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Advantages of Hybrid Beamforming | disadvantages of Hybrid Beamforming

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

Introduction:
This beamfprming type combines both analog beamforming and digital beamforming techniques. In this type, precoding is applied to both analog domain and digital domains i.e. it employed precoding/beamforming at both RF and baseband levels.

Partially connected hybrid beamforming

The figure-1 depicts partially connected HB type. This architecture type uses separate antenna array (known as "sub-array") for RF beamformer of individual AFE/RF chain. Due to the architecture, this type is also known by the name sub-array hybrid beamforming.

Fully connected hybrid beamforming

The figure-2 depicts fully connected HB type. In this architecture type, RF beamformer of each of the AFE/RF chain make use of all the antennas. Here RF signals of different AFE/RF chains are combined before transmission through antenna. This is done for each of the antenna in the system. Due to the architecture, this type is also known by the name full-array hybrid beamforming.

Both the all silicon and column fed architectures can use hybrid beamforming. Refer basics and types of hybrid beamforming >>.

Benefits or advantages of Hybrid Beamforming

Following are the benefits or advantages of Hybrid Beamforming:
➨It can be used at mmwave frequencies.
➨It provides digital flexibility of being able to dynamically form many beams and nulls with no change in hardware.
➨It does not require full RF chain per element, only a full RF chain per sub-array.
➨It offers extreme flexibility with number of beams and nulls.
➨It can provide high number of beams.
➨In this architecture, number of beams can be changed dynamically with no change in hardware.
➨Hardware can fit within the lattice at high frequencies (all silicon array only).
➨It does not have any complex signal routing.
➨There are no LOs to distribute in the array.

Drawbacks or disadvantages of Hybrid Beamforming

Following are the drawbacks or disadvantages of Hybrid Beamforming:
➨Each beam only benefits from the gain of the sub array.
➨It offers complexity like analog beamforming.
➨It offers high power consumption like analog beamforming.



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