Prior to transmission, almost all wireless systems perform encoding on data to improve the packet reception rate. These may include, Forward Error Correction, Interleaving, Whitening, Gray Coding etc.

However, I'm finding it difficult to understand the purpose of "Data Whitening". From my understanding, Whitening makes sure that there are no continuous "1"'s or "0"'s in the transmitted packet. Common literature say that this "diversity" improves the performance of the "physical Channel" I.e. the wireless channel in this case.

I would like to know how exactly does introducing "data whitening" improves the physical layer performance of a wireless channel.

Are there any other advantages to Data Whitening?


Imagine your data is not white.

That means that at certain periods, it contains more variance, and hence information, than on others.

That's bad, because now certain frequencies become more sensitive to noise than others.

Other than that:

Many things that a receiver needs to do (AGC, equalization, synchronization) depend on the temporal stochastic properties of your signal. For example, if you have a blind equalizer, it has to assume it knows the spectrum of your transmit signal without having already successfully received it. The only way of ensuring (in the stochastic sense, "almost sure") that it has this knowledge without reducing the transinformation is to make sure the transmit signal is whitened.


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