Huawei last month presented a special award to Turkish professor Dr. Erdal Arikan, the inventor of polar codes for 5G, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the development of communications technology. At the ceremony, held at Huawei’s global headquarters in Shenzhen, the company also honored more than 100 Huawei scientists and engineers who are working on standards and basic research.
Basic research is key to industry development. Theoretical breakthroughs, often made after decades of focused scientific effort, help set the direction of technological progress. With 5G just on the horizon, the paper on polar codes that Professor Arikan published in 2008 defined an entirely new approach to maximizing the rate and reliability of data transmission. Polar codes are the world’s first channel coding scheme to bring us up against the threshold of Shannon’s limit, or the maximum rate that data can be sent with zero error at a particular bandwidth. Polar codes significantly improve coding performance for 5G. At the same time, they reduce the complexity of design and ensure service quality. In 2016, 3GPP (the international standards body responsible for 5G standards) adopted polar codes as the official coding scheme for the control channels of 5G New Radio (NR) eMBB interface.
At the awards ceremony, Huawei founder Mr. Ren Zhengfei presented a medal to Professor Arikan. The medal, designed and manufactured by the Monnaie de Paris (Paris Mint), features an engraving of the Goddess of Victory with a red Baccarat crystal, symbolizing the importance of new communications technology in leading the world forward.