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The main limitation of using multiple antenna architecture is the complexity and high cost of the hardware in the RF section. One solution to reduce the extra hardware cost and RF circuit imperfection is the utilization of a single RF front-end in a MIMO system. This article discusses the different alternatives to realize single RF front-end transceivers, including the antenna selection technique, time-division multiplexing, code-division multiplexing, and the parasitic antenna method. The implementation technique for each approach is presented, and a performance study has been conducted. The practical limitations of a single RF front-end design alternative are also discussed.
Date of Publication: December 2011