What is MIMO technology? Usage in Wireless Communication

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In the Radio communication system, MIMO technology is increasingly popular. It is deployed massively in our modern communication infrastructure.

The most famous example of MIMO technologies is WiFi networks and cellular 3G and 4G LTE.

Moreover, most newer generation devices equipped with better radio solutions and antenna designs can support MIMO technology.

MIMO technology is spreading across rapidly growing markets such as government sectors, law enforcement, and professional broadcast video.

What is MIMO technology?

MIMO stands for Multiple-In, Multiple-Out.

MIMO is a wireless technology that increases the capacity of a radio frequency (RF) by sending several signals simultaneously through multiple antennas.

Moreover, multiple antennas improve the signal quality and strength of the RF module (a device that transmits or receives radio signals).

Additionally, it also reduces redundancy by transmitting the same data on multiple streams.

Also, the MIMO technology is designed to consider the delay of the signal because every segment of the signal travels through a different path.

Besides, they also take into account the interference, noise, and even lost signals.

Advantages of a MIMO technology

MIMO technology improves signal strength even without a clear line-of-site by utilizing the bounced and reflected RF transmission.

It improves throughput, which allows better quality and quantity of video to be sent over the network.

The multiple data streams transmitted using MIMO technology can reduce the lost or dropped data packets for better video or audio quality.

What are standard MIMO configurations?

The device utilizing MIMO technology can have multiple antennas to send and receive multiple data streams at once.

The number of antennas depends on the manufacturer, who can determine the strength of transmission and reception of data packets.

There are four types of configuration:

  • 2×2 MIMO (two antennas for transmission and two antennas for reception)
  • 3×3 MIMO (three antennas for transmission and three antennas for reception)
  • 4×4 MIMO (four antennas for transmission and four antennas for reception)
  • 8×8 MIMO (eight antennas for transmission and eight antennas for reception)

MIMO technology in wireless communication

WIFi utilizes MIMO technology from the beginning of the 802.11n wireless standard.

The MIMO technology in the router improves the Wi-Fi network’s performance and reach, which is better than single-antenna routers.

But, the deployment of several antennas in MIMO based router can vary.

Typically, you will find three to four antennas in MIMO routers instead of the older router’s single antenna.

Moreover, you can take advantage of MIMO technology only when the two MIMO routers are placed at the two ends of the network.

Before buying a Wi-Fi router, you can look at whether the router is MIMO capable.

MIMO technology for cellular networks

MIMO technology is widely used in cellular networks, such as in 4G and 5G technology.

It can be operated in several forms, and the most common are:

Massive MIMO

Massive MIMO or Massive multiple-input, multiple-output is the extension of MIMO technology that group together the antennas at the transmitter and receiver end for better throughput and better spectrum efficiency.

Millimeter waves

Millimeter waves are also called extremely high frequency (EHF) that uses radiofrequency in 30 GHz and 300 GHz. It is best suited for 5G technology.

What are SU-MIMO and MU-MIMO?

SU-MIMO (Single-user MIMO) is the first generation MIMO technology that was introduced with 802.11n wireless standard.

When the Wi-Fi router antenna is enabled with SU-MIMO, the antenna must be coordinated with the client device to start communication.

MU-MIMO (Multi-User MIMO) is based on MIMO technology that works on 5 GHz 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard.

MU-MIMO improves the performance of connection and manages several clients parallelly.

It supports traffic in one direction that is from the router to the client.

Moreover, SU-MIMU allows a limited number of simultaneous client connections. It further depends on the router antenna configuration.