Argos: Practical Base Stations for Large-scale Beamforming
Master of Science thesis
MU-MIMO theory predicts manyfold capacity gains by leveraging many antennas (e.g. M >> 10) on wireless base stations to serve many users simultaneously through multi-user beamforming (MUBF). However, realizing such a large-scale design is nontrivial, and has yet to be achieved in the real world. We present the design, realization, and evaluation of Argos, the first reported large-scale base station that is capable of serving many (e.g., 10s of) terminals simultaneously through MUBF. Designed with extreme flexibility and scalability in mind, Argos exploits hierarchical and modular design principles, properly partitions baseband processing, and holistically considers real-time requirements of MUBF. To achieve unprecedented scalability, we devise a novel, completely distributed, beamforming technique, as well as an internal calibration procedure to enable implicit beamforming across large arrays. We implement a prototype with 64 antennas, and demonstrate that it can achieve up to 6.7 fold capacity gains while using a mere 1/64th the transmission power.