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In this paper we first perform the density evolution of LDPC codes in layered multi-antenna architectures using bit- interleaved coded modulation and detection based on successive decoding and interference cancellation. The noise thresholds of LDPC codes are shown to be achieved within 1.2 dB of the capacity for these architectures. We then present a rate allocation method which optimizes the performance of a layered architecture and find good degree distributions for LDPC codes with the rates allocated by our method. Simulation results show that the performance for an optimized layered architecture is better by 4 dB than that for the layered architecture using LDPC codes with the same rate in all layers.