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Two types of wireless system imperfections, namely, frequency offset and in-phase/quadrature (I/Q) imbalance, are addressed in this paper. The I/Q imbalance in radio frequency (RF) direct-conversion not only introduces an unwanted in-band image interference but also degrades the accuracy of carrier estimation. Toward this end, we propose a pilot-based scheme for both frequency offset and I/Q imbalance compensation at the baseband. A low-cost nonlinear least squares (NLS) frequency estimator robust to the I/Q imbalance is developed. Also derived is an I/Q imbalance compensation structure that consists of two stages: a finite impulse response (FIR) filter that compensates the frequency dependent imbalance; and an asymmetric phase compensator that corrects the frequency independent error. The compensation coefficients are optimized by exploiting the phase rotation embedded in the pilot symbols. Both computer simulations and experiment results verify the effectiveness of the proposed scheme in various I/Q imbalance scenarios.
Date of Publication: March 2005