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In this paper the use of complementary Golay sequences (CGS) for peak-to-average power ratio (PAR) reduction and forward error correction (FEC) in an orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM)-based wireless local area network (WLAN) system is explored; performance is examined and complexity issues are analyzed. We study their PAR reduction performance depending on sequence lengths and we have found that, for the case that the number of sub-carriers differs from the sequence length, some interesting relationships can still be stated. Regarding their error correction capabilities, these sequences are investigated considering M-PSK constellations applied to the OFDM signal specified in IEEE 802.11a standard. Computational load for both Golay encoding and decoding processes is addressed and we provide an exhaustive analysis of their complexity. In order to overcome memory restrictions and speed up algorithmic operations, a novel algorithm for real-time generation of the Golay Base Sequences is proposed and evaluated giving as a conclusion that these sequences can be real-time generated with actual Digital Signal Processors (DSP). Our proposal lies on an efficient permutation algorithm that obtains the current permutation without the need for generating previous ones. Its complexity is calculated and turns out to be significantly low; the advantages are specially appreciated at the decoding stage. We also introduce a hybrid solution to get a trade-off between complexity and memory requirements. Moreover, the whole system is also implemented in a DSP to validate the proposal in a prototype, where its feasibility has been confirmed.