On the Asymptotic Performance of Bit-Wise Decoders for Coded Modulation
Two decoder structures for coded modulation over the Gaussian and flat fading channels are studied: the maximum likelihood symbol-wise decoder, and the (suboptimal) bit-wise decoder based on the bit-interleaved coded modulation paradigm. The authors consider a 16-ary quadrature amplitude constellation labeled by a Gray labeling. It is shown that the asymptotic loss in terms of pairwise error probability, for any two codewords caused by the bit-wise decoder, is bounded by 1.25 dB. The analysis also shows that for the Gaussian channel the asymptotic loss is zero for a wide range of linear codes, including all rate-1/2 convolutional codes.