Sunday, July 26, 2009

MIMO - The Basics

Multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) systems are today regarded as one of the most promising research areas of wireless communications. This is due to the fact that a MIMO channel can offer a significant capacity gain over a traditional single-input single-output (SISO) channel.

MIMO overview

MIMO is effectively a radio antenna technology as it uses multiple antennas at the transmitter and receiver to enable a variety of signal paths to carry the data, choosing separate paths for each antenna to enable multiple signal paths to be used. The increase in spectral efficiency offered by MIMO systems is based on the utilization of space (or antenna) diversity at both the transmitter and the receiver.
It is found between a transmitter and a receiver, the signal can take many paths. Additionally by moving the antennas even a small distance the paths used will change. The variety of paths available occurs as a result of the number of objects that appear to the side or even in the direct path between the transmitter and receiver. Previously these multiple paths only served to introduce interference. By using MIMO, these additional paths can be used to increase the capacity of a link.

Basic concept of MIMO wireless schemes

One of the core ideas behind MIMO wireless systems space-time signal processing in which time (the natural dimension of digital communication data) is complemented with the spatial dimension inherent in the use of multiple spatially distributed antennas, i.e. the use of multiple antennas located at different points. Accordingly MIMO wireless systems can be viewed as a logical extension to the smart antennas that have been used for many years to improve wireless.

MIMO summary

As a result of the use multiple antennas, MIMO wireless technology is able to considerably increase the capacity of a given channel while still obeying Shannon's law. By increasing the number of receive and transmit antennas it is possible to linearly increase the throughput of the channel with every pair of antennas added to the system. This makes MIMO wireless technology one of the most important wireless techniques to be employed in recent years. As spectral bandwidth is becoming an ever more valuable commodity for radio communications systems, techniques are needed to use the available bandwidth more effectively. MIMO wireless technology is one of these techniques.

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