In radio, multiple-input and multiple-output, or MIMO, is a method for multiplying the capacity of a radio link using multiple transmission and receiving antennas to exploit multipath propagation.
MIMO has become an essential element of wireless communication standards including IEEE 802.11n (Wi-Fi), IEEE 802.11ac (Wi-Fi), HSPA+ (3G), WiMAX (4G), and Long Term Evolution (4G LTE). More recently, MIMO has been applied to power-line communication for 3-wire installations as part of ITU G.hn standard and HomePlug AV2 specification.
At one time, in wireless the term “MIMO” referred to the use of multiple antennas at the transmitter and the receiver. In modern usage, “MIMO” specifically refers to a practical technique for sending and receiving more than one data signal simultaneously over the same radio channel by exploiting multipath propagation.
MIMO is fundamentally different from smart antenna techniques developed to enhance the performance of a single data signal, such as beamforming and diversity.