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Viterbi decoder with l=2 best decoding paths










Image Number 4 for United States Patent #5784392.

This invention teaches a method, and circuits that operate in accordance with the method, for decoding data received from a communications channel. The method includes the steps of: (a) receiving a modulated communications signal that conveys block encoded data having at least a data field and a syndrome data field; and (b) determining transition metrics and path metrics for the block encoded data. The step of determining path metrics includes a step of retaining path metrics only for a Maximum-Likelihood (ML) path and for a second best ML path. The method further includes a step of: (c) decoding the block encoded data by performing either a full or a partial traceback operation for both the ML path metrics and also for the second best ML path metrics. In a full traceback there is obtained from the ML path a first plurality of detected bits representing the data field, a second plurality of detected bits from the ML path representing the syndrome data field, a third plurality of detected bits from the second best ML path representing the data field, and a fourth plurality of detected bits from the second best ML path representing the syndrome data field. A next step (d) determines a syndrome from the first plurality of detected bits, and then compares the determined syndrome to the second plurality of detected bits. Upon a match a next step (e) outputs the first plurality of detected bits as a received frame of data. If the step of comparing the determined syndrome to the second plurality of detected bits does not indicate a match, the method instead: (f) determines a syndrome from the third plurality of detected bits; (g) compares the determined syndrome to the fourth plurality of detected bits and, upon a match, (h) outputs the third plurality of detected bits as a received frame of data.








 
 
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