Power allocation for massive MIMO: impact of power amplifier efficiency



With the rapid development of information technology, massive MIMO is becoming attractive for the fifth generation (5G) communication because of its outstanding performance in both spectral efficiency (SE) and energy efficiency (EE). Recently, many algorithms have been proposed to improve the EE while achieving high SE in massive MIMO systems. In previous work, the power amplifier (PA) efficiency is always considered as a constant. However, the PA efficiency changes with the output power in reality. In the practical situation, the simplification which treats the PA efficiency as a constant will not get the EE optimization based on our analysis. In this paper, we propose a more general EE model of massive MIMO systems considering PA efficiency as a variable, and investigate a power allocation algorithm based on zero-forcing (ZF) precoding so that we can guarantee the SE and EE at the same time. Simulation results show the trade-off between EE and SE, demonstrate the distinction with previous work, and imply that relatively higher transmit power will be more energy efficient.



This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  1. 1

    Tse D, Viswanath P. Fundamentals of Wireless Communication. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005

    Google Scholar 

  2. 2

    Lau V K N, Kwok Y K. Channel-Adaptation Technologies and Cross-Layer Design for Wireless Systems with Multiple Antennas—Theory and Applications. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2005

    Google Scholar 

  3. 3

    Fettweis G P, Zimmermann E. ICT energy consumption—trends and challenges. In: Proceedings of 11th International Symposium on Wireless Personal Multimedia Communications, Lapland, 2008

    Google Scholar 

  4. 4

    Aktas D, Bacha M, Evans J, et al. Scaling results on the sum capacity of cellular networks with MIMO links. IEEE Trans Inform Theory, 2006, 52: 3264–3274

    MathSciNet  Article  MATH  Google Scholar 

  5. 5

    Mazetta T L. Noncooperative cellular wireless with unlimited numbers of base station antennas. IEEE Trans Wirel Commun, 2010, 9: 3590–3600

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6

    Chen Y, Zhang S, Xu S, et al. Fundamental trade-offs on green wireless networks. IEEE Commun Mag, 2011, 49: 30–37

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7

    Rusek F, Persson D, Lau B K, et al. Scaling up MIMO: opportunities and challenges with very large arrays. IEEE Signal Process Mag, 2013, 30: 40–60

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8

    Ngo H Q, Larsson E G, Marzetta T L. Energy and spectral efficiency of very large multiuser MIMO systems. IEEE Trans Commun, 2013, 61: 1436–1449

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9

    Xu Z, Han S, Pan Z, et al. EE-SE relationship for large-scale antenna systems. In: Proceedings of IEEE International Conference on Communications Workshops, Sydney, 2014. 38–42

    Google Scholar 

  10. 10

    Bjornson E, Hoydis J, Kountouris M, et al. Massive MIMO systems with non-ideal hardwares: energy efficiency, estimation, and capacity limits. IEEE Trans Inform Theory, 2014, 60: 7112–7139

    MathSciNet  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11

    Bjornson E, Sanguinetti L, Hoydis J, et al. Designing multi-user MIMO for energy efficiency: When is massive MIMO the answer? In: Proceedings of IEEE Wireless Communicatongs and Networking Conference, Istanbul, 2014. 242–247

    Google Scholar 

  12. 12

    Joung J, Ho C K, Sun S. Power amplifier switching (PAS) for energy efficient systems. IEEE Wirel Commun Lett, 2013, 2: 14–17

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 13

    Joung J, Ho C K, Sun S. Spectral efficiency and energy efficiency of OFDM systems: impact of power amplifiers and countermeasures. IEEE J Sel Area Commun, 2014, 32: 208–220

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. 14

    Raab F H, Asbeck P, Cripps S, et al. Power amplifiers and transmitters for RF and microwave. IEEE Trans Microwave Theory, 2002, 50: 814–826

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. 15

    Li G Y, Xu Z, Xiong C, Yang C, et al. Energy-efficient wireless communications: tutorial, survey, and open issues. IEEE Wirel Commun Mag, 2011, 18: 28–35

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. 16

    Kim H S, Daneshrad B. Energy-constrained link adaptation for MIMO OFDM wireless communication systems. IEEE Trans Wirel Commun, 2010, 9: 2820–2832

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. 17

    Xu Z, Yang C, Li G Y, et al. Energy-efficient configuration of spatial and frequency resources in MIMO-OFDMA systems. IEEE Trans Commun, 2013, 61: 564–575

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. 18

    Hussaini A s, Elfergani I T E, Rodriguez J, et al. Efficient multi-stage load modulation radio frequency power amplifier for green radio frequency front end. IET Sci Meas Technol, 2012, 6: 117–124

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. 19

    Krauss H L, Bostian C W, Raab F H. Solid State Radio Engineering. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1980

    Google Scholar 

  20. 20

    Mohammed S K, Larsson E G. Per-antenna constant envelope precoding for large multi-user MIMO systems. IEEE Trans Commun, 2013, 61: 1059–1071

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. 21

    Boyd S P, Vandenberghe L. Convex Optimization. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004

    Google Scholar 

  22. 22

    Imran M A, Katranaras E, Auer G, et al. Energy efficiency analysis of the reference systems, areas of improvements and target breakdown. Technical Report INFSO-ICT-247733. 2011

    Google Scholar 

  23. 23

    3GPP. Coordinated multi-point operation for LTE physical layer aspects. TR 36.819 v0.0.1. 3GPP Release 11. 2011. http://www.3gpp.org/

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Yingchu Guo.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Guo, Y., Tang, J., Wu, G. et al. Power allocation for massive MIMO: impact of power amplifier efficiency. Sci. China Inf. Sci. 59, 1–9 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11432-015-5513-5

Download citation


  • 5G
  • massive MIMO
  • energy efficiency
  • green communication
  • power amplifier efficiency


  • 022301


  • 5G
  • 大规模MIMO
  • 能量效率
  • 绿色通信
  • 功率放大器效率