Validation of low-accuracy quantization in massive MIMO and constellation EVM analysis

Massive MIMO is a promising approach in order to increase the data rate of cellular systems while reducing their power consumption. While the concept is elegant, many potential show-stoppers have to be investigated, in order to make sure that the idea keeps its promises. On such element is the claim that massive MIMO systems can operate with very low digital signal processing accuracy, and hence reduced implementation complexity and power consumption.

In this paper, we investigate the impact of digital quantization of massive MIMO at low resolution. Simulations show that the system can operate correctly with as few as 2 or 3 bits of digital resolution at the end of the digital chain, while limiting the degradation to 1 dB in required signal-to-noise ratio.

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