Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiplexing (OFDM) — essentially identical to Coded OFDM (COFDM) — is a digital multi-carrier modulation scheme, which uses a large number of closely-spaced orthogonal sub-carriers.
Each sub-carrier is modulated with a conventional modulation scheme (such as quadrature amplitude modulation) at a low symbol rate, maintaining data rates similar to conventional single-carrier modulation schemes in the same bandwidth. In practice, OFDM signals are generated and detected using the Fast Fourier transform algorithm.
Orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) is a communications technique that divides a communications channel into a number of equally spaced frequency bands. A subcarrier carrying a portion of the user information is transmitted in each band. Each subcarrier is orthogonal (independent of each other) with every other subcarrier, differentiating OFDM from the commonly used frequency division multiplexing (FDM).
Frequency division multiplexing (FDM) is a technology that transmits multiple signals simultaneously over a single transmission path, such as a cable or wireless system. Each signal travels within its own unique frequency range (carrier), which is modulated by the data (text, voice, video, etc.).
Orthogonal FDM's (OFDM) spread spectrum technique distributes the data over a large number of carriers that are spaced apart at precise frequencies. This spacing provides the "orthogonality" in this technique, which prevents the demodulators from seeing frequencies other than their own.