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2-14-2002 Forward Error Correction Demystified Presented by Sunrise Telecom Broadband … a step ahead

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2-14-2002 Introduction u Forward Error Correction (FEC) is a system that adds additional information to the data stream to correct any errors that are caused by the transmission system. u Data transmission systems, such as cable modems are not real time and can resend the data if it is not received correctly. u In real time applications like video it isn’t possible to resend the data since it’s a constant stream. If the received data can’t be corrected, artifacts will show up in the picture.

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2-14-2002 SCTE DVS-031 FEC Layers u The SCTE has specified a system for transmitting digital television over a cable system and this system is known as DVS-031. u General Instrument DCT set tops, Scientific Atlanta Explorer Set Tops and DOCSIS Cable Modems all use DVS-031.

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2-14-2002 Trellis Encoder Trellis Decoder Ran-domizer Inter- leaver De- randomizer De- interleaver Reed Solomon Encoder Reed Solomon Decoder Trellis Layer Randomization Layer Interleaving Layer Reed Solomon Layer FEC Encoding FEC Decoding Channel SCTE DVS-031 FEC Layers

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2-14-2002 Parity u By adding an additional bit to a group of bits, errors can be detected within the group. This is known as a parity bit. u Even parity means that when the parity bit is added the group of bits including the parity always has an even number of ones. Odd parity means the group would have an odd number of ones. u If after transmission the number of ones is no longer even (for even parity), then there must be an error. 101110001 1 010111011 0 Parity Bit Always Even Number of Ones (Even Parity) 101100001 1 010111011 0 Error Odd Number of Ones Indicates Error

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2-14-2002 How FEC Works u FEC works by the addition of additional data bits to the data stream to determine if errors exist and to try and correct them. 1011100010110100 Data Stream 10111 10001 10111 01001 11000 1=odd 0=Even Stream With FEC Added 1011100010110100 1111 1100 0

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2-14-2002 How FEC Works 10111 10001 10011 01001 11000 10111 10001 10111 01001 11000 Error 1=odd 0=Even Before Transmission After Transmission the Bit in Error is Detected and Corrected u Once you know a bit is wrong, correcting it is easy, if you know its wrong and its a zero, then it has to be a one.

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2-14-2002 Reed-Solomon Error Correction Trellis Encoder Trellis Decoder Ran-domizer Inter-leaver De- randomizer De- interleaver Reed Solomon Encoder Reed Solomon Decoder Trellis Layer Randomization Layer Interleaving Layer Reed Solomon Layer FEC Encoding FEC Decoding Channel

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2-14-2002 Reed-Solomon Error Correction u Digital Video transmission uses Reed-Soloman Error Correction using a 128,122 code. u Out of 128 symbols, 122 are used for the video and 6 are used for error correction. u Out of the 122 symbols, up to 3 can be corrected using this code, any more errors than 3 and there will be picture artifacts or system failure. u Data is arranged in tables of 7 bit symbols, not individual bits as in the previous example.

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2-14-2002 Calculated Bit Error Rate u Using the FEC overhead you can calculate the symbol error rate, which is very close to the bit error rate. u For all practical purposes symbol error rate, while not exactly the same as BER, is very close for all practical purposes. u Using the FEC to determine the BER allows BER to be measured without removing the service which is usually required for most BER testing.

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2-14-2002 Pre and Post FEC BER u To get an accurate idea of the BER performance you need to know both the pre and post FEC bit error rate. u The MPEG decoder needs a BER of better than 1 E-6 in order to operate. u A post FEC BER close to 1 E-6 does not have significant margin and is very close to failing. u You should look at both the Pre and Post FEC BER to determine if the FEC is working to correct errors and if so how hard. FEC Decoder Pre FEC BER Post FEC BER Must be better than 1E-6 for video to operate

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2-14-2002 Interleaving Trellis Encoder Trellis Decoder Ran-domizer Inter-leaver De- randomizer De- interleaver Reed Solomon Encoder Reed Solomon Decoder Trellis Layer Randomization Layer Interleaving Layer Reed Solomon Layer FEC Encoding FEC Decoding Channel

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2-14-2002 Interleaving u Burst errors can cause more problems with the picture than errors that are spread out. u In an attempt to minimize the affect of burst errors, a technique known as interleaving is used. u Interleaving effectively spreads out burst errors so they have less effect on the picture.

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2-14-2002 Interleaving u The DVS-031 specification calls for data to be ordered into packets of 128 symbols. u Data is interleaved by sending 128 symbols from 128 different packets. The next 128 symbols sent are the second symbol from each of the 128 packets and so on. 128 Packets Packets of 128 Symbols Are Loaded One Symbol From Each of the 128 Packets is Sent Until all Data is sent Data is Put Back Into Its Original Order

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2-14-2002 Randomization Trellis Encoder Trellis Decoder Ran-domizer Inter-leaver De- randomizer De- interleaver Reed Solomon Encoder Reed Solomon Decoder Trellis Layer Randomization Layer Interleaving Layer Reed Solomon Layer FEC Encoding FEC Decoding Channel

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2-14-2002 Randomization u Digital Demodulators operate most effectively when there is big difference between symbols and no long strings of the same symbol. u In order to minimize the probability of a long stream of the same symbol a Randomizer on the Encoder and a De- randomizer on the decoder is used. u These blocks help ensure that the data stream has plenty of transitions prior to being applied to the modulator.

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2-14-2002 Trellis Coding Trellis Encoder Trellis Decoder Ran-domizer Inter-leaver De- randomizer De- interleaver Reed Solomon Encoder Reed Solomon Decoder Trellis Layer Randomization Layer Interleaving Layer Reed Solomon Layer FEC Encoding FEC Decoding Channel

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2-14-2002 Trellis Coding u An FEC technique known as Trellis Coding is also specified in DVS-031. This FEC is added to the Reed- Solomon FEC to give additional signal-noise improvement. u Unlike Reed-Solomon FEC that works in blocks, Trellis is known as a convolutional code since it operates on a continuous stream. u The Trellis coding used in DVS-031 produces 15 bits output for 14 input.

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2-14-2002 Conclusions u FEC works by the addition of additional data bits to the data stream to determine if errors exist and to try and correct them. u DVS-031 FEC uses four processing layers to detect and correct errors. u FEC error statistics can be used to very accurately estimate the BER of a live signal. CM1000 Cable Modem System Analyzer AT2000 Spectrum Analyzer

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