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Performance of space-time codes for a large number of antennas

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3 Author(s)
Biglieri, Ezio ; Dipt. di Elettronica, Politecnico di Torino, Italy ; Taricco, Giorgio ; Tulino, A.

We study the asymptotic behavior of space-time codes when the number of transmit and receive antennas grows to infinity. Specifically, we determine the behavior of pairwise error probabilities with maximum-likelihood (ML) decoding and with three types of receiver interfaces: the ML interface, the linear zero-forcing (ZF) interface, and the linear minimum-mean-square-error (MMSE) interface. Two situations are studied: when the number of receiving antennas grows to infinity while the number of transmitting antennas is finite, and when both numbers grow to infinity but their ratio remains constant. We show that with ML or linear interfaces the asymptotic performance of space-time codes is determined by the Euclidean distances between codewords. Moreover, with the two linear interfaces examined here the number r of receive antennas must be much larger than the number t of transmit antennas to avoid a sizeable loss of performance; on the other hand, when r ≫ t, the performance of these linear interfaces comes close to that of ML. The dependence of error probabilities on Euclidean distance is valid for intermediate signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) even when the number of antennas is small. Simulations validate our theoretical findings, and show how asymptotic results may be substantially valid even in a nonasymptotic regime: thus, even for few antennas, off-the-shelf codes may outperform space-time codes designed ad hoc

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Information Theory, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:48 ,  Issue: 7 )