Real-time software implementation of an IEEE 802.11a baseband receiver on Intel multicore

We present a software-only implementation of an IEEE 802.11a (WiFi) receiver optimized for Intel multicore platforms. The receiver is about 50 times faster than a straightforward C implementation, i.e., an implementation that has the same functionality, but leaves optimization completely to the compiler. Our hand-optimized implementation achieves real-time for all data rates up to the maximum of 54 Mbit/s on a Core i7, clocked at 3.3 GHz, and for up to 12 Mbit/s on an Atom, clocked at 1.6 GHz, using two cores in both cases. To achieve this performance we use up to two threads, up to 16-way vectorization using Intel's SSE, and various other optimizations.