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In this paper we address the implementation in FPGAs of a multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) decoder embedded in a prototype of a 4G mobile receiver. This MIMO decoder is part of a multi-carrier code-division multiple-access (MC-CDMA) radio system, equipped with multiple antennas at both ends of the link, that is able to handle up to 32 users and provides raw transmission bit-rates up to 125 Mbps. The task of the MIMO decoder is to appropriately combine the signals simultaneously received on all antennas to construct an improved signal, free from interference, from which to estimate the transmitted symbols. A comprehensive explanation of the complete design process is provided, including architectural decisions, floating-point to fixed-point translation and description of the validation procedure. Implementation results using FPGA devices of the Xilinx Virtex-4 family are also reported.