Spatial multiplexing through MIMO offers an increase inthe transmission rate while using the same bandwidthand total transmit power when compared to a traditionalSingle-Input Single-Output (SISO) system. The theoreticalincrease in capacity is linearly related to the numberof transmit/receive antenna pairs added to the MIMOsystem, although in practice, spatial multiplexing requiresbetter channel conditions and higher SNR than anequivalent SISO system. Antenna configurations foundin the LTE specifications  include the two transmit andtwo receive antenna configuration, generally referred asa “2x2”, and the four transmit and four receive antennaconfiguration, or “4x4”. A MIMO system can also beconfigured with an unequal number of antennas betweenthe transmitter and the receiver, such as the “4x2”configuration, useful for combining spatial multiplexingwith antenna diversity. When using an unequal numberof antennas between the transmitter and receiver, theMIMO capacity improvement is constrained by the smallernumber of antenna ports.Figure 1 shows a basic 2x2 spatial multiplexingconfiguration and the associated four complex channelcoefficients. The figure also shows an extension to 4transmit antennas resulting in a 4x2 configuration. The4x2 system would result in eight channel coefficients.In a typical 2x2 configuration for spatial multiplexingwith a single user, the incoming data is multiplexed ontotwo separate streams or “layers” and simultaneouslytransmitted from two antennas using the same frequencyspectrum. In the uplink, with two users, the independentdata streams can be transmitted with one stream fromeach antenna. This process represents a doubling ofthe transmitted symbol rate compared to a SISO system,assuming that the overall channel conditions are adequateto fully support the intended MIMO operation. In a 4x4configuration, theoretically, the capacity would increase bya factor of four.Data recovery in a spatially multiplexed system requiresaccurate knowledge of the channel coefficients atthe receiver. In a real-world environment, the channelcoefficients are affected by correlations and noise inthe wireless channel. The channel coefficients mayalso change rapidly over time as a result of mobility inthe transmitter and receiver, or both, and the effects ofchanging multipath and interference in the surroundingenvironment. As a result, the receiver or test equipmentmust be capable of rapid measurement of the channelcoefficients. As shown in Figure 1, transmission of theupper data stream from transmit antenna Tx0 to thereceive antenna Rx0 occurs over a wireless channelwith a complex channel coefficient referred to as h00.Transmission from antenna Tx0 to the antenna Rx1 occursover a channel with a complex channel coefficient h10.Each channel coefficient represents a composite of allthe signal paths, connecting the transmit antenna to therespective receive antenna. There are other coefficientsbetween Tx1 and the two receive antennas resulting ina total of four unique channel coefficients, h00, h10, h01and h11 for the 2x2 configuration. With proper antennaplacement it is desired that these channel coefficients aresubstantially uncorrelated. Achieving low correlation isnon-trivial with practical handheld devices. It can be shownthat correlation between channel coefficients will reducethe capacity of a spatially multiplexed MIMO system .
Spatial Multiplexing and MIMO Operation
Figure 1. Basic 2x2 MIMO system using spatial multiplexing and hav-ing four channel matrix coefficients. Also shown is the option for twoadditional transmitter antennas creating a 4x2 configuration. Note for the 4x2 case, the channels coefficients are not shown.