The following demo showcases MIMO uplink processing of real world eNB downlink signal using 2D antenna array with 16 elements. The 20MHz LTE signal at 2.21GHz is recorded using the second gen PicoSDR from Nutaq and further processing to detect the eNB master and system information block (MIB and SIB) is done using LTE tool box from Matlab.

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Video Transcript:

Welcome to this demo developed by Nutaq. In this demo, we will showcase Nutaq’s 2nd generation PicoSDR 8×8 system and explain how it can be used together with MATLAB’s LTE toolbox to address various features of LTE Advanced.

Scope

A 1,000 fold increase in network capacity requires increases in all dimensions – efficiency, spectrum utilization and density. As consumers start to use media more intensively, another challenge is their continually rising expectations of throughput and service – by 2020, a typical user will consume 1 Gbyte of data per day.

LTE 3GPP Release 12 and beyond will provide a foundation to meet these challenging demands while paving the way towards the 5G era.

End user experience, capacity and coverage will be improved with small cell enhancements, based on inter-site Carrier Aggregation. Improvements in capacity and more robust network performance can be achieved by 3D-MIMO, advanced user terminals and evolved Coordinated Multipoint techniques, as well as through Self-Organizing Networks for small cell deployments.

3D-MIMO techniques that simultaneously exploit both azimuth and elevation of the multipath channel to suit each user have been explored. These techniques are expected to give significant improvements in both the cell edge and sector capacity.

The following demo showcases MIMO uplink processing of real world eNB downlink signal using 2D antenna array with 16 elements. The 20MHz LTE signal at 2.21GHz is recorded using the second gen PicoSDR from Nutaq and further processing to detect the eNB master and system information block (MIB and SIB) is done using LTE tool box from Matlab.

Present PicoSDR and antenna array

The picture shown here depicts one 8×8 PicoSDR with an antenna array that is  arranged in 2×8 configuration. Any arrangement is possible but for the sake of the demo only 2×4 is used.

Here, we show the hardware setup used in this demo.

As you can see, the PicoSDR is equipped with 2 double-stack Radio640 FMC modules as well as a DDR3 SODIMM RAM, placed right next to the bottom Radio640 FMC double-stack module. Finally, the green Ethernet cable, which you can see at the back, connects the PicoSDR 8×8 to the host machine running MATLAB.

Walk through radio640 configuration live eNB recording

On the host machine, the init script enables the user to set the RF frequency, the receiver AGC mode and analog/baseband filter as shown. Once all parameters are configured, a single click will suffice to record a live eNB signal at 2,21GHz. The IQ samples from all 8 receiving chains are recorded in record.bin file.

The record.bin file is processed to remove extra IQ samples prior to MIB/SIB1 extraction using LTE tool box from Mathworks.

The end results show that MIB and SIB are successfully decoded. One can further examine the supported transmission mode, bandwidth and more. Looking closely at the SIB1 information the mobile network code and mobile country code can easily be distinguished.

Conclusion:

Even though the demo is based on MIB/SIB detection using 8×8 second gen PicoSDR, it also showcases how easy it is to use MATLAB and LTE tool box to address the new features of LTE Advanced, such as FD-MIMO and more. The antenna array size can be scaled to 16×16 and more to approach an-almost-massive MIMO set up and hence pave the way to 5G.

Nutaq’s second gen PicoSDR platforms will assist you for LTE Advanced development all the way to 5G.