Precision prototype antenna arrays set world record in wireless spectral efficiency

June 06, 2016 // By Julien Happich
Bristol-based design consultancy, Kinneir Dufort, prove hands on prototyping is very much alive and kicking in this digital age by helping the University of Bristol to achieve a new world record for wireless spectral efficiency with precision prototype antenna arrays.

Working with the team of 5G researchers from Bristol University, Sweden’s Lund University and National Instruments, the experts at Kinneir Dufort designed and built the intricate, multi layered components for the experimental devices.  Multiple antenna technology, referred to as MIMO, is already used in many Wi-Fi routers and 4G cellular phone systems. Normally this involves up to four antennas at a base station, but the Bristol Massive MIMO configuration had 128, each one hand assembled.

The new world record, set on May 11th, served 22 users in the same time-frequency resource, equating to a spectral efficiency of 145.6 bits/s/Hz, each modulated with 256-QAM, on a shared 20 MHz radio channel at 3.51 GHz with a 128-anntenna MIMO array.

To meet the needs of the future the internet will need to be able to achieve instant data transfers and to meet this 5G function it will require a 1000-fold increase on existing capabilities.  The results in this experiment are one step closer towards finding out how to achieve this

The project is part of Bristol Is Open, a joint venture between Bristol City Council and the University of Bristol, a research infrastructure to explore developments in software, hardware and telecom networks that enable more interaction between people and places and more machine-to-machine communication.

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