Ambient backscatter communications: A contemporary survey

Publication Type:
Journal Article
IEEE Communications Surveys and Tutorials, 2018, 20 (4), pp. 2889 - 2922
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© 1998-2012 IEEE. Recently, ambient backscatter communication has been introduced as a cutting-edge technology which enables smart devices to communicate by utilizing ambient radio frequency (RF) signals without requiring active RF transmission. This technology is especially effective in addressing communication and energy efficiency problems for low-power communications systems such as sensor networks, and thus it is expected to realize numerous Internet-of-Things applications. Therefore, this paper aims to provide a contemporary and comprehensive literature review on fundamentals, applications, challenges, and research efforts/progress of ambient backscatter communications. In particular, we first present fundamentals of backscatter communications and briefly review bistatic backscatter communications systems. Then, the general architecture, advantages, and solutions to address existing issues and limitations of ambient backscatter communications systems are discussed. Additionally, emerging applications of ambient backscatter communications are highlighted. Finally, we outline some open issues and future research directions.
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