Multiple Level Orthogonal Codes and their Application in MC-CDMA Systems

Document Type


Subject Area(s)

Electrical and Computer Engineering


This paper proposes the use of multiple level orthogonal (MLO) codes in multicarrier CDMA (MC-CDMA) systems. It is extremely challenging to improve system error probability performance of MC-CDMA systems with binary spreading codes in multi-user conditions, since attainable-diversity performance is severely degraged by multi-user interference (MUI) in frequency-selective fading channel conditions, even with the use of optimum multi-user detection (MUD) methods. MLO codes are shown to improve system error probability performance in heavily-loaded or fully-loaded systems, in comparison to binary codes. Some widely used MLO code generation methods are summarized, and a new generation method is also provided. The performance advantage of MLO codes over binary codes is analyzed by treating the spreading process in MC-CDMA as a coding process and via analysis of pair-wise sequence error probability. Rules for choosing desirable MLO codes for multi-user MC-CDMA are also given. Numerical results show that MLO codes can provide a substantial performance improvement in fully-loaded systems. For example, for a K = 4 user system with spreading gain L = 4, our system can obtain a diversity order of 3, whereas the binary code system diversity order is only slightly larger than 1. The MLO code application provides a new way to compensate for multi-user interference (MUI) and makes MC-CDMA more attractive for future high data-rate transmission systems.