This paper presents a two-layer RF/analog weighting MIMO transceiver that comprises fully-connected (FC) multi-stream beamforming tiles in the RF-domain first layer, followed by a fully connected analog- or digital-domain baseband layer. The architecture mitigates the complexity versus spectral-efficiency tradeoffs of existing hybrid MIMO architectures and enables MIMO stream/user scalability, superior energy-efficiency, and spatial-processing flexibility. Moreover, multi-layer architectures with FC tiles inherently enable the co-existence of MIMO with carrier-aggregation and full-duplex beamforming. A compact, reconfigurable bidirectional circuit architecture is introduced, including a new Cartesian-combining/splitting beamforming receiver/transmitter, dual-band bidirectional beamforming network, dual-band frequency translation chains, and baseband Cartesian beamforming with an improved programmable gain amplifier design. A 28/37 GHz band, two-layer, eight-element, four-stream (with two FC-tiles) hybrid MIMO transceiver prototype is designed in 65-nm CMOS to demonstrate the above features. The prototype achieves accurate beam/null-steering capability, excellent area/power efficiency, and state-of-the-art TX/RX mode performance in two simultaneous bands while demonstrating multi-antenna (up to eight) multi-stream (up to four) over-the-air spatial multiplexing operation using proposed energy-efficient two-layer hybrid beamforming scheme.
Millimeter wave (mmW) communications is viewed as the key enabler of 5G cellular networks due to vast spectrum availability that could boost peak rate and capacity. Due to increased propagation loss in mmW band, transceivers with massive antenna array are required to meet a link budget, but their power consumption and cost become limiting factors for commercial systems. Radio designs based on hybrid digital and analog array architectures and the usage of radio frequency (RF) signal processing via phase shifters have emerged as potential solutions to improve radio energy efficiency and deliver performances close to the conventional digital antenna arrays. In this paper, we provide an overview of the state-of-the-art mmW massive antenna array designs and comparison among three array architectures, namely digital array, partially-connected hybrid array (sub-array), and fully-connected hybrid array. The comparison of performance, power, and area for these three architectures is performed for three representative 5G downlink use cases, which cover a range of pre-beamforming signal-to-noise-ratios (SNR) and multiplexing regimes. This is the first study to comprehensively model and quantitatively analyze all design aspects and criteria including: 1) optimal linear precoder, 2) impact of quantization error in digital-to-analog converter (DAC) and phase shifters, 3) RF signal distribution more »
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Millimeter-wave (mmWave) communications and cell densification are the key techniques for the future evolution of cellular systems beyond 5G. Although the current mmWave radio designs are focused on hybrid digital and analog receiver array architectures, the fully digital architecture is an appealing option due to its flexibility and support for multi-user multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO). In order to achieve reasonable power consumption and hardware cost, the specifications of analog circuits are expected to be compromised, including the resolution of analog-to-digital converter (ADC) and the linearity of radio-frequency (RF) front end. Although the state-of-the-art studies focus on the ADC, the nonlinearity can also lead to severe system performance degradation when strong input signals introduce inter-modulation distortion (IMD). The impact of RF nonlinearity becomes more severe with densely deployed mmWave cells since signal sources closer to the receiver array are more likely to occur. In this work, we design and analyze the digital IMD compensation algorithm, and study the relaxation of the required linearity in the RF-chain. We propose novel algorithms that jointly process digitized samples to recover amplifier saturation, and relies on beam space operation which reduces the computational complexity as compared to per-antenna IMD compensation.
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All-digital basestation (BS) architectures for millimeter-wave (mmWave) massive multi-user multiple-input multiple-output (MU-MIMO), which equip each radio-frequency chain with dedicated data converters, have advantages in spectral efficiency, flexibility, and baseband-processing simplicity over hybrid analog-digital solutions. For all-digital architectures to be competitive with hybrid solutions in terms of power consumption, novel signal-processing methods and baseband architectures are necessary. In this paper, we demonstrate that adapting the resolution of the analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) and spatial equalizer of an all-digital system to the communication scenario (e.g., the number of users, modulation scheme, and propagation conditions) enables orders-of-magnitude power savings for realistic mmWave channels. For example, for a 256-BS-antenna 16-user system supporting 1 GHz bandwidth, a traditional baseline architecture designed for a 64-user worst-case scenario would consume 23 W in 28 nm CMOS for the ADC array and the spatial equalizer, whereas a resolution-adaptive architecture is able to reduce the power consumption by 6.7×.
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