Wireless Information and Power Transfer: Nonlinearity, Waveform Design and Rate-Energy Tradeoff

Bruno Clercks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

52 Citations (Scopus)


The design of Wireless Information and Power Transfer (WIPT) has so far relied on an oversimplified and inaccurate linear model of the energy harvester. In this paper, we depart from this linear model and design WIPT considering the rectifier nonlinearity.We develop a tractable model of the rectifier nonlinearity that is flexible enough to cope with general multicarrier modulated input waveforms. Leveraging that model, we motivate and introduce a novel WIPT architecture relying on the superposition of multi-carrier unmodulated and modulated waveforms at the transmitter. The superposed WIPT waveforms are optimized as a function of the channel state information so as to characterize the rate-energy region of the whole system. Analysis and numerical results illustrate the performance of the derived waveforms and WIPT architecture and highlight that nonlinearity radically changes the design of WIPT. We make key and refreshing observations. First, analysis (confirmed by circuit simulations) shows that modulated and unmodulated waveforms are not equally suitable for wireless power delivery, namely modulation being beneficial in single-carrier transmissions but detrimental in multi-carrier transmissions. Second, a multicarrier unmodulated waveform (superposed to a multi-carrier modulated waveform) is useful to enlarge the rate-energy region of WIPT. Third, a combination of power splitting and time sharing is in general the best strategy. Fourth, a non-zero mean Gaussian input distribution outperforms the conventional capacity-achieving zero-mean Gaussian input distribution in multi-carrier transmissions. Fifth, the rectifier nonlinearity is beneficial to system performance and is essential to efficient WIPT design.

Original languageEnglish
JournalIEEE Transactions on Signal Processing
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2017 Nov 18
Externally publishedYes



  • Channel state information
  • Nonlinearity
  • optimization
  • Receiving antennas
  • Rectennas
  • Transceivers
  • Transmitting antennas
  • waveform
  • Wireless communication
  • wireless information and power transfer
  • wireless power

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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