May 01, 2017

Reduced Switching Connectivity for Large Scale Antenna Selection

  • Garcia Rodriguez A.
  • Masouros C.
  • Rulikowski P.

In this paper, we explore reduced-connectivity radio frequency (RF) switching networks for reducing the analog hardware complexity and switching power losses in antenna selection (AS) systems. In particular, we analyze different hardware architectures for implementing the RF switching matrices required in AS designs with a reduced number of RF chains. We explicitly show that fully-flexible switching matrices, which facilitate the selection of any possible subset of antennas and attain the maximum theoretical sum rates of AS, present numerous drawbacks such as the introduction of significant insertion losses, particularly pronounced in massive multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) systems. Since these disadvantages make fully-flexible switching suboptimal in the energy efficiency sense, we further consider partially-connected switching networks as an alternative switching architecture with reduced hardware complexity, which we characterize in this work. In this context, we also analyze the impact of reduced switching connectivity on the analog hardware and digital signal processing of AS schemes that rely on received signal power information. Overall, the analytical and simulation results shown in this paper demonstrate that partially-connected switching maximizes the energy efficiency of massive MIMO systems for a reduced number of RF chains, while fully-flexible switching offers sub-optimal energy efficiency benefits due to its significant switching power losses.

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