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Distributed multi-user MIMO transmission using real-time sigma-delta-over-fiber for next generation fronthaul interface

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

To achieve the massive device connectivity and high data rate demanded by 5G, wireless transmission with wider signal bandwidths and higher-order multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) is inevitable. This work demonstrates a possible function split option for the next generation fronthaul interface (NGFI). The proof-of-concept downlink architecture consists of real-time sigma-delta modulated signal over fiber (SDoF) links in combination with distributed multi-user (MU) MIMO transmission. The setup is fully implemented using off-the-shelf and in-house developed components. A single SDoF link achieves an error vector magnitude (EVM) of 3.14% for a 163.84 MHz-bandwidth 256-QAM OFDM signal (958.64 Mbps) with a carrier frequency around 3.5 GHz transmitted over 100 m OM4 multi-mode fiber at 850 nm using a commercial QSFP module. The centralized architecture of the proposed setup introduces no frequency asynchronism among remote radio units. For most cases, the 2 x 2 MU-MIMO transmission has little performance degradation compared to SISO, 0.8 dB EVM degradation for 40.96 MHz-bandwidth signals and 1.4 dB for 163.84 MHz-bandwidth on average, implying that the wireless spectral efficiency almost doubles by exploiting spatial multiplexing. A 1.4 Gbps data rate (720 Mbps per user, 163.84 MHz-bandwidth, 64-QAM) is reached with an average EVM of 6.66%. The performance shows that this approach is feasible for the high-capacity hot-spot scenario.
Journal: Journal of Lightwave Technology
ISSN: 0733-8724
Issue: 4
Volume: 38
Pages: 705 - 713
Publication year:2020
Keywords:Computer science/information technology, Electrical & electronic engineering, Classical physics