The World's First Real-Time Testbed for Massive MIMO: Design, Implementation, and Validation

Steffen Malkowsky, Joao Vieira, Liang Liu, Paul Harris, Karl Nieman, Nikhil Kundargi, Ian Wong, Fredrik Tufvesson, Viktor Öwall, Ove Edfors

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This paper sets up a framework for designing a massive multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) testbed by investigating hardware and system-level requirements such as processing complexity, duplexing mode and frame structure. Taking these into account, a generic system and processing partitioning is proposed which allows flexible scaling and processing distribution onto a multitude of physically separated devices. Based on the given hardware constraints such as maximum number of links and maximum throughput for peer-to-peer interconnections combined with processing capabilities, the framework allows to evaluate available off-the-shelf hardware components. To verify our design approach, we present the Lund University Massive MIMO (LuMaMi) testbed which constitutes the first reconfigurable real-time hardware platform for prototyping massive MIMO. Utilizing up to 100 base station antennas and more than 50 field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), up to 12 user equipments are served on the same time/frequency resource using an LTE-like OFDM TDD-based transmission scheme. Field trials with this system show that massive MIMO can spatially separate a multitude of users in a static indoor and static/dynamic outdoor environment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to) 9073 - 9088
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Access
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Signal Processing


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