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 distributionmore »
Dual-Band, Two-Layer Millimeter-Wave Transceiver for Hybrid MIMO Systems
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.
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- IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits
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- National Science Foundation
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Fast EVM Tuning of MIMO Wireless Systems Using Collaborative Parallel Testing and Implicit Reward Driven LearningModern 5G and projected 6G wireless systems deploy massive MIMO systems with antenna arrays and novel RF transceiver architectures that admit RF beamforming. Testing and tuning of the underlying transceiver arrays on a per-transceiver basis is expensive and can be expedited through the use of parallel testing and tuning techniques that stimulate the entire array transceiver system concurrently. State of the art parallel testing techniques require frequency separation between the tones applied to individual RF chains due to combining of RF signals before down-conversion in analog beamforming MIMO systems. Test schemes that allow some frequency overlap are limited to testing only third order distortion. In this paper, we first present a parallel testing scheme for testing large MIMO transceiver arrays that is amenable to higher order distortion (upto fifth order) in the RF chains considered. Second, we propose a tuning scheme for the entire MIMO array which implicitly tunes for EVM system specifications without explicit knowledge of the relationship between the system test response, the system tuning knobs and the corresponding EVM and SINR specification values. A cost metric is formulated that allows such a solution using reinforcement (multi-arm bandit) learning driven system tuning. Significant yield improvement using this approachmore »
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Massive multi-user (MU) multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) provides high spectral efficiency by means of spatial multiplexing and fine-grained beamforming. However, conventional base-station (BS) architectures for systems with hundreds of antennas that rely on centralized baseband processing inevitably suffer from (i) excessive interconnect data rates between radio-frequency circuitry and processing fabrics, and (ii) prohibitive complexity at the centralized baseband processor. Recently, decentralized baseband processing (DBP) architectures and algorithms have been proposed, which mitigate the interconnect bandwidth and complexity bottlenecks. This paper systematically explores the design trade-offs between error-rate performance, computational complexity, and data transfer latency of DBP architectures under different system configurations and channel conditions. Considering architecture, algorithm, and numerical precision aspects, we provide practical guidelines to select the DBP architecture and algorithm that are able to realize the full benefits of massive MU-MIMO in the uplink and downlink.
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