Optimization of Mixed-ADC Multi-Antenna Systems for Cloud-RAN Deployments


Jeonghun Park, Sungwoo Park, A. Y. Panah, Robert W. Heath, Jr.


IEEE Transactions on Communications, vol. 65, no. 9, pp. 3962-3975, Sep. 2017.


We propose a mixed analog-to-digital converter ADC (mixed-ADC) structure for a cloud-RAN system, where a single-antenna user terminal communicates with a multi-antenna remote radio head (RRH). In the proposed structure, the RRH is equipped with a mixed-ADC pool that includes multiple ADC units with various resolutions. In this pool, the RRH selects the appropriate ADCs and connects the selected ADCs to each antenna to quantize the received signals; thereby each antenna can have a different resolution ADC. The fronthaul capacity is limited, so that the sum of the bits produced in the selected ADCs is also limited. To maximize the spectral efficiency or the energy efficiency of such a system, we propose algorithms for ADC resolution selection based on an approximation of the generalized mutual information in the low signal-to-noise regime. In the proposed algorithms, we show that for spectral efficiency, using high-resolution ADC on the strong channels is beneficial. The results for energy efficiency maximization are similar, though the largest resolutions are reduced to save power. The simulations show that the proposed method provides significant performance improvement.