Channel state information

Channel State Information

Channel state information

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In wireless communications, channel state information (CSI) refers to known channel properties of a communication link. This information describes how a signal propagates from the transmitter to the receiver and represents the combined effect of, for example, scattering, fading, and power decay with distance. The CSI makes it possible to adapt transmissions to current channel conditions, which is crucial for achieving reliable communication with high data rates in multiantenna systems.

CSI needs to be estimated at the receiver and usually quantized and fed back to the transmitter (although reverse-link estimation is possible in TDD systems). Therefore, the transmitter and receiver can have different CSI. The CSI at the transmitter and the CSI at the receiver are sometimes referred to as CSIT and CSIR, respectively.

Different kinds of channel state information

There are basically two levels of CSI, namely instantaneous CSI and statistical CSI.

Instantaneous CSI (or short-term CSI) means that the current channel conditions are known, which can be viewed as knowing the impulse response of a digital filter. This gives an opportunity to adapt the transmitted signal to the impulse response and thereby optimize the received signal for spatial multiplexing or to achieve low bit error rates.

Statistical CSI (or long-term CSI) means that a statistical characterization of the channel is known. This description can include, for example, the type of fading distribution, the average...
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