Reconfigurable Intelligent Surface assisted Multi-user Communications: How Many Reflective Elements Do We Need?

Hongliang Zhang, Boya Di, Zhu Han, H. Vincent Poor, Lingyang Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Reconfigurable intelligent surfaces (RISs) consisting of multiple reflective elements are a promising technique to enhance communication quality as they can create favorable propagation conditions. In this letter, we characterize the fundamental relations between the number of the reflective elements and the system sum-rate in RIS-assisted multi-user communications. It is known from previous works that the received signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) can linearly increase with the squared number of RIS reflective elements, but how many elements are sufficient to provide an acceptable system sum-rate still remains an open problem. To this end, we derive the asymptotic capacity with zero-forcing (ZF) precoding, and then discuss how many reflective elements are required so that the ratio of the system sum-rate to the capacity can exceed a predefined threshold. Numerical results verify our analysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalIEEE Wireless Communications Letters
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Keywords

  • Antennas
  • Downlink
  • Fading channels
  • MISO communication
  • multi-user communications
  • Precoding
  • Reconfigurable intelligent surface
  • reflective elements.
  • Resource management
  • Signal to noise ratio

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