A Scheme for Contention-Based Synchronization in FDMA Systems

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A Scheme for Contention-Based Synchronization in FDMA Systems

Princeton Docket # 13-2835-1

Researchers at Princeton University and University of Pisa have developed a novel synchronization procedure for FDMA (frequency division multiple access) networks that minimizes power consumption and synchronization time.

Current wireless standards (such as IEEE 802.16 and 3GPP LTE-A) rely on contention-based synchronization processes that utilize a highly energy inefficient and random-based means of addressing unsuccessful synchronizations during network association. By providing the network¿s nodes (mobile terminals and base stations) with the intelligence to adapt transmit powers and detection strategies, inventors from Princeton University and the University of Pisa have created a procedure that minimizes the average energy expenditure per successful synchronization. Computer simulations have revealed the energy efficient and time saving nature of this technology; when compared to existing protocols, this novel scheme proved to be as much as 18 times faster and saves as much as 25 percent power, using the same amount of resources in terms of feedback from the base station. Moreover, this invention prevents the network from performing periodic synchronizations (as many as 30 synchronizations per second), which consume large amounts of power at the mobile side and increase the network overhead both in the downlink and the uplink. Not only is this approach scalable and simple in design, this distributed algorithm is general enough to be applied to any system using FDMA as the multiple-access technology.


1.) Wireless Communications based on FDMA Technologies

          - High Bursty-traffic scenarios

          - Dense Population of Users


1.) Power Saving - 25% more energy efficient

2.) Synchronization Time - 18 times faster

3.) Compatible with existing Wireless Standards (IEEE 802.16 and LTE-A)

4.) Scalable

5.) Simple Design

6.) Decrease Network Overhead



Vincent Poor: Michael Henry Strater University Professor of Electrical Engineering Dean at Princeton University¿s School of Engineering and Applied Science. 

In addition to his role as dean, H. Vincent Poor (Ph.D. in EECS, Princeton, 1977) is the Michael Henry Strater University Professor of Electrical Engineering at Princeton, where his interests lie in the areas of stochastic analysis, statistical signal processing and information theory, and their applications in a number of fields including wireless networks, social networks and smart grid. Dr. Poor is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and an International Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering of the UK. He is also a Fellow of the IEEE, the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, the Optical Society of America, and other scientific and technical organizations. He has served as President of the IEEE Information Theory Society, and as Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Information Theory. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2002 and the IEEE Education Medal in 2005.

Giacomo Bacci: Visiting Postdoctoral Research Associate at Princeton University, Dept. Electrical Engineering

Since 2005, he has been with the Department of Information Engineering, University of Pisa, where he is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow. In 2006¿2007, he was a Visiting Student Research Collaborator at the Department of Electrical Engineering, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ. In 2008, he has also joined Wiser srl, Livorno, Italy, as a software engineer. From May 2012 to April 2013, he is also enrolled as a Visiting Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Department of Electrical Engineering, Princeton University. Dr. Bacci is a member of the IEEE since 2009, and serves as a reviewer for IEEE Transactions on Communications, IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing, IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications, IEEE Journal on Selected Topics in Signal Processing, IEEE Communications Letters, IET Communications, and many international conferences.


Intellectual Property status

Patent protection is pending.


Michael Tyerech

Princeton University Office of Technology Licensing   (609) 258-6762 tyerech@princeton.edu

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Michael Tyerech
former Princeton Sr. Licensing Associate
Princeton University
Giacomo Bacci
Luca Sanguinetti
Marco Luise
H. Vincent Poor