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On the theory and performance of trellis termination methods for turbo codes

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3 Author(s)
J. Hokfelt ; Fiberless Soc. AB, Lund, Sweden ; O. Edfors ; T. Maseng

The performance of a turbo code can be severely degraded if no trellis termination is employed. This paper investigates the implications of the choice of trellis termination method for turbo codes, and explains the origin of the performance degradation often experienced without trellis termination. An efficient method to derive the distance spectrum of turbo codes for different trellis termination methods is presented. Further, we present interleaver design rules that are tailored to each termination method. Using interleavers designed with these restrictions, we demonstrate that the performance difference between various termination methods is very small, including no trellis termination at all. For example, we demonstrate a turbo code with a 500-bit interleaver that exhibits no sign of an error floor for frame error rates as low as 10-8, even though no trellis termination is employed

Published in:

IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications  (Volume:19 ,  Issue: 5 )