Non-Linear Processing for High Performing Communications


Start date

March 2024

End date

March 2025


Project description

Some of the major challenges in current wireless communications networks are related to their achievable spectral efficiency, connectivity capabilities, power efficiency and to costs related to their deployment and operation. 

To increase the spectral efficiency and user connectivity, current networks heavily rely on Multi-User Multiple-Input, Multiple-Output (MU-MIMO), and massive-MIMO (mMIMO) technologies. However, the large number of required base-station antennas (with its related RF chains) can substantially increase the power consumption of the cell sites, resulting in bulkier and heavier base stations. In addition, existing, first-generation MU-MIMO deployments, typically employ linear processing approaches that are practical, but can leave many of the MIMO spectral-efficiency and connectivity gains unexploited, resulting in increased development and operational costs.

Aims and objectives

NL-COMM aims to be the first ever solution able to realise and integrate non-linear processing in practical wireless systems by solving long-standing theoretical (e.g., rate adaptation, and MIMO user scheduling) and practical (e.g., processing complexity and processing latency) problems, while exhibiting measurable gains of high importance to wireless networks. 

As such, NL-COMM will drive advancements that have the potential to transform the way we perform physical layer processing and it will lay the groundwork for future networks that can further benefit from the gains of non-linear processing, thereby strengthening the UK’s capability and share of the global telecoms market. In addition, NL-COMM will be the first approach integrating such solutions into the fast-growing Open RAN ecosystem, enabling new solutions and products.

First evaluations show that NL-COMM can enable significant gains in terms of:

  • Spectral Efficiency
  • Reduced Processing Complexity and Processing Latency
  • Connectivity
  • Energy Efficiency
  • User Density



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