Beamforming in multi-user vs massive MIMO systems

Zero-Forcing (ZF) Detection in Massive MIMO Systems

Massive MIMO is one of the defining technologies in 5G cellular systems. In a previous article, we have described spatial matched filtering (or maximum ratio) as the simplest algorithm for signal detection. Here, we explain another linear technique, known as Zero-Forcing (ZF), for this purpose. It was described before in the context of simple MIMO systems here. Background Consider the block diagram for uplink of a massive MIMO system as drawn below with $N_B$ base station antennas and $K$ mobiler terminals. It is evident that the cumulative signal at each base station antenna $j$ is a summation of signals arriving

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Antenna Arrays: Whole is More than its Parts

In a previous article, we described how multiples antennas can be viewed as sampling the signal in space domain in a direct analogy to sampling the signal in time domain. Filters in discrete-time domain are usually defined by numerical values in the time axis. Space allows three-dimensional freedom. A filter in discrete space can have its elements placed anywhere in the space. This sounds very complicated! But we will show it is not. A Simple Time Domain Filter: 2-Tap FIR The simplest discrete FIR filter has only two samples of unit magnitude. Assuming unit magnitude and zero phase for both

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A beam formation process can be seen in water waves by throwing two stones

Beamforming – Mindfulness of an Antenna Array

If beamforming has to be explained in the most succinct manner, it is the mindfulness of an antenna array where it focuses its attention towards one specific location (or a few specific locations). We find out in this article how it is achieved. As opposed to its reputation, beamforming is not a mysterious technology. It has been used by signal processing engineers for radio applications since long. For example, Marconi used four antennas to increase the gain of signal transmissions across the Atlantic in 1901. It has also been known since 1970s that multiple antennas at the base station help

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Diversity implies two or more independent replicas of the same information

Multiple Antenna Techniques

When computing approaches the physical limits of clocking speeds, we turn towards multi-core architectures. When communication approaches the physical limits of transmission speeds, we turn towards multi-antenna systems. What exactly are the benefits that led to scientists and engineers choosing multiple antennas as the foundation of 4G and 5G PHY layers? While having spatial diversity was the original incentive for adding antennas at the base stations, it was discovered in mid 1990s that multiple antennas at Tx and/or Rx sides open up other possibilities not foreseen in single antenna systems. Let us now describe three main techniques in this context.

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Bandwidth, power and DSP correspond to the traditional trio of raw materials, energy and knowledge

Why Building an SDR Requires DSP Expertise

In an introduction to signals, we discussed the idea that the any activities around us, starting from subatomic particles to massive societal networks, are generating signals all the time. Since mathematics is the language of the universe and digital signals are nothing but quantized number sequences, it is fair to say that the workings of the universe can be mapped to an infinitely large set of signals. With these number sequences in hand, an electronic computer can process the signals and either extract the information about the surrounding real world phenomena or even better influence its target environment. We saw

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