Wireless = OFDM

If you are a Physical Layer designer, then you must be stumbled by an upcoming modulation scheme called OFDM. The OFDM blessing (or bug?) has caught the whole Communication industry by storm. The scheme can potentially save you from nightmares on Equalizer design and provide better spectral efficiency !
Let me give a preview of the implication of this technology on Wireless space (or better call it OFDM space):
  1. LAN – The market started with the Spread Spectrum based techniques (DSSS and CCK) with 802.11b standard but soon found to be overtaken by 802.11a and 802.11g standards (both OFDM based.). And if this was not all, the upcoming 802.11n is also built on top of OFDM modulation.
  2. WAN – The market has been hyped by the likes of Intel, Samsung and Motorola with the WiMax and WiBro standards being the Next-In-Thing (both OFDM based).
  3. PAN – The market space failed to take off with the initial Bluetooth systems (FHSS based), but now with the growing market share of Multimedia Cellphones Bluetooth is becoming a must have feature. (Thanks this is not OFDM based !) But for how long ? The 802.15 committee on UWB is fighting towards the proposals MBOA (An OFDM technology) vs. the UWB based on Pulse Modulation. If the MBOA gets the market share then OFDM may again rule the space.
  4. Cellular – The 3G market space is occupied with the CDMA based solutions, but there is a market move in the 3GPP-LTE to consider the variations of OFDM solution moving ahead !
  5. Video Broadcasting – The market is picking up for TV on Mobile using the DVB-H standard (again an OFDM variant)

Does that mean we are moving towards Wireless = OFDM ? I may not be surprised. Researchers around the world are trying to tame OFDM and generate patents to remain in the Wireless-OFDM world.

BTW, I am too hit by this bug, having worked on 802.11a/g and working on WiMax standards.

Building Collaborative StartUps

What does it cost to start a DSP or a VLSI startup ? The numbers one would project for a typical startup in Silicon Valley can range from $5 million to $20 million. This number on the other hand for a startup in India can be almost 1/3 of the cost. Does this sound attractive ? To me, yes, and this is the basis of my belief that the Collaborative startups with an offshore model like India will drive the next wave of startups in DSP and VLSI segment. 

Being a self proclaimed Digital Signal Processing and Wireless expert I am trying to carve a niche startup with this model. The DSP segment can range from Automotive, Medical, Multimedia, Industrial to Communications.  

So if anyone of you think the same, we should talk ! 


I am a Electronics Engineer from IIT Kanpur, passionate about Signal Processing, Wireless and Entrepreneurship. I spent last few years working on the Physical layers for Wireless LAN 802.11a/ b/ g, Satellite Receivers DVB-S, DSS, WiMax starting with a fresher out of college to a System Architect for complex Receiver designs. 

After having learned the nuts and bolts of the Physical layer design and Signal Processing I am now trying to start my own venture with a group of like minded people.