A Survey on Design and Performance of Higher-Order QAM Constellations
As the research on beyond 5G heats up, we survey and explore power and bandwidth efficient modulation schemes in details. In the existing publications and in various communication standards, initially square quadrature amplitude modulation (SQAM) constellations (even power of 2) were considered. However, only the square constellations are not efficient for varying channel conditions and rate requirements, and hence, odd power of 2 constellations were introduced. For odd power of 2
... , rectangular QAM (RQAM) is commonly used. However, RQAM is not a good choice due to its lower power efficiency, and a modified cross QAM (XQAM) constellation is preferred as it provides improved power efficiency over RQAM due to its energy efficient two dimensional (2D) structure. The increasing demand for high data-rates has further encouraged the research towards more compact 2D constellations which lead to hexagonal lattice structure based constellations, referred to as hexagonal QAM (HQAM). In this work, various QAM constellations are discussed and detailed study of star QAM, XQAM, and HQAM constellations is presented. Generation, peak and average energies, peak-to-average-power ratio, symbol-error-rate, decision boundaries, bit mapping, Gray code penalty, and bit-error-rate of star QAM, XQAM, and HQAM constellations with different constellation orders are presented. Finally, a comparative study of various QAM constellations is presented which justifies the supremacy of HQAM over other QAM constellations. With this, it can be claimed that the use of the HQAM in various wireless communication systems and standards can further improve the performance targeted for beyond 5G wireless communication systems.