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We apply irregular low-density parity-check (LDPC) codes to the design of multilevel coded quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) schemes for application in discrete multitone systems in frequency-selective channels. A combined Gray/Ungerboeck scheme is used to label each QAM constellation. The Gray-labeled bits are protected using an irregular LDPC code with iterative soft-decision decoding, while other bits are protected using a high-rate Reed-Solomon code with hard-decision decoding (or are left uncoded). The rate of the LDPC code is selected by analyzing the capacity of the channel seen by the Gray-labeled bits and is made adaptive by selective concatenation with an inner repetition code. Using a practical bit-loading algorithm, we apply this coding scheme to an ensemble of frequency-selective channels with Gaussian noise. Over a large number of channel realizations, this coding scheme provides an average effective coding gain of more than 7.5 dB at a bit-error rate of 10-7 and a block length of approximately 105 b. This represents a gap of approximately 2.3 dB from the Shannon limit of the additive white Gaussian noise channel, which could be closed to within 0.8-1.2 dB using constellation shaping.
Date of Publication: Nov. 2004