On the Total Power Capacity of Regular-LDPC Codes with Iterative Message-Passing Decoders

Karthik Ganesan, Pulkit Grover, Jan Rabaey, Andrea Goldsmith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Motivated by recently derived fundamental limits on total (transmit + decoding) power for coded communication with VLSI decoders, this paper investigates the scaling behavior of the minimum total power needed to communicate over AWGN channels as the target bit-error-probability tends to zero. We focus on regular-LDPC codes and iterative message-passing decoders. We analyze scaling behavior under two VLSI complexity models of decoding. One model abstracts power consumed in processing elements (node model), and another abstracts power consumed in wires which connect the processing elements (wire model). We prove that a coding strategy using regular-LDPC codes with Gallager-B decoding achieves order-optimal scaling of total power under the node model. However, we also prove that regular-LDPC codes and iterative message-passing decoders cannot meet existing fundamental limits on total power under the wire model. Furthermore, if the transmit energy-per-bit is bounded, total power grows at a rate that is worse than uncoded transmission. Complementing our theoretical results, we develop detailed physical models of decoding implementations using post-layout circuit simulations. Our theoretical and numerical results show that approaching fundamental limits on total power requires increasing the complexity of both the code design and the corresponding decoding algorithm as communication distance is increased or error-probability is lowered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7339416
Pages (from-to)375-396
Number of pages22
JournalIEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Iterative message-passing decoding
  • Low-density parity-check (LDPC) codes
  • total power channel capacity


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