Armstrong Memorial Lecture 2016

From Armstrong, Through Shannon, to Massive MIMO: 100 Years of Wireless Technological Progress

Thomas L. Marzetta, Bell Labs Fellow
Nokia Bell Labs
October 25, 2016, 11:00 AM
Davis Auditorium, CEPSR

Abstract:  Edwin H. Armstrong invented wideband Frequency Modulation, arguably the first coded modulation scheme, in 1933 – fifteen years before the publication of Claude Shannon’s seminal paper, “A Mathematical Theory of Communication”. A purely analog wireless technology, wideband FM has been estimated to perform as little as 5 dB from the Shannon limit. Modern digital technology enables coded modulation that takes us almost all the way to the Shannon limit, and it has produced amazingly flexible wireless systems at low cost.

The ever increasing demand for greater spectral efficiency is being met by exploiting the spatial dimension through multiple antenna (MIMO: Multiple-Input, Multiple-Output) technology, and particularly in what is likely to be its ultimate embodiment, Massive MIMO. Massive MIMO utilizes a large number of individually controlled, physically small, low power antennas to create parallel virtual circuits between the base station and a multiplicity of single antenna users, with huge benefits in terms of spectral efficiency, uniformly great service to all users, and energy efficiency. While Massive MIMO owes a great debt to Shannon theory, in its simplest and most robust form it entails linear multiplexing and de-multiplexing based on direct measurements of the propagation channels. The earliest form of MIMO was proposed in 1919 by E. F. W. Alexanderson, a contemporary of Armstrong, to address the problem of scarce low-frequency (10 kilometer wavelength) spectrum, deemed at that time essential for transoceanic communication.

Speaker Bio:  Thomas Marzetta was born in Washington, D.C. He received the PhD and SB in Electrical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1978 and 1972, and the MS in Systems Engineering from University of Pennsylvania in 1973. After careers in petroleum exploration at Schlumberger-Doll Research and defense research at Nichols Research Corporation, he joined Bell Labs in 1995 where he is currently a Bell Labs Fellow. Previously he directed the Communications and Statistical Sciences Department within the former Mathematical Sciences Research Center. Dr. Marzetta is on the Advisory Board of MAMMOET (Massive MIMO for Efficient Transmission), an EU-sponsored FP7 project, and he was Coordinator of the GreenTouch Consortium’s Large Scale Antenna

Systems Project. He has received awards including the 2015 IEEE Stephen O. Rice Prize, the 2015 IEEE W. R. G. Baker Award, and the 2013 IEEE Guglielmo Marconi Prize Paper Award. He was elected a Fellow of the IEEE in 2003, and he received an Honorary Doctorate from Linköping University in 2015.

The Armstrong Memorial Lecture Series

This series of lectures offered by the Department of Electrical Engineering at Columbia University in New York is named in honor of Edwin Howard Armstrong, 1890-1954, a pre-eminent electrical engineer, who through his extraordinary inventions, FM radio among them, contributed immeasurably to the advancement of wireless communications and broadcasting. He spent his entire career in the department - first as a student and later as a professor.

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