Modeling and Evaluating Possible Waveforms for 5G

Blog Post created by AlyssaRao Employee on Jul 7, 2016

If you missed our webcast on February 5, be glad. You would have been standing. Okay, just kidding, it was an online webcast, but we had a record number of people on the line clamoring for their question to be answered during the Q&A session. You missed out.


The good news is that the recorded version and slides are now available here. So grab a cup of coffee, take a seat, and learn about what is currently being done in 5G research at the physical layer.


For those who just want the highlights, keep reading. In this post and the next two, I’m going to cover the highlights from that webcast.



If you missed it live, click the picture to watch the on-demand version.

Researching Waveform Techniques for 5G

Today I’d like to highlight the most interesting part (I believe) of 5G research today, waveform techniques.  The webcast covered 3 waveforms:

  1. Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM)
  2. Filter Bank Multicarrier (FBMC)/Generalized Frequency Division Multiplexing (GFDM)
  3. Universal Filtered Multicarrier (UFMC)


Designers are currently investigating which waveform would meet all of the requirements that 5G would demand. This includes such considerations as: efficiently supporting high density users, optimizing multiple accesses, efficient use of spectrum, robustness to narrow-band jammers and impulses, and many others. The webcast covered the advantages and disadvantages of each waveform for 5G.

ESL_Figure 1.jpg

OFDM vs FDMC spectrum using different filter overlap factor (photo credit: Understanding 5G webcast)


It was a very interesting discussion, and, spoiler alert, it looks like OFDM is currently leading the way, but I encourage each of you to listen to the webinar for yourself.

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GFDM vs OFDM (photo credit: Understanding 5G webcast)

The discussion concluded with an end to end performance simulation of an FBMC reference source and receiver. It was a great way to visualize and sum all signal processing techniques in one model. It made a lot of sense for any type of physical layer designer who is researching new communications systems.

ESL_Figure 3.jpg