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In this treatise we investigate the design alternatives of different multiple-input multiple-output schemes while considering the attainable diversity gains, multiplexing gains, and beamforming gains. Following a brief classification of different MIMO schemes, where the different MIMO schemes are categorized as diversity techniques, multiplexing schemes, multiple access arrangements, and beamforming techniques, we introduce the family of multifunctional MIMOs. These multifunctional MIMOs are capable of combining the benefits of several MIMO schemes and hence attaining improved performance in terms of both their bit error rate as well as throughput. The family of multifunctional MIMOs combines the benefits of both space-time coding and the Bell Labs layered space-time scheme as well as those of beamforming. We also introduce the idea of layered steered space-time spreading, which combines the benefits of space-time spreading, V-BLAST, and beamforming with those of the generalized multicarrier direct sequence code-division multiple access concept. Additionally, we compare the attainable diversity, multiplexing, and beamforming gains of the different MIMO schemes in order to document the advantages of multifunctional MIMOs over conventional MIMO schemes.