Deep Learning for Massive MiMO with 1-Bit ADCs: When More Antennas Need Fewer Pilots

Yu Zhang, Muhammad Alrabeiah, Ahmed Alkhateeb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


This letter considers uplink massive MiMO systems with 1-bit analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) and develops a deep-learning based channel estimation framework. In this framework, the prior channel estimation observations and deep neural networks are leveraged to learn the non-trivial mapping from quantized received measurements to channels. For that, we derive the sufficient length and structure of the pilot sequence to guarantee the existence of this mapping function. This leads to the Interesting, and counter-intuitive, observation that when more base-station antennas are employed, our proposed deep learning approach achieves better channel estimation performance, for the same pilot sequence length. Equivalently, for the same channel estimation performance, this means that when more antennas are employed, fewer pilots are required. This observation Is also analytically proved for some special channel models. Simulation results confirm our observations and show that more antennas lead to better channel estimation In terms of the normalized mean squared error and the receive signal-to-noise ratio per antenna.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9067011
Pages (from-to)1273-1277
Number of pages5
JournalIEEE Wireless Communications Letters
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2020


  • 1-bit ADCs
  • Deep learning
  • channel estimation
  • massive MiMO

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Deep Learning for Massive MiMO with 1-Bit ADCs: When More Antennas Need Fewer Pilots'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this