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Polar codes have received recent attention due to their potential to be applied in advanced wireless communication protocols such as the fifth generation mobile communication system (5G). Among the existing decoding algorithms, Belief Propagation (BP) exhibits high-throughput, low-latency, and soft output with a high hardware cost. Stochastic computing, as a form of approximate computing, provides a potential low-cost implementation solution for the BP algorithm. However, existing stochastic BP decoders suffer from a relatively long decoding latency resulting in low hardware efficiency. In this paper, a novel bit-wise iterative stochastic decoding architecture for the BP algorithm is proposed to improve the throughput and hardware efficiency. By utilizing the frozen bits of polar codes and stochastic computing, multiple novel optimization methods are presented to further speed up convergence and increase the hardware efficiency.
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