Bistatic Backscatter Communication: Shunt Network Design

Meng Hua, Luxi Yang, Chunguo Li, Zhengyu Zhu, Inkyu Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Bistatic backscatter communication is emerged as a promising technique to significantly enlarge the lifetime of internet of things (IoT) network due to its inherently low-power passive component. However, the effective communication range is limited to only several meters. This paper studies the tag circuit shunt network, and propose three modes, namely series mode, parallel mode, and mixed mode, to adjust circuit load impedance of the tag to extend the communication range as well as address the integrated circuit (IC) power supply problem. Specifically, we formulate the bit error rate (BER) minimization problems for the three modes by changing the reflection coefficients, subject to power supply constraint. The resulting problems are shown to be non-convex fractional optimization problems, which are hard to be solved optimally in general. We first obtain a globally optimal solution to the series mode problem by exploiting the hidden monotonic structure based on monotonic optimization theory. Subsequently, we propose a low-complexity iterative suboptimal algorithm for the three modes based on the successive convex approximation (SCA) techniques. Numerical results show that when the direct link is available, the mixed mode outperforms the parallel mode and series mode, and can adaptively adjust the reflection coefficient to satisfy the requirement of IC power supply. In contrast, when the direct link is unavailable, the series mode is the best choice in terms of IC power supply. In addition, traditional on-off keying modulation is shown to be suitable for a low IC power supply, whereas a shunt network is necessary for high of power supply. Furthermore, the performance of SCA-based method closely approaches the optimal solution while with much lower complexity.

Original languageEnglish
JournalIEEE Internet of Things Journal
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020


  • Bistatic backscatter communication
  • coefficient reflection
  • internet of things (IoT)
  • monotonic optimization
  • successive convex approximation technique.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Information Systems
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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