The deployment of a large number of small cells poses new challenges to energy efficiency, which has often been ignored in fifth generation (5G) cellular networks. While massive multiple-input multiple outputs (MIMO) will reduce the transmission power at the expense of higher computational cost, the question remains as to which computation or transmission power is more important in the energy efficiency of 5G small cell networks. Thus, the main objective in this paper is to investigate the computation power based on the Landauer principle. Simulation results reveal that more than 50% of the energy is consumed by the computation power at 5G small cell BSs. Moreover, the computation power of 5G small cell BS can approach 800 watt when the massive MIMO (e.g., 128 antennas) is deployed to transmit high volume traffic. This clearly indicates that computation power optimization can play a major role in the energy efficiency of small cell networks.
IEEE Communications Magazine
5G, small cell, MIMO, green energy, Landauer principle