors in mobile communications caused by noise, interference and poor signal strength. This announcement reflects a dramatic change in the direction of coding in mobile communications standards. While 3G and 4G used Convolutional and Turbo codes for the control and data channels, 5G uses the much more sophisticated Polar and LDPC codes, and requires the industry to look at how to address error correction. If channel coding is not working well the impact on mobile networks is poor capacity, poor data rates, poor coverage and poor quality of service.

Commenting AccelerComm CEO, Tom Cronk, said, “For all the hype around 5G, the simple fact is ‘ping time’ remains an issue, stifling new revenue opportunities for operators from services such as gaming or VR before they’ve had an opportunity to monetise them. After more than 15 years of research by the team, first at the University of Southampton and now at AccelerComm, we’re able to deliver on the 5G promise of a low latency, high throughput experience.”

The software is fully compliant with the 3GPP NR standard for PDSCH, PUSCH and also supports the full range of uncoded and encoded block sizes. It implements the entire LDPC encoding and decoding chain in 3GPP TS38.212 with superior error correction performance and hardware efficiency. It also tightly integrates the components in the chain to reduce hardware usage and latency and boasts a simple interface, making it quick to integrate.

The solutions developed by AccelerComm will enable all 5G NR channels to be coded. The company's solutions are 3GPP standards compliant and cover the total processing chain, including the encode-decode engine, channel interleaving, rate matching, CRC and early termination functions.