High Speed and Area Efficient Soft Cancelation Decoder Architectures for Polar Codes



While long polar codes can achieve the capacity of arbitrary binary-input discrete memory less channels when decoded by a low complexity successive cancelation (SC) algorithm, the error performance of the SC algorithm is inferior for polar codes with finite block lengths. The cyclic redundancy check (CRC) aided successive cancelation list (SCL) decoding algorithm has better error performance than the SC algorithm. However, current CRC aided SCL (CA-SCL) decoders still suffer from long decoding latency and limited throughput. In this paper, a reduced latency list decoding (RLLD) algorithm for polar codes is proposed. Our RLLD algorithm performs the list decoding on a binary tree, whose leaves correspond to the bits of a polar code.

 In existing SCL decoding algorithms, all the nodes in the tree are traversed and all possibilities of the information bits are considered. Instead, our RLLD algorithm visits much fewer nodes in the tree and considers fewer possibilities of the information bits. When configured properly, our RLLD algorithm significantly reduces the decoding latency and hence improves throughput, while introducing little performance degradation. 

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