To achieve 1.59G bit/s over a 20 MHz radio channel

Date – March 23rd, 2016
Summary – Engineers have done new research and demonstrated how massive antenna system can offer 12-fold increase in spectrum efficiency in comparison with current 4G cellular technology.

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Engineers from University of Bristol and Lund who are working alongside National Instrument (NI) by doing new research have demonstrated that when compared with the 4G cellular technology, how a massive antenna system can offer 12-fold increase in spectrum efficiency.

downloadMultiple antenna technology, which is also referred to as MIMO, is already being used in several 4G cellular phone system and Wi-Fi routers. At the base station, normally it involves up to four antennas. Based on LabVIEW system design software and PXI hardware, using a flexible prototyping platform from NI, the Bristol configuration implements Massive MIMO, where at the base station, 128 antennas are deployed.

The hardware which is behind this demonstration was given to Bristol University as part of the Bristol is Open Programmable city infrastructure. Lund University has also has a similar setup, the LuMaMi testbed, enabling researchers at both sites to work in parallel with their development.

Bristol’s Massive MIMO system is mainly used for the demo operates at frequency of 3.5 Hz and supports simultaneous wireless connection to 12 single antenna client. Common 20 Hz radio channel is being shared by each client. As seen by the antenna array, in the space domain, complex digital signal processing algorithms unravel the individual data stream.

In the atrium of Bristol’s Merchant Ventures Building, the Massive MIMO demonstration was conducted and it achieved unprecedented bandwidth efficiency of 79.4bits/Hz. It equates the sum rate throughout of 1.59bit/s in 20 MHz channel.

Professor Andrew Nix who is Dean of Engineering and the Head of CSN Group said that “ by offering a new capability in model validation for Massive MIMO architecture , this activity reinforced out well established propagation and system modeling work system. For our PhD student, this is truly exciting time and open the more opportunities for collaborative research with our international and national partners”.

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By Ove Editor, Professor of Radio System at Lund University says that “we see Massive MIMO as the most promising 5G technology and together with partners in our EU project MAMMOET and Bristol, we have pushed it forward. It is simply a pleasure to see these efforts materialize”.

Mark Beach, who is the manager of EPSRC Center for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Communication and also a professor of Radio System Engineering in the Department of Electrical & Electronics added his voice “Massive MIMO is one among four core activities of 5G and it is beyond wireless research at Bristol. This demonstration has been made possible by cohort training which is offered within our CDT in Communication. To conduct activities at scale, the CDT gives unique edge to Bristol”.

download (1)The collaborative research project with National Instruments and Lund University included five PhD students who are Bristol based, under the collective guidance of five academic supervisors. In Lund, to make it a huge interdisciplinary research effort, six supervisors and severe PhD students contributed.

Paul Harris, who is a PhD student in Bristol explained that “I am in unique position due to my PhD training at Bristol along with two months secondment at NI (Austin), to use this cutting edge equipment and also to support my fellow postgraduates with their state-of-art research in next generation wireless”. A PhD student Steffen Malkowsky of Lund University said that “Our joint secondment at NI led to a very fruitful and close collaboration which we have now bought to Europe back”.

James Kimery, a Director of RF Research and SDR Marketing at Ni, commented that “with many more discussion around 5G, NI is very much excited to work with top research institutions like Lund University and Bristol University and Bristol like organization is Open to drive standard forward. The Massive MIMO reference design system demonstrate that with NI tools and technology, the power and productivity researchers can achieve”.

Spectrum and power efficient wireless communications are core to Communication System & Networks (CSN) Group of Bristol University and EPRSC Center for Doctoral Training in Communications and also to the Department of Electrical and Information Technology at Lund University.

Victor Owall, the Dean of the faculty of Engineers at Lund University, concluded that “Our Openness, very similar goals, background and structures have enabled this remarkable achievement”.

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