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Energy consumption of low-density parity-check (LDPC) codes in different implementations is evaluated. Decoder's complexity is reduced by finite precision representation of messages, that is, quantised LDPC decoder, and replacement of function blocks with look-up tables. It is shown that the decoder's energy consumption increases exponentially with the number of quantisation bits. For the sake of low-power consumption, 3-bit magnitude and 1-sign bit representation for messages are used in the decoder. It is concluded that high-rate Gallager codes are as energy efficient as the Reed-Solomon codes, which till now have been the first choice for wireless sensor networks (WSNs). Finally, it is shown that using LDPC codes in WSNs can be justified even more by applying the idea of trading the transmitter power with the decoder energy consumption. By exploiting the trade-off inherent in iterative decoding, the network lifetime is increased up to four times with the 3-6 regular LDPC code. Hence, it is inferred that the LDPC codes are more efficient than the block and the convolutional codes.
Date of Publication: Dec. 2007