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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Secure Massive MIMO Communication with Low-Resolution DACs

  • Author(s): Xu, J
  • Xu, W
  • Zhu, J
  • Ng, DWK
  • Lee Swindlehurst, A
  • et al.

© 1972-2012 IEEE. In this paper, we investigate secure transmission in a massive multiple-input multiple-output system adopting low-resolution digital-to-analog converters (DACs). Artificial noise (AN) is deliberately transmitted simultaneously with the confidential signals to degrade the eavesdropper's channel quality. By applying the Bussgang theorem, a DAC quantization model is developed which facilitates the analysis of the asymptotic achievable secrecy rate. Interestingly, for a fixed power allocation factor φ , low-resolution DACs typically result in a secrecy rate loss, but in certain cases, they provide superior performance, e.g., at low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). Specifically, we derive a closed-form SNR threshold which determines whether low-resolution or high-resolution DACs are preferable for improving the secrecy rate. Furthermore, a closed-form expression for the optimal φ is derived. With AN generated in the null-space of the user channel and the optimal φ , low-resolution DACs inevitably cause secrecy rate loss. On the other hand, for random AN with the optimal φ , the secrecy rate is hardly affected by the DAC resolution because the negative impact of the quantization noise can be compensated by reducing the AN power. All the derived analytical results are verified by numerical simulations.

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