Multiuser Wirelessly Powered Backscatter Communications: Nonlinearity, Waveform Design, and SINR-Energy Tradeoff

Zati Bayani Zawawi, Yang Huang, Bruno Clerckx

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Wireless power transfer and backscatter communications have emerged as promising solutions for energizing and communicating with power limited devices. Despite some progress in wirelessly powered backscatter communications, the focus has been on backscatter and energy harvesters (EHs). Recently, significant progress has been made on the design of the transmit multisine waveform, adaptive to the channel state information at the transmitter (CSIT), in a point-to-point backscatter system. In this paper, we leverage the work and study the design of the transmit multisine waveform in a multiuser backscatter system, made of one transmitter, one reader, and multiple tags active simultaneously. We derive an efficient algorithm to optimize the transmit waveform so as to identify the tradeoff between the amount of energy harvested at the tags and the reliability of the communication, measured in terms of signal-to-interference-plus-noise ratio (SINR) at the reader. The performance with the optimized waveform based on the linear and nonlinear EH models is studied. The numerical results demonstrate the benefits of accounting for the EH nonlinearity, multiuser diversity, frequency diversity, and multisine waveform adaptive to the CSIT to enlarge the SINR-energy region.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8527670
Pages (from-to)241-253
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jan

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Manuscript received February 1, 2018; revised October 16, 2018; accepted October 17, 2018. Date of publication November 8, 2018; date of current version January 8, 2019. This work was supported by EPSRC, U.K., under Grant EP/P003885/1. The associate editor coordinating the review of this paper and approving it for publication was M. Dong. (Corresponding author: Bruno Clerckx.) Z. B. Zawawi and B. Clerckx are with the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Imperial College London, South Kensington Campus, London SW72AZ, U.K. (e-mail:;

Publisher Copyright:
© 2002-2012 IEEE.


  • Backscatter communications
  • multiuser communication
  • nonlinear energy harvesting
  • waveform design
  • wireless power transfer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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