History of ISTC

It was at the beginning of the 90’s that the first work on turbo codes was started at ENST de Bretagne by Claude Berrou. He was soon joined by Alain Glavieux to study this new family of codes. Three years later, at ICC’93, an article entitled “Near Shannon Limit Error-Correcting Coding and Decoding: Turbo Codes” showed that it was possible to approach Shannon’s theoretical limit within 0.7 dB for an error rate of 10-5, thanks to iterative decoding. Thus, a decade after the introduction of coded modulations, turbo codes have marked a new step in digital information coding.

A few years later, in 1997, the first “International Symposium on Turbo Codes & Related Topics” (ISTC) was organized by ENST de Bretagne – which became Telecom Bretagne and now IMT Atlantique – in Brest, France. It attracted world-renowned specialists in the field of coding and gave birth to a series of conferences held every three years and then every two years and targeted at both the scientific and industrial communities. ISTC has moved to Europe, Asia and America and has changed its name twice: in 2021, it became « International Symposium on Topics in Coding » to better reflect the broader scope of the event. As a matter of fact, starting from a conference focused on turbo codes and iterative decoding, the last sessions of ISTC showed an increasing number of contributions that largely exceeded the initial perimeter.

Links to the websites of past ISTC conferences can be found on this page.

A short story line regarding the invention of turbo codes can be found here.