DC-bias for Optical OFDM in Visible Light Communications

Xiong Deng, Shokoufeh Mardanikorani (Corresponding author), Guofu Zhou, J.P. Linnartz

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The requirement of a DC-bias is known to make DC-biased Optical Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (DCO-OFDM) less energy efficient. This can be improved by Asymmetrically Clipped Optical OFDM (ACO-OFDM), Pulse Amplitude Modulated OFDM (PAM-OFDM) or Flip-OFDM, but these variants use the bandwidth inefficiently. Our trade-off between energy and spectrum efficiency considers a given limited channel bandwidth of the Light Emitting Diode (LED) and then attempts to get the highest throughput per unit of energy. We investigate previous findings that clipped OFDM can be more attractive in a low-SNR regime. More specifically, we consider Visible Light Communication (VLC) in which the average light level, i.e., the bias, is prescribed by illumination requirements, thus comes for free. ACO/PAM/Flip-OFDM can convert the DC-bias into power for communication, but all variants of OFDM, including DCO-OFDM consume extra electrical power. We conclude that in this scenario, advantages attributed to ACO/PAM/Flip-OFDM vanish, as DCO-OFDM outperforms its variants in all SNR conditions, in terms of achieved throughput over a bandlimited channel as a function of extra electrical power required. For hybrid solutions, such as Asymmetrically clipped DC biased Optical OFDM (ADO-OFDM) and Hybrid ACO-OFDM (HACO-OFDM), we optimize a new adaptive power and rate splitting between odd (clipped) and even (biased/clipped) subcarriers to balance power and bandwidth efficiency.
Original languageEnglish
Article number8763971
Pages (from-to)98319-98330
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Access
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • DC bias
  • Illumination
  • OFDM
  • VLC
  • capacity
  • communication


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