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Achieving reliable high-speed communications over the power line requires robust modulation and equalization techniques to mitigate various hostile channel impairments. Multicarrier orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM) has been proposed as the dominant modulation format for power-line communications (PLC). In this paper, we study a single-carrier cyclic prefix (SCCP)-assisted PLC system that employs block data transmission similar to OFDM and propose two frequency-domain equalizers based on the zero forcing and minimum mean-square error criteria. Performance comparisons with OFDM systems of identical system specifications are made via extensive computer simulations under different realistic channel parameters and data rates. The results show that the SCCP-assisted scheme outperforms the OFDM counterpart in most cases through higher frequency diversity exploitation while maintaining almost identical computational complexity. Other salient features of the SCCP technique for PLC applications are discussed. The proposed SCCP-assisted scheme is found to be an attractive alternative modulation technique for broadband PLC.
Date of Publication: July 2010