Wirelessly Powered Backscatter Communications: Waveform Design and SNR-Energy Tradeoff

Bruno Clerckx, Zati Bayani Zawawi, Kaibin Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


This letter shows that wirelessly powered backscatter communications is subject to a fundamental tradeoff between the harvested energy at the tag and the reliability of the backscatter communication, measured in terms of SNR at the reader. Assuming the RF transmit signal is a multisine waveform adaptive to the channel state information, we derive a systematic approach to optimize the transmit waveform weights (amplitudes and phases) in order to enlarge as much as possible the SNR-energy region. Performance evaluations confirm the significant benefits of using multiple frequency components in the adaptive transmit multisine waveform to exploit the nonlinearity of the rectifier and a frequency diversity gain.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7950915
Pages (from-to)2234-2237
Number of pages4
JournalIEEE Communications Letters
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Oct

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 1997-2012 IEEE.


  • Backscatter communications
  • SNR-energy tradeoff
  • waveform design
  • wireless power transfer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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