Energy-Efficient Hardware Architectures for the Packet Data Convergence Protocol in LTE-Advanced Mobile Terminals

Shadi Traboulsi, Frascolla, Valerio, Nils Pohl, Josef Hausner, Attila Bilgic

Journal of VLSI Design, Volume 2013, Article ID 369627


In this paper, we present and compare efficient low-power hardware architectures for accelerating the Packet Data Convergence Protocol (PDCP) in LTE and LTE-Advanced mobile terminals. Specifically, our work proposes the design of two cores: a crypto engine for the Evolved Packet System Encryption Algorithm (128-EEA2) that is based on the AES cipher and a coprocessor for the Least Significant Bit (LSB) encoding mechanism of the Robust Header Compression (ROHC) algorithm. With respect to the former, first we propose a reference architecture, which reflects a basic implementation of the algorithm, then we identify area and power bottle-necks in the design and finally we introduce and compare several architectures targeting the most power-consuming operations. With respect to the LSB coprocessor, we propose a novel implementation based on a one-hot encoding, thereby reducing hardware’s logic switching rate. Architectural hardware analysis is performed using Faraday’s 90?nm standard-cell library. The obtained results, when compared against the reference architecture, show that these novel architectures achieve significant improvements, namely, 25% in area and 35% in power consumption for the 128-EEA2 crypto-core, and even more important reductions are seen for the LSB coprocessor, that is, 36% in area and 50% in power consumption.

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