The Physical Hybrid-ARQ Indicator Channel (PHICH) in the
downlink carries Hybrid ARQ (HARQ) acknowledgements (ACK/NACK) for uplink data
transfers. PHICHs are located in the first OFDM symbol of each subframe. (Note
that our discussion focuses on the FDD frame structure and the normal PHICH
duration). A PHICH is carried by several Resource Element Groups (REGs).
Multiple PHICHs can share the same set of REGs and are differentiated by
orthogonal covers; PHICHs which share the same resources are called a PHICH
group. Consequently, a specific PHICH is identified by two parameters: the PHICH
group number, and the orthogonal sequence index within the group.
How many REGs does a PHICH need? The channel coding for HARQ
ACK/NACKs is straight forward: an ACK is 111, and a NACK is 000 (3 bits each).
PHICHs use BPSK modulation, so 3 modulation symbols are generated for each ACK
or NACK. Next, these 3 modulation symbols are multiplied by the orthogonal
cover, which has the spreading factor (SF) of 4 for the normal cyclic prefix,
resulting in a total of 12 symbols. Each REG contains 4 resource elements (REs)
and each RE can carry one modulation symbol, so 3 REGs are needed for a single PHICH.
Let's look at the illustration below for an
example of how PHICHs are mapped to resources; three PHICH groups are shown
here. The three REGs that support a PHICH group are evenly distributed within
the system bandwidth to provide frequency diversity. (Note that the Physical
Control Format Indicator Channel (PCFICH) also appears in the first symbol of
each subframe, and always occupies 4 REGs regardless of system bandwidth. These
4 REGs are evenly distributed across the system bandwidth).
How many PHICHs can a PHICH group include? A total of 8
orthogonal sequences have been defined (3GPP TS 36.211 Table 6.9.1-2), so each
PHICH group can carry up to 8 PHICHs.
How many PHICH groups are supported in a system?
That depends on the specific configuration. The actual number of PHICH groups can
be derived from the downlink bandwidth and the parameter (Ng), both of which are
broadcast in the Master Information Block (MIB). The formula is defined in 3GPP
TS 36.211 section 6.9 as shown below. Assume that the downlink channel
bandwidth is 10 MHz and that Ng = 1; in this case, there will be a total of 7
PHICH groups available. The total number of PHICHs supported per subframe would
then be 7 PHICH groups x 8 PHICHs per PHICH group = 56 PHICHs. The total number
of resource elements (REs) needed is 7 PHICH groups x 3 REGs per PHICH group x
4 REs per REG = 84 REs.
We know that each PHICH carries HARQ ACK/NACKs for uplink data
transfers. How does a UE know where to look for its PHICH? In the time domain,
if the uplink transmission occurs in subframe n, the corresponding PHICH will
be in subframe n+4. In the frequency domain, it is indicated by the uplink resource
allocation with DCI format 0, where the specific PHICH (PHICH group number,
orthogonal sequence index within the group) is derived from the lowest uplink PRB
index in the first slot of the corresponding PUSCH transmission and the DMRS
cyclic shift. For details on this calculation, please refer to 3GPP TS 36.213
Why is it necessary to have Ng in the MIB? Why not include
it in the System Information Block (SIB)? The reason that the UE needs to know
the PHICH configuration at the very beginning of the system acquisition process
is because of the "chicken-and-egg" problem. On one hand, the UE needs to decode PDCCH to
know where to find SIB on PDSCH. On the other hand, PDCCH and PHICH and PCFICH
share the resources in the control region of a subframe and the set of the
available resources for PDCCH depends on the PHICH configuration (PCFICH
resources are fixed and known).
Hi Hongyan Lei,
Some queries on PHICH.
The Ng value, PHICH duration is transmitted in MIB.
Does this mean Ng & PHICH duration can change after 40ms(MIB periodicity)? Or is it a initial cell configuration for an eNB like BW.?
How Ng value is calculated. Is it based on number of HI present in a particular subframe?
As per my understanding, Ng value & PHICH duration may or may not vary depending on the number of UE's expecting ACK/NACK. I think Ng values of 1/6,1/2,1 or 2 is chosen based on the BW available.
I am a beginner in LTE. So, kindly correct me if my understanding is incorrect.
There is some confusion related to the RE's occupied by PHICH groups.
In your above calculation, at one place you have mentioned that a single PHICH (not PHICH group) is defined by 3 REG's.
Accordingly, the number of RE's for 7 PHICH groups should be:
7 PHICH Groups X 8 PHICH per group X 3 REG per PHICH X 4 RE per REG
= 672 RE