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Element independent routerless beamforming

Image Number 2 for United States Patent #7973713.

Described herein are systems and methods that eliminate the need for costly and complex switching networks for routing channelized data between antenna elements and beamformers. In one aspect, a beamforming system comprises a beamformer for each antenna element of an antenna array, in which the beamformers for the different antenna elements are arranged in parallel. The beamforming system also comprises a combiner that combines the outputs of the beamformers into a single beam. In one aspect, the beamformers of antenna elements that do not contribute to a desired beam output zeros to the combiner, which when added to the subbeams of the other beamformers have no affect of the final beam. In another aspect, operations (e.g., multiplication, memory reads) of each beamformer that does not contribute to a desired beam may be turned off to conserve power.

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