Tutorial Proposal: Validating Physical Access Layer of WiMAX Using System Verilog

Albert Chiang1,  Wei-Hua Han1,  Bhanu Kapoor2
1Synopsys, 2Mimasic


WiMAX is a short name for Worldwide Interoperability of Microwave Access. WiMAX [1,2] is described in IEEE 802.16 Wireless Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) standard. It is expected that WiMAX compliant systems will provide fixed wireless alternative to conventional DSL and Cable Internet.

WiMAX employs Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA) as the physical access layer [1,2]. OFDMA [5] is a derivative of Frequency Division Multiplexing (FDM). In FDM, each carrier has its own frequency, so data is sent and received on one carrier frequency. A common example of this is the FM radio, where each station is carried on one carrier frequency. In OFDMA, data first is divided up into parallel chunks. The parallel data is then transmitted on several frequencies simultaneously, with the added twist that the signal is also spread out over time domain. Slots are the units of measurement in the time domain, where as sub-channels are the units of measurement in the frequency domain [4].

For those designing a WiMAX solutions, the verification of the latest wireless communication standard can be daunting. In this tutorial, we discuss how System Verilog [3] testbench constructs can be used to create random yet valid frames for WiMAX OFDMA to validate the physical access layer protocols.