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Reference Signals in LTE-A and 5G NR

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Outline
• Downlink Channel Sounding:
• CRS and CSI-RS
• Basic CSI-RS Structure
• CSI-RS Sharing Mechanisms
• CSI-IM (Interference Measurement)
• Zero Power CSI-RS
• CSI-RS Resource Sets
• Quasi Co-Location of Antenna Ports
• The Notion of Quasi-Co-Location
• Quasi Co-Location Between Same Antenna Ports
• Quasi Co-Location Between Different Antenna Ports
Downlink Channel Sounding- CRS and CSI-RS
• In the first release of LTE (release 8), there is CRS (Cell-Specific Reference Signal)
• Transmitted to UE to acquire channel knowledge
• Always-on, periodically transmitted over the entire carrier bandwidth within every
subframe, can be assumed to be transmitted over the entire cell area.
• In release 10, CSI-RS (Channel State Information-Reference Signals) was defined to
complement CRS.
• Introduced to support spatial multiplexing with more than four layers
• Not necessarily transmitted continuously
• In later releases, the CSI-RS concept was further extended to also support interference
estimation and multi-point transmission
• The concept of CSI-RS is reused in NR and further extended to, for example, provide
support for beam management and mobility as a complement to SS (Synchronization
Signal) block
Basic CSI-RS Structure
• A configured CSI-RS may correspond to up to 32 different antenna ports, each
corresponding to a channel to be sounded
• In NR, CSI-RS is always configured on a per-device basis
• A single-port CSI-RS occupies a single RE within a block corresponding to one RB in the
frequency domain and one slot in the time domain.

CSI-RS will not collide with:


• Any CORESET (Control-resource set ) configured
for the device;
• Demodulation reference signals (DMRS) associated
with PDSCH transmissions scheduled for the device;
• Transmitted SS blocks.
CSI-RS Sharing Mechanisms
• A multi-port CSI-RS can be seen as multiple orthogonally transmitted per antenna-port CSI-
RS sharing the overall set of RE’s assigned for the configured multi-port CSI-RS
• This sharing is based on a combination of:
• CDM (Code Domain Sharing): Different per-antenna port CSI-RS are transmitted on the
same set of RE’s with separation achieved by modulating the CSI-RS with different
orthogonal patterns
• FDM (Frequency Domain Sharing): Different per antenna-port CSI-RS are transmitted
on different subcarriers within an OFDM symbol;
• TDM (Time Domain Sharing): Different per-antenna-port CSI-RS are transmitted in
different OFDM symbols within a slot.
CDM between different per-antenna port CSI-RS
• In the frequency domain with CDM over two adjacent subcarriers (2×CDM), allowing for
code-domain sharing between two per antenna-port CSI-RS.
• In the frequency and time domain with CDM over two adjacent subcarriers and two
adjacent OFDM symbols (4×CDM), allowing for code-domain sharing between up to four
per-antenna-port CSI-RS.
• In the frequency and time domain with CDM over two adjacent subcarriers and four
adjacent OFDM symbols (8×CDM), allowing for code-domain sharing between up to eight
per-antenna-port CSI-RS.
CDM in combination with FDM/TDM
• The different CDM alternatives in combination with FDM and/or TDM, can then be used to
configure different multi-port CSI-RS structures.
• In general, an N-port CSI-RS occupies a total of N resource elements within an RB/slot
block
Multi-port CSI-RS Configurations
• Frequency-domain CDM over two resource elements (2×CDM) in combination with four
times frequency multiplexing (left part)
• Frequency-domain CDM over two resource elements (2×CDM) in combination with
frequency and time multiplexing (middle part)
• Time/frequency-domain CDM over four resource elements (4×CDM) in combination with
two times frequency multiplexing (right part)
32-port CSI-RS Example
• 32-port CSI-RS based on a combination of 8×CDM and four times frequency multiplexing is
illustrated.
• CSI-RS antenna ports separated in the frequency domain do not necessarily have to occupy
consecutive subcarriers.
• Likewise, CSI-RS ports separated in the time domain do not necessarily have to occupy
consecutive OFDM symbols
CSI-IM—Resources for Interference Measurements
• A CSI-RS can also be used to estimate the interference level by subtracting the expected
received signal from what is actually received on the CSI-RS resource.
• The interference level can also be estimated from measurements on so-called CSI-IM
(Interference Measurement) resources.
• Similar to CSI-RS, the exact location of the CSI-IM resource within the RB/slot block is
flexible and part of the CSI-IM configuration
CSI-IM Properties:
• A CSI-IM resource could be periodic, semi-persistent (activation/deactivation by means of
MAC CE(Control Element)), or aperiodic (triggered by DCI (Downlink Control Information)).
• For periodic and semi-persistent CSI-IM, the set of supported periodicities is the same as
for CSI-RS.
• CSI-IM resource would correspond to resource elements where nothing is transmitted
within the current cell while the activity within the CSI-IM resource in neighbor cells
should correspond to normal activity of those cells
• By measuring the receiver power within a CSI-IM resource, a device would get an estimate
on the typical interference due to transmissions within other cells
Zero-Power (ZP) CSI-RS:
• As there should be no transmissions on CSI-IM resources within the cell, devices should be
configured with the resources as so-called ZP-CSI-RS resources
• A configured ZP-CSI-RS corresponds to a set of resource elements with the same structure
as an NZP-CSI-RS.
• A configured ZP-CSI-RS only indicates a set of resource blocks to which the device should
assume that PDSCH is not mapped.
• Despite the name, a device cannot assume that there are no transmissions (zero power)
within the resource elements corresponding to a configured ZP-CSI-RS.
• The resources corresponding to a ZP-CSI-RS may, for example, be used for transmission of
NZP-CSI-RS configured for other devices.
• According to NR specs, a device cannot make any assumptions regarding transmissions on
resources corresponding to a configured ZP-CSI-RS and that PDSCH transmission for the
device is not mapped to resource elements corresponding to a configured ZP-CSI-RS
CSI-RS (CSI-IM) Resource Sets:
• In addition to being configured with CSI-RS, a device can be configured with one or several
CSI-RS resource sets, officially referred to as NZP-CSI-RS Resource Sets.
• Each such resource set includes one or several configured CSI-RS.
• The resource set can then be used as part of report configurations describing
measurements and corresponding reporting to be done by a device.
• Despite the name, an NZP-CSI-RS-Resource Set may include pointers to a set of SS blocks
(especially measurements related to beam management and mobility, may be carried out
on either CSI-RS or SS block)
• All CSI-RS within a semi-persistent resource set are jointly activated/deactivated by means
of a MAC CE command (transmission of all CSI-RS within an aperiodic resource set is jointly
triggered by means of DCI).
• Similarly, a device may be configured with CSI-IM resource sets, each including a number
of configured CSI-IM that can be jointly activated/deactivated (semi-persistent CSI-IM
resource set) or triggered (aperiodic CSI-IM resource set).
Quasi-Co-Location of Antenna Ports
• Transmission of signals from multiple points
• Not co-located
• The instantaneous channel
• Associated DMRS (Demodulation Reference Signals)
• Large-scale properties are
• Power delay profile
• Delay spread
• Doppler shift of the channel
• The UE tries to estimate both the
• Large-scale properties of the channel
• Instantaneous realization from the received DMRS
• DMRS for a UE occur only in the subframes and PRBs
• Allocated for that UE’s transmission;
• Sparse in time and frequency
• Difficult to estimate the large-scale
• Wideband properties of the channel using DMRS alone
Quasi-Co-Location (QCL)
• If two antenna ports are quasi-co-located
• Large-scale properties of the signal received from the first antenna port can be
inferred from the signal received from the other antenna port
• The large-scale properties mentioned in the above definition consist of
some or all of the following:
• Delay spread
• Doppler spread
• Frequency shift
• Average received power
• Received timing
• The UE cannot assume that
• Non-quasi-co-located antenna ports have the same large-scale channel
properties
The Notion of Quasi-Co-Location
• Introduced to understand
• how the large-scale properties of the channel can be estimated by a UE when it
receives signals from geographically separated antenna ports

• Important questions
• For a given group of transmitting points, each with multiple antenna ports, which of
these antenna ports are quasi-co-located?
• For a given UE which receives signals over multiple antenna ports, which of these
antenna ports may be assumed by the UE to be quasi-co-located?
• If the UE makes a certain assumption about the quasi-co-location between a set of
antenna ports, how does this affect CoMP transmission at the base station?
Large-scale Properties of a channel
1. Average received power:
• RSRP measurements over multiple antenna ports
• If the antenna ports are quasi-co-located
• Achieve a better estimate of RSRP by averaging over them
2. Frequency shift and received timing:
• Estimate the received timing and correct the frequency offset error of the received
signal
• The UE can obtain values of these parameters
• One port and use them for another quasi-co-located port
3. Delay spread and doppler shift:
• These values are used to initialize the wiener filter for channel estimation
• The UE can obtain values of these parameters
• One port and use them for another quasi-co-located port
Quasi-Co-Location Between the Same Antenna
Ports
• Quasi-co-location assumptions between the same antenna ports

• Sets of CRS ports

• Sets of CSI-RS ports, and

• Sets of DMRS ports


1. QCL between CRS Ports
• A UE takes RSRP measurements using CRS
• CRS port 0 is always used for RSRP measurements
• CRS port 1 can be used, detected by the UE
• No relevant UE behavior for the assumption that
• The CRS ports are not co-located
• CRS port 0 and the PSS/SSS of the serving cell
• Assumed to be the reference for all front-end processing
• PSS/SSS ports and CRS port 0 are quasi-co-located
2. QCL between CSI-RS Ports
• SU/MU-MIMO and non-frequency-selective DPS
• PDSCH and DMRS in all the allocated PRBs
• One base station
• All DMRS ports
• Be quasi-co-located
• Precoding resource group (PRG)
• A group of PRBs for which the UE can assume that
• The same precoder had been used by the eNodeB
• Increased UE processing complexity during
• The demodulation process
• Limits its possibility for all practical purposes
• Unlike frequency-selective DPS
• The per-subframe-level quasi-co-location assumption among all DMRS ports does not
hamper the implementation of JT
3. QCL between DMRS Ports
• For SU/MU-MIMO and non-frequency-selective DPS, the PDSCH and DMRS in all the allocated PRBs
come from one base station. All DMRS ports will therefore be quasi-co-located:

• In frequency-selective DPS, PDSCH in different PRBs can be transmitted by different base stations

• For frequency-selective DPS, a logical conclusion is that a UE should assume that all DMRS ports are
quasi-co-located for a given PRG and not quasi-co-located across PRGs

• Unlike frequency-selective DPS, the per-subframe-level quasi-co-location assumption among all DMRS
ports does not hamper JT implementation

• The subframe level quasi-co-location assumption of DMRS is usually good enough for data
demodulation in JT
Quasi-Co-Location Between Different Antenna
Ports
• A set of antenna ports (such as DMRS) may not be able to track the large-scale channel properties by
themselves and will need the support of other ports

• Quasi-co-location assumptions between different sets of antenna ports


• QCL between CSI-RS and CRS Ports
• QCL between DMRS and CSI-RS Ports
• QCL Between CRS and DMRS Ports
1. QCL between CSI-RS and CRS Ports
• Configuration of aggregated CSI-RS resources limited due to reasons
related to QCL
• QCL behavior for CSI-RS
• With the CRS ports from the corresponding point
• Received timing
• It is assumed that a CoMP-capable UE may operate with a single FFT timing per
receiving antenna port to perform all CSI- and demodulation-related operations
• This implies that the received timings of different per-point CSI-RS resources cannot
be very different
• R11 UE is expected to receive the network will ensure that the different CSI-RS
resources that configured to the UE have the required timing property
• Average received power
• Needed for RSRP measurements
• Frequency offset estimation performance using only CSI-RS is not satisfactory under
certain channel conditions
2. QCL between DMRS and CSI-RS Ports
• Reliable demodulation, it has been demonstrated
• DMRS alone is not sufficient
• Tracking the large-scale properties of the channel
• DMRS ports need additional information from other ports
• All DMRS ports will be sent from the same base station with high
probability
• These ports will be quasi-co-located with
• The set of CSI-RS ports that were
• Transmitted from that base station

• In release 11, for a given set of DMRS ports the network


• Inform the CSI-RS resource of ports are quasi-co-located with the DMRS ports
3. QCL Between CRS and DMRS Ports
1. A UE configured in transmission modes 1–10
• For a serving cell may assume the CRS antenna ports of the serving cell
• Quasi-co-located
• Transmission mode 10 is a new transmission mode that
• Has been defined for CoMP
2. A UE configured in transmission modes 8–10
• For a serving cell may assume the DMRS antenna ports of the serving cell
• Quasi-co-located
3. A UE configured in transmission modes 1–9
• For a serving cell may assume the CRS, DMRS, and CSI-RS antenna ports of the serving cell
• Quasi-co-located
4. A UE configured in transmission mode 10
• For a serving cell is configured with one of two quasi-co-location types for the serving cell
• By RRC signaling to decode PDSCH
• DMRS antenna ports
• Type A: the UE may assume the CRS, DMRS, and CSI-RS antenna ports of a serving cell are quasi-co-
located
• Type B: the UE may assume the CSI-RS antenna ports corresponding to the CSI-RS resource
configuration identified
• The higher-layer signaling and the DMRS antenna ports associated
• With the PDSCH are quasi-co-located
3. QCL Between CRS and DMRS Ports
1. A UE configured in transmission modes 1–10
• For a serving cell may assume the CRS antenna ports of the serving cell
• Quasi-co-located
• Transmission mode 10 is a new transmission mode that
• Has been defined for CoMP
2. A UE configured in transmission modes 8–10
• For a serving cell may assume the DMRS antenna ports of the serving cell
• Quasi-co-located
3. A UE configured in transmission modes 1–9
• For a serving cell may assume the CRS, DMRS, and CSI-RS antenna ports of the serving cell
• Quasi-co-located
4. A UE configured in transmission mode 10
• For a serving cell is configured with one of two quasi-co-location types for the serving cell
• By RRC signaling to decode PDSCH
• DMRS antenna ports
• Type A: the UE may assume the CRS, DMRS, and CSI-RS antenna ports of a serving cell are quasi-co-
located
• Type B: the UE may assume the CSI-RS antenna ports corresponding to the CSI-RS resource
configuration identified
• The higher-layer signaling and the DMRS antenna ports associated
• With the PDSCH are quasi-co-located