On the Enabling of Multi-receiver Communications with Reconfigurable Intelligent Surfaces

The reconfigurable intelligent surface is a promising technology for the manipulation and control of wireless electromagnetic signals. In particular, it has the potential to provide significant performance improvements for wireless networks. However, to do so, a proper reconfiguration of the reflection coefficients of unit cells is required, which often leads to complex and expensive devices. To amortize the cost, one may share the system resources among multiple transmitters and receivers. In this paper, we propose an efficient reconfiguration technique providing control over multiple beams independently. Compared to time-consuming optimization techniques, the proposed strategy utilizes an analytical method to configure the surface for multi-beam radiation. This method is easy to implement, effective and efficient since it only requires phase reconfiguration. We analyze the performance for indoor and outdoor scenarios, given the broadcast mode of operation. The aforesaid scenarios encompass some of the most challenging scenarios that wireless networks encounter. We show that our proposed technique provisions sufficient improvements in the observed channel capacity when the receivers are close to the surface in the indoor office environment scenario. Further, we report a considerable increase in the system throughput given the outdoor environment.

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