Journal article Open Access
A method to design efficient puncture-constrained interleavers for turbo codes (TCs) is introduced. Resulting TCs profit from a joint optimization of puncturing pattern and interleaver to achieve an improved error rate performance. First, the puncturing pattern is selected based on the constituent code Hamming distance spectrum and on the TC extrinsic information exchange under uniform interleaving. Then, the interleaver function is defined via a layered design process taking account of several design criteria such as minimum span, correlation girth, and puncturing constraints. We show that applying interleaving with a periodic cross connection pattern that can be assimilated to a protograph improves error-correction performance when compared to the state-of-the-art TCs. An application example is elaborated and compared with the long term evolution (LTE) standard: a significant gain in performance can be observed. An additional benefit of the proposed technique resides in the important reduction of the search space for the different interleaver parameters.