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Towards 5G New Radio Sidelink Communications: a Versatile Link-Level Simulator and Performance Evaluation



Peng Liu, Chen Shen, Chunmei Liu, Fernando Cintron, LYUTIANYANG ZHANG, Liu Cao, Richard A. Rouil, Sumit Roy


Sidelink in cellular networks enables direct exchange of data packets between devices without the need for network infrastructure, resulting in various benefits, including communication in out-of-coverage areas and potential significantly reduced latency. Thus, sidelink is a favorable choice for applications like public safety communications and Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) communications. As 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) advanced to 5G New Radio (NR) under the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), several new features were introduced to sidelink, such as two-stage Sidelink Control Informations (SCIs), data and control multiplexing, and feedback-based Hybrid Automatic Repeat Request (HARQ) with a configurable maximum number of transmissions. To conduct extensive NR sidelink link-level evaluations, a comprehensive simulation platform is essential. In this paper, we introduce the first publicly accessible 5G NR Link-Level Simulator (LLS) that supports major 5G NR sidelink features and complies with the 3GPP standards. This MATLAB-based simulator allows for flexible control over various Physical Layer (PHY) configurations, facilitating customized simulations on algorithm development and performance evaluations. We discuss the simulator's structure and the sidelink features implemented in detail and evaluate the 5G NR sidelink performance using the developed simulator. Our simulation results indicate that the Block Error Rate (BLER) curves are insensitive to error-prone 2nd-stage Sidelink Control Information (SCI2) and allocated number of Resource Blocks (RBs); however, the sidelink communication range is sensitive to the deployment environment. We also highlight the importance of careful sidelink design and configuration on numerology, device power class, and HARQ configurations to balance performance metrics to meet a variety of service needs.
Computer Communications - ACM MSWiM 2022 Special Issue


5G NR, Sidelink, Link-Level Simulator, Communication Range, Feedback-based HARQ


Liu, P. , Shen, C. , Liu, C. , Cintron, F. , Zhang, L. , Cao, L. , Rouil, R. and Roy, S. (2023), Towards 5G New Radio Sidelink Communications: a Versatile Link-Level Simulator and Performance Evaluation, Computer Communications - ACM MSWiM 2022 Special Issue, [online], (Accessed April 17, 2024)
Created August 1, 2023, Updated February 15, 2024