Massive MIMO Combining with Switches

Ahmed Alkhateeb, Young Han Nam, Jianzhong Charlie Zhang, Robert W. Heath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


Massive multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) is expected to play a central role in future wireless systems. The deployment of large antenna arrays at the base station and the mobile users offers multiplexing and beamforming gains that boost system spectral efficiency. Unfortunately, the high cost and power consumption of components like analog-to-digital converters makes assigning an RF chain per antenna and applying typical fully digital precoding/combining solutions difficult. In this letter, a novel architecture for massive MIMO receivers, consisting of arrays of switches and constant (non-tunable) phase shifters, is proposed. This architecture applies a quasi-coherent combining in the RF domain to reduce the number of required RF chains. An algorithm that designs the RF combining for this architecture is developed and analyzed. Results show that the proposed massive MIMO combining model can achieve a comparable performance to the fully digital receiver architecture in single-user and multiuser massive MIMO setups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7394147
Pages (from-to)232-235
Number of pages4
JournalIEEE Wireless Communications Letters
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Massive MIMO
  • quasi-coherent combining
  • switches-based hybrid combining

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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