Using Delta-Sigma Modulators in Visible Light OFDM Systems

Zhenhua Yu, Arthur J. Redfern, G. Tong Zhou

Visible light communications (VLC) are motivated by the radio-frequency (RF) spectrum crunch and fast-growing solid-state lighting technology. VLC relies on white light emitting diodes (LEDs) to provide communication and illumination simultaneously. Simple two-level on-off keying (OOK) and pulse-position modulation (PPM) are supported in IEEE standard due to their compatibility with existing constant current LED drivers, but their low spectral efficiency have limited the achievable data rates of VLC. Orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) has been applied to VLC due to its high spectral efficiency and ability to combat inter-symbol-interference (ISI). However, VLC-OFDM inherits the disadvantage of high peak-to-average power ratio (PAPR) from RF-OFDM. Besides, the continuous magnitude of OFDM signals requires complicated mixed-signal digital-to-analog converter (DAC) and modification of LED drivers. We propose the use of delta-sigma modulators in visible light OFDM systems to convert continuous magnitude OFDM symbols into LED driver signals. The proposed system has the communication theory advantages of OFDM along with the practical analog and optical advantages of simple two level driver signals. Simulation results are provided to illustrate the proposed system.

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