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Multiple input and multiple output

(also MIMO)

Multiple input and multiple output (MIMO) definition

Multiple input multiple output (MIMO) is a technology used in wireless communication systems. With MIMO, several antennas are used at the transmitter and the receiver to help the system perform better. Using several antennas has many advantages — such as improving signal reliability and making communication more efficient. MIMO is used in wireless LANs, cellular networks, and broadband communications.


The opposite of MIMO is SISO — single input and single output. Let’s compare the two technologies.

  1. 1.Antennas. MIMO uses multiple antennas at the transmitter and receiver, while SISO uses a single antenna.
  2. 2.Data transmission. MIMO allows for multiple data streams to be sent at the same time, while SISO only allows one at a time.
  3. 3.Speeds. MIMO typically sends data much faster because several data streams can travel simultaneously.
  4. 4.Signal. With MIMO, the signal is more reliable — even in places with obstacles or interference. SISO, on the other hand, isn’t as good as keeping the signal strong when there’s interference.
  5. 5.Setup. Since MIMO is more advanced, it takes more advanced technology to implement. In comparison, SISO is simple to set up since it isn’t as complex.
  6. 6.Use. Multiple input and multiple output is used in modern Wi-Fi routers, 4G/5G cellular networks, and high-speed communication systems. In comparison, you’re likely to see SISO in older Wi-Fi standards and legacy communication systems.