MATLAB Examples

Verify Turbo Decoder with Framed Data from MATLAB

This example shows how to verify a hardware-targeted Turbo Decoder design using frames of data from MATLAB®.

To run this example, use the VerifyLTEHDLTurboDecoderFramedData.m script.

LTE Toolbox™ functions model operations on framed, floating-point and integer data and provide excellent behavioral references. Hardware designs must use streaming Boolean or fixed-point data. This example imports framed data to Simulink® and then converts to a sample stream for hardware algorithm design. The same data is applied to both the hardware algorithm in Simulink, and the behavioral algorithm in MATLAB. The Simulink model converts the output sample stream to frames and exports the frames to MATLAB for comparison.


Hardware Targeting in Simulink

The key features of a model for hardware targeting in Simulink® are:

  • Streaming Sample Interface: LTE Toolbox functions process frames while blocks in LTE HDL Toolbox use a streaming sample interface. Serial processing is efficient for hardware designs. For further information, see Streaming Sample Interface. You can convert frames to samples in Simulink using the Frame To Samples block or in MATLAB using the ltehdlFramesToSamples function. In this example, we convert the frames to a stream of samples in Simulink using the Frame To Samples block.
  • Subsystem Targeted for HDL Code Generation: Design a hardware-friendly sample-streaming model by selecting blocks from the LTE HDL Toolbox libraries. The part of the design targeted for HDL code generation must be in a separate subsystem.
  • Conversion of Sample-based Output To Frames: For verification, you can export the result of your hardware-compatible design to the MATLAB® workspace. You can then compare this result with the output of a MATLAB behavioral design. In this example, we convert the samples to frames in Simulink using the Samples To Frame block.

You can use the VerifyLTEHDLTurboDecoderFramedData.m MATLAB script to run the MATLAB behavioral code, set up, import data and run the Simulink™ model, export the data, and compare the behavioral and Simulink output.

The MATLAB script contains four parts:

  1. Behavioral Simulation of Turbo Decoder
  2. Set Up the Simulink Model for Hardware Design
  3. Run Simulink Model
  4. Verify Output of Simulink Model

Behavioral Simulation of Turbo Decoder

For a behavioral simulation of the design, use the lteTurboDecode function from LTE Toolbox. This code generates input data, softBits that we can use as input for the HDL targeted design. The behavioral output of the lteTurboDecode function, rxBits can be used for comparison to the output of the HDL targeted design. Both softBits and rxBits are frames of floating-point data.

% Turbo decoding of soft bits obtained from a noisy constellation
turboFrameSize = 6144;
txBits = randi([0 1],turboFrameSize,1);
codedData = lteTurboEncode(txBits);
txSymbols = lteSymbolModulate(codedData,'QPSK');
noise = 0.5*complex(randn(size(txSymbols)),randn(size(txSymbols)));
rxSymbols = txSymbols + noise;
scatter(real(rxSymbols),imag(rxSymbols),'co'); hold on;
legend('Rx constellation','Tx constellation')
softBits = lteSymbolDemodulate(rxSymbols,'QPSK','Soft');
rxBits = lteTurboDecode(softBits);

Set Up the Simulink Model for Hardware Design

The model imports frame-based data from the MATLAB workspace. In this case, the variable inframes and blockSizeIn are the inputs to the model.

The LTE Turbo Decoder subsystem consists of the LTE Turbo Decoder block. This block is set to run for a frame size of 6144 systematic bits and 6 iterations of decoding.

The Simulink model imports frames of data from MATLAB and converts them into a stream of samples in the Simulink model.

The Frame To Samples block converts the framed data to a stream of samples and control signals. This block also adds invalid samples to the sample stream to mimic streaming hardware data. This block provides the input to the subsystem targeted for HDL code generation, but does not itself support HDL code generation.

In this example, the Frame To Samples block is configured to provide the input to the LTE Turbo Decoder block. No invalid samples are inserted between valid samples.

The Simulink model also imports the Turbo Decoder frame size parameter from the workspace and passed it on to the Turbo Decoder block via the blockSize port. In this example, we use just one Turbo Decoder block size and this port remains at a constant value specified by the turboFrameSize parameter.

The LTE Turbo Decoder block takes in one frame of data, runs through the specified number of iterations and can then accept another input frame. In order to allow the block processing time to run the 6 iterations, we add in invalid samples between frames. In this example, we set the number of invalid samples between frames to 7 iterations (or 14 half-iterations, each of which corresponds to a frame of delay). To calculate the exact cycles needed to process a frame, look at the documentation.

The behavioral Turbo Encoder sends all systematic bits out first, followed by the first set of parity bits and finally, the second set of parity bits. The LTE Turbo Decoder however requires each set of systematic and 2 parity bits to be sent in together. In order to reshape the input data to the Turbo Decoder block accordingly, we choose the option to compose the output samples from interleaved input samples.

% Open the model
modelname = 'TurboDecoderFramedDataHDLExample';
% Settings for Frame Input From Workspace block
inframesize = length(softBits);
% Setting for Turbo Decoder block
numTurboIterations = 6;
% Settings for Frame To Samples block
idlecyclesbetweensamples = 0;
% approximate latency from Turbo Decoder block per half-iteration
tdlatency = (ceil(turboFrameSize/32)+4)*32;
% approximate delay in frames for Turbo Decoder output
algframedelay = (2*numTurboIterations + 2)*(ceil(tdlatency/turboFrameSize));
% Rate 1/3 code: Systematic + 2 Parity
insamplesize = encoderrate;
idlecyclesbetweenframes = (inframesize/insamplesize)*algframedelay;
% Select the option to compose output from interleaved input samples
set_param([modelname '/Frame To Samples'],...
% Settings for Samples To Frame block
% Exact setting, includes idle cycles introduced
totalframesize = ((inframesize/insamplesize)*...
% Alternative setting, same size as Turbo Decoder output frame
% totalframesize = outframesize;
outsamplesize = 1;

The MATLAB code also converts the input data to fixed-point for use in the hardware-targeted model, and computes the desired simulation time.

% Simulation time
numFrames = 1; % number of frames to run
simTime = numFrames;
% Input frame data for model
% use same data as lteTurboDecode, converted to fixed point
inframes = fi(softBits, 1, 5, 2);

Run Simulink Model

You can run the model by clicking the Play button or calling the sim command on the MATLAB command line.


Verify Output of Simulink Model

Running the model results in frames of data logged from the Frame Output To Workspace block in the variable outframes_logdata. Compare the data to the output of the behavioral simulation to find the number of bit mismatches between the behavioral code and hardware-targeted model.

This simulation results in no bit errors. Increasing the amount of noise added to the samples or reducing the number of iterations may result in bit errors.

% Process output of HDL model and compare to behavioral simulation output
% Gather all the logged data into one array
rxBits_hdl = outframes_logdata(:);
% Check number of bit mismatches
numBitsDiff = sum(rxBits_hdl ~= rxBits);
fprintf(['\nLTE Turbo Decoder: Behavioral and ' ...
   'HDL simulation differ by %d bits\n\n'], numBitsDiff);

Generate HDL Code and Verify Its Behavior

Once your design is working in simulation, you can use HDL Coder™ to generate HDL code and test bench for the LTE Turbo Decoder subsystem. Use HDL Verifier™ to generate a System Verilog DPI testbench or run FPGA in the Loop.

makehdl([modelname '/LTE Turbo Decoder'])   % Generate HDL code
makehdltb([modelname '/LTE Turbo Decoder']) % Generate HDL Test bench