Dr Earl McCune, Visiting Faculty, TU Delft
The Physics of OFDM
Orthogonal Frequency Division Modulation (OFDM) is an extremely revolutionary signal technology that actually is poorly understood by both academia and industry. Academia appears to not understand how revolutionary this signal actually is, and what the corresponding physical difficulties of its implementation are. On the industrial side, there is a general misunderstanding of the economic consequences of building hardware needed to generate and receive an OFDM signal, along with the problems that it solves and creates. In my entire career I have never encountered a signal type that has such a bimodal interest distribution – some adherents love it, and there are others who cannot loathe it more. The best way to examine this situation is to build up OFDM technology from first physical principles, in order to clearly understand what OFDM is, and isn’t.
Earl received his Bachelors, Masters, and Doctorate degrees at UC Berkeley, Stanford, and UC Davis respectively. His experience in RF circuits, signals, and systems goes back more than 40 years. Within this career he has founded two Silicon Valley startups; the first one doing modulated direct digital frequency synthesis in 1986 and merged with Proxim in 1991. The second start-up, Tropian, did switch-based efficient RF transmitters from 1996 and was acquired by Panasonic 10 years later. He retired from Panasonic in 2008 as a Corporate Technology Fellow. He now serves as visiting faculty at TU Delft.