VLSI Design of a 3-bit Constant-Modulus Precoder for Massive MU-MIMO
Paper in proceedings, 2018
Fifth-generation (5G) cellular systems will build on massive multi-user (MU) multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) technology to attain high spectral efficiency. However, having hundreds of antennas and radio-frequency (RF) chains at the base station (BS) entails prohibitively high hardware costs and power consumption. This paper proposes a novel nonlinear precoding algorithm for the massive MU-MIMO downlink in which each RF chain contains an 8-phase (3-bit) constantmodulus transmitter, enabling the use of low-cost and powerefficient analog hardware. We present a high-throughput VLSI architecture and show implementation results on a Xilinx Virtex-7 FPGA. Compared to a recently-reported nonlinear precoder for BS designs that use two 1 -bit digital-to-analog converters per RF chain, our design enables up to 3:75 dB transmit power reduction at no more than a 2.7x increase in FPGA resources.