Since polar codes are capacity-achieving codes, there have been various research works devoted to devising efficient implementation methods as well as improving error-correction performance. Since quantization is a critical implementation issue, in this paper, a nonuniform quantization method is proposed for the successive cancellation (SC) decoder of polar codes, which finds quantization boundary values based on the analysis of various quantization levels over the additive white Gaussian noise channel. Since low computational complexity, high reliability, and efficient memory management are required in the next-generation communication and memory systems, 2-4 bit precision levels are mainly considered in the proposed nonuniform quantization method. Depending on the presence of erasure, quantization levels are divided into three types, and the message alphabets and update rules are derived for each type. Also, a construction method of polar codes suitable for the proposed nonuniform-quantized SC decoder is proposed, which simultaneously determines the information set and the quantization boundary values based on the density evolution analysis and an upper bound of the block error probability. To determine quantization boundary values, a multivariate objective function is defined and an iterative coarse-to-fine search algorithm to minimize this objective function is proposed. In addition, a scaling method of quantizer output values is proposed when the number of quantization levels of quantizer is smaller than the number of quantization levels of decoder. Finally, simulation results confirm that the proposed nonuniform-quantized SC decoder shows better error-correction performance, lower decoding complexity, and higher memory efficiency compared to the best known uniform-quantized SC decoder.
- Block error probability
- density evolution
- iterative coarse-to-fine search algorithm
- minimization problem
- nonuniform quantization
- polar codes
- successive cancellation decoding