Unitary Query for the $M \times L \times N$ MIMO Backscatter RFID Channel

Chen He, Z. Jane Wang, Victor Leung C. M. Leung

A MIMO backscatter RFID system consists of three operational ends: the query end (with $M$ reader transmitting antennas), the tag end (with $L$ tag antennas) and the receiving end (with $N$ reader receiving antennas). Such an $M \times L \times N$ setting in RFID can bring spatial diversity and has been studied for STC at the tag end. Current understanding of the query end is that it is only an energy provider for the tag and query signal designs cannot improve the performance. However, we propose a novel \textit{unitary query} scheme, which creates time diversity \emph{within channel coherent time} and can yield \emph{significant} performance improvements. To overcome the difficulty of evaluating the performance when the unitary query is employed at the query end and STC is employed at the tag end, we derive a new measure based on the ranks of certain carefully constructed matrices. The measure implies that the unitary query has superior performance. Simulations show that the unitary query can bring $5-10$ dB gain in mid SNR regimes. In addition, the unitary query can also improve the performance of single-antenna tags significantly, allowing employing low complex and small-size single-antenna tags for high performance. This improvement is unachievable for single-antenna tags when the conventional uniform query is employed.

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