Advantages of Analog Beamforming | disadvantages of Analog Beamforming

This page covers advantages and disadvantages of Analog Beamforming and its basics. It mentions benefits or advantages of Analog Beamforming and drawbacks or disadvantages of Analog Beamforming.

Introduction: The purpose of beamforming is to achieve better coverage due to provision of amplitude/phase variation with the help of antenna array. Following are the three main types of beamforming based on different architectures.
• Analog beamforming
• Digital beamforming
• Hybrid beamforming

What is Analog Beamforming?

In analog beamforming type, amplitude/phase variation is applied to analog signal at transmitter end. At the receiver end, signals from different antennas are summed up before ADC conversion. It is suitable for frequency flat beamforming applications.

analog beamforming transmitter receiver architecture

The figure-1 depicts analog beamforming block diagram.
Wk= ak *ejsin(θk)
Wk= ak*cos(θk) + j* ak sin(θk)
Wk represents complex weight for kth antenna in the array.
ak is relative amplitude of weight.
θk is phase shift of weight.
➨Weights are being applied to analog signals in analog beamforming.
Refer analog beamforming vs digital beamforming for more information.

Benefits or advantages of Analog Beamforming

Following are the benefits or advantages of Analog Beamforming:
➨It is simple in hardware implementation.
➨Hardware can fit within the lattice at high frequencies (all silicon array only).
➨Beam benefits from the full array gain.
➨It offers lowest system DC power.
➨It is best for coverage due to low power consumption and cost characteristics.

Drawbacks or disadvantages of Analog Beamforming

Following are the drawbacks or disadvantages of Analog Beamforming:
➨Only one data stream feeds the antenna elements. This limits the data rate and flexibility of the architecture.
➨It is not ideal for capacity and flexibility requirements unlike digital beamforming.
➨It can not be used in frequency selective beamforming applications unlike digital beamforming.
➨The number of beams are fixed in hardware.

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