Feasibility study on polar codes for 5G URLLC

Lead Participant: Accelercomm Ltd


"Fifth generation (5G) mobile communication will support a greater range of applications than 4G. One of the new use cases is Ultra-Reliable Low-Latency Communication (URLLC), which will be a key connectivity enabler for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs). These vehicles will benefit from ultra-high performance communications, both with each other and with the Internet via 5G basestations. They will be able to communicate with 10x better reliability and 10x better delay than any previous mobile communication systems. For the first time, CAVs will be able to rely on mobile communications to exchange life-saving messages, which can avert collisions.

The ultra-high reliability of URLLC will be achieved using Forward Error Correction (FEC). This will mitigate the communication errors that are inherent to mobile communication, caused by noise, interference and poor signal strength. However, FEC is the most computationally intensive process in mobile communications. Owing to this, vehicles will need to use dedicated hardware acceleration, so that FEC can be completed quickly enough to support ultra-low communication delays.

The 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) will soon begin specifying the international standard for FEC in 5G URLLC. The proposed project will conduct a feasibility study on the application of a particular FEC code for URLLC, namely the polar code. Polar codes enable particularly high reliability, but are challenging to implement in hardware acceleration. Despite this, AccelerComm has developed patent-pending, first-to-market Intellectual Property (IP) on the hardware acceleration of polar codes. This IP solution has much greater hardware efficiency than all previous hardware acceleration implementations of polar codes.

This project will significantly enhance the AccelerComm polar coding IP, extending its capability from eMBB applications to meet the much stricter and conflicting URLLC requirements of 10x improvements to reliability and latency. More specifically, innovative solutions will be developed to merge successive polar encoding steps at the hardware acceleration level. In addition to improving latency in this way, the conflicting requirement of improved reliability will be achieved simultaneously by adapting the AccelerComm polar coding IP to allow a flexible trade off with the hardware usage. Innovative solutions will be developed to achieve this while maintaining AccelerComm's unique hardware efficiency advantage over competitors.

This project will also innovate to address the associated commercial challenges. In order to develop routes to the CAV market, the AccelerComm IP will be co-marketed alongside the complementary IP, chips and equipment of selected partners."

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer



Accelercomm Ltd, SOUTHAMPTON


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