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In this paper, the authors report the first study of an important realization of directional communication, beamforming, on mobile devices. They first demonstrate that beamforming is already feasible on mobile devices in terms of form factor, device mobility and power efficiency. Surprisingly, they show that by making an increasingly profitable tradeoff between transmit and circuit power, beamforming with state-of-the-art integrated CMOS implementations can be more power-efficient than its single antenna counter-part. They then investigate the optimal way of using beamforming in terms of device power efficiency, by allowing a dynamic number of active antennas.
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