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What is 4×4 MIMO Technology & How does it Work

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Whenever people come across technical terminologies, most people don’t understand it. Out of that some would do their best to make sense while some would completely ignore. If you’re not from the ignorant side, then we would like you to learn something about a technological term, 4×4 MIMO.

Why we want you to do that? Because many smartphone companies would utilise this feature soon on their handset. For now, only Samsung has implemented it on their Galaxy Note7 smartphone.

What is 4×4 MIMO?

Starting with 4X4 interpretation, it indicates four transmission and four reception streams. While MIMO stands for Multiple Input Multiple Output. This hasn’t been commercially introduced on any smartphone yet, but as we reported Note7 might be first handset. Even though, it’s disabled by default on the new Samsung Note handset. It is reported that a 4×4 MIMO system would support two maximum-rate data streams, 99 percent of the time. Though, do make a note that there a dynamic digital beamforming and MIMO receiver processing is required.

What it means to users?

Currently, the smartphones comes with 2×2 antennas support, meaning the smartphones that you would see these days implements only two-way receive antenna diversity. Even the costliest handsets have 2×2 MIMO support. The big deal on 4×4 is that it would offer faster and more stable connections. Moreover, the download and upload rates would be far superior when four-way receiver and transmitters present.

As reported by Quantenna, MIMO systems said to offer faster data rates, have higher range, as well as can be relied upon for performance. Interestingly, they don’t require additional bandwidth or transmitting power. When the conditions are optimum, it would allow CPU and other resources to idle down quickly. Thus, saving battery life in the process. Moreover in poor reception areas, the four antennas would maintain more reliable connection.

How does it work?

The 4×4 MIMO Systems would have multiple antennas at work on both ends – transmitter and receiver. Since this setup uses several antennas at both the transmitter and receiver, it allows the system to create multiple independent channels,which can then send multiple data streams.

Note that minimum number of antennas at the transmitter or receiver end is equivalent to the number of independent channels and associated data streams, which would be supported over a MIMO channel. It is why that a 2×2 system can only offer a support of two streams, while a 3×3 system can support three streams and a 4×4 system can offer a support for four streams.

It is noted that some of the independent streams can be combined through dynamic digital beam forming and MIMO receiver processing. This combination results in the increased reliability and range.

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