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While channel coding is a standard method of improving a system's energy efficiency in digital communications, its practice does not extend to high-speed links. Increasing demands in network speeds are placing a large burden on the energy efficiency of high-speed links and render the benefit of channel coding for these systems a timely subject. The low error rates of interest and the presence of residual intersymbol interference (ISI) caused by hardware constraints impede the analysis and simulation of coded high-speed links. Focusing on the residual ISI and combined noise as the dominant error mechanisms, this paper analyzes error correlation through concepts of error region, channel signature, and correlation distance. This framework provides a deeper insight into joint error behaviors in high-speed links, extends the range of statistical simulation for coded high-speed links, and provides a case against the use of biased Monte Carlo methods in this setting. Finally, based on a hardware test bed, the performance of standard binary forward error correction and error detection schemes is evaluated, from which recommendations on coding for high-speed links are derived.
Date of Publication: May 2009