Advantages of MIMO | Disadvantages of MIMO

This page covers advantages and disadvantages of MIMO technique. It mentions MIMO advantages or benefits and MIMO disadvantages or drawbacks. It provides links on various topics on MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) basics.

What is MIMO?

As we know MIMO is multiple antenna technology in which more than one antennas are used at transmitter and receiver stations. In this smart antenna technology type, different set of data symbols are transmitted in order to achieve high data rate compare to SISO (i.e. single antenna based system). The data at receive end from these antennas are passed through mathematical algorithms in order to recover the original trasmitted information without any errors. This helps in achieving higher data rate or throughput while maintaining good BER (Bit Error Rate) of the system.

difference between SISO and MIMO

There are other variants in multiple antenna technology viz. MISO (Multiple Input Single Output) and SIMO (Single Input Multiple Output). In MIMO, multiple antennas are used at both transmit and receive ends. The 2x2 MIMO mode is depicted in the figure-1. In MISO, multiple antennas are used at transmit end and single antenna is used at receive end. In SIMO, single antenna is used at transmit end and multiple antennas are used at receive end. There are many variants of MIMO based on antenna configurations at the transmit and receive ends viz. 4x4, 8x8 etc.
Refer MIMO vs SISO, Single user vs Multiuser MIMO>> , Coordinated Multipoint MIMO and Massive MIMO for more information.

Benefits or advantages of MIMO

Following are the benefits or advantages of MIMO:
➨The higher data rate can be achieved with the help of multiple antennas and SM (Spatial Multiplexing) technique. This helps in achieving higher downlink and uplink throughput.
➨It helps in achieving reduction in BER (Bit Error Rate) due to application of advanced signal processing algorithms on the received data symbols by multiple antennas.
➨The techniques such as STBC (Space Time Block Coding) and BF (Beamforming) when employed in MIMO system helps in achieving extension of cell coverage.
➨MIMO based system minimize fading effects seen by the information traveling from transmit to receive end. This is due to various diversity techniques such as time, frequency and space.
➨There is lower susceptibility of tapping by unauthorized persons due to multiple antennas and algorithms.
➨The systems with MIMO offers high QoS (Quality of Service) with increased spectral efficiency and data rates.
➨The wide coverage supported by MIMO system helps in supporting large number of subscribers per cell.
➨The MIMO based system is widely adopted in latest wireless standards viz. WLAN (802.11n, 802.11ac etc.), WiMAX (IEEE 802.16e), LTE, LTE-Advanced etc.

Drawbacks or disadvantages of MIMO

Following are the disadvantages of MIMO:
➨The resource requirements and hardware complexity is higher compare to single antenna antenna based system. Each antenna requires individual RF units for radio signal processing. Moreover advanced DSP chip is needed to run advanced mathematical signal processing algorithms.
➨The hardware resources increase power requirements. Battery gets drain faster due to processing of complex and computationally intensive signal processing algorithms. This reduces battery lifetime of MIMO based devices.
➨MIMO based systems cost higher compare to single antenna based system due to increased hardware and advanced software requirements.

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