space-division multiplexing

by gowtham 2010-02-18 19:09:05

In wired communication, space-division multiplexing simply implies different point-to-point wires for different channels. One example is an analogue stereo audio cable, with one pair of wires for the left channel and another for the right channel. Another example is a switched star network such as the analog telephone access network (although inside the telephone exchange or between the exchanges, other multiplexing techniques are typically employed) or a switched Ethernet network. A third example is a mesh network. Wired space-division multiplexing is typically not considered as multiplexing.

In wireless communication, space-division multiplexing is achieved by multiple antenna elements forming a phased array antenna. Examples are multiple-input and multiple-output (MIMO), single-input and multiple-output (SIMO) and multiple-input and single-output (MISO) multiplexing. For example, a IEEE 802.11n wireless router with N antennas makes it possible to communicate with N multiplexed channels, each with a peak bit rate of 54 Mbit/s, thus increasing the total peak bit rate with a factor N. Different antennas would give different multi-path propagation (echo) signatures, making it possible for digital signal processing techniques to separate different signals from each other. These techniques may also be utilized for space diversity (improved robustness to fading) or beamforming (improved selectivity) rather than multiplexing.

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