TY - JOUR

T1 - Toward a circuit theory of communication

AU - Ivrlač, Michel T.

AU - Nossek, Josef A.

PY - 2010

Y1 - 2010

N2 - Electromagnetic field theory provides the physics of radio communications, while information theory approaches the problem from a purely mathematical point of view. While there is a law of conservation of energy in physics, there is no such law in information theory. Consequently, when, in information theory, reference is made (as it frequently is) to terms like energy, power, noise, or antennas, it is by no means guaranteed that their use is consistent with the physics of the communication system. Circuit theoretic multiport concepts can help in bridging the gap between the physics of electromagnetic fields and the mathematical world of information theory, so that important terms like energy or antenna are indeed used consistently through all layers of abstraction. In this paper, we develop circuit theoretic multiport models for radio communication systems. To demonstrate the utility of the circuit theoretic approach, an in-depth analysis is provided on the impact of impedance matching, antenna mutual coupling, and different sources of noise on the performance of the communication system. Interesting insights are developed about the role of impedance matching and the noise properties of the receive amplifiers, as well as the way array gain and channel capacity scale with the number of antennas in different circumstances. One particularly interesting result is that, with arrays of lossless antennas that receive isotropic background noise, efficient multistreaming can be achieved no matter how densely the antennas are packed.

AB - Electromagnetic field theory provides the physics of radio communications, while information theory approaches the problem from a purely mathematical point of view. While there is a law of conservation of energy in physics, there is no such law in information theory. Consequently, when, in information theory, reference is made (as it frequently is) to terms like energy, power, noise, or antennas, it is by no means guaranteed that their use is consistent with the physics of the communication system. Circuit theoretic multiport concepts can help in bridging the gap between the physics of electromagnetic fields and the mathematical world of information theory, so that important terms like energy or antenna are indeed used consistently through all layers of abstraction. In this paper, we develop circuit theoretic multiport models for radio communication systems. To demonstrate the utility of the circuit theoretic approach, an in-depth analysis is provided on the impact of impedance matching, antenna mutual coupling, and different sources of noise on the performance of the communication system. Interesting insights are developed about the role of impedance matching and the noise properties of the receive amplifiers, as well as the way array gain and channel capacity scale with the number of antennas in different circumstances. One particularly interesting result is that, with arrays of lossless antennas that receive isotropic background noise, efficient multistreaming can be achieved no matter how densely the antennas are packed.

KW - Antenna losses

KW - channel capacity

KW - circuit theory of communications

KW - impedance matching

KW - multi-inputmulti-output (MIMO) systems

KW - physical channel models

KW - receive array gain

KW - transmit array gain

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=77954863800&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1109/TCSI.2010.2043994

DO - 10.1109/TCSI.2010.2043994

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:77954863800

SN - 1549-8328

VL - 57

SP - 1663

EP - 1683

JO - IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems I: Regular Papers

JF - IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems I: Regular Papers

IS - 7

M1 - 5446312

ER -