Threshold-Based Fast Successive-Cancellation Decoding of Polar Codes

Haotian Zheng, Seyyed Ali Hashemi, Alexios Balatsoukas-Stimming, Zizheng Cao, Ton Koonen, John M. Cioffi, Andrea Goldsmith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Fast SC decoding overcomes the latency caused by the serial nature of the SC decoding by identifying new nodes in the upper levels of the SC decoding tree and implementing their fast parallel decoders. In this work, we first present a novel sequence repetition node corresponding to a particular class of bit sequences. Most existing special node types are special cases of the proposed sequence repetition node. Then, a fast parallel decoder is proposed for this class of node. To further speed up the decoding process of general nodes outside this class, a threshold-based hard-decision-aided scheme is introduced. The threshold value that guarantees a given error-correction performance in the proposed scheme is derived theoretically. Analysis and hardware implementation results on a polar code of length 1024 with code rates 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 show that our proposed algorithm reduces the required clock cycles by up to 8%, and leads to a 10% improvement in the maximum operating frequency compared to state-of-the-art decoders without tangibly altering the error-correction performance. In addition, using the proposed threshold-based hard-decision-aided scheme, the decoding latency can be further reduced by 57% at E b N0 = 5.0$ dB.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9373370
Pages (from-to)3541-3555
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Transactions on Communications
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Polar codes
  • fast successive-cancellation decoding
  • sequence repetition node
  • threshold-based hard-decision-aided scheme


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