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Shannon Lecture: Guidance from Information Theory – An Engineering Perspective by Dr Gottfried Ungerboeck

Information Theory Society

The talk is a repeat of the Shannon Lecture given at ISIT2018 on June 20, 2018, in Vail, USA. It reflects on some of the author’s encounters with information theory in his application-oriented engineering career.

The talk will focus on (1) How Trellis Coded Modulation (TCM) came about, (2) The role of information theory in the development of 10GBASE-T, the IEEE 802.3an standard for 10 Gbit/s transmission over unshielded twisted-pair copper wires, and (3) Remarks on Faster-than-Nyquist (FTN) signalling.

About the Speaker: Gottfried Ungerboeck is an Austrian communications engineer. He received a Dipl. Ing. degree in electrical engineering with emphasis on telecommunications from the Vienna University of Technology in 1964. Thereafter he worked at IBM Austria as a computer systems engineer.

In 1967 he joined the IBM Zurich Research Laboratory, where his initial work dealt with digital speech signal processing. In parallel he developed a strong interest in communication and information theory. In 1970 he received a Ph.D. degree from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ) with a thesis on the optimum detection of distorted binary signals in Gaussian noise.

Well-known among his contributions to the theory of data transmission is his invention of trellis coded modulation (TCM) in 1976-1978. As an application-oriented engineer he developed programmable digital signal processors (DSPs), which were used for the realisation of fully operational voice-band modems employing TCM an d other new concepts.

Other projects led to the introduction of partial response signalling with maximum likelihood sequence detection (PRML) in hard-disk drives, a first satellite modem employing TCM, LAN transceivers for high-speed transmission over twisted-pair copper wires, etc.. — In 1998 he joined Broadcom Corporation as a technical director in the communication business line.

He was engaged in DOCIS cable modems, DSL technology, terrestrial digital TV transmission, advanced FEC coding for optical channels, Ethernet transceivers – specifically 10GBASET, and participated in related ITU and IEEE standard developments. After his retirement in 2009 he taught courses on classical and modern channel coding at NDU, KAIST, TUM, and ETHZ until 2013.

Ungerboeck’s recognitions’ include the 1984 Information Theory Group Prize Paper Award. He is the recipient of many other awards.

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