SyncScatter: Enabling WiFi like synchronization and range for WiFi backscatter Communication


Manideep Dunna, Miao Meng, Po-Han Wang, Chi Zhang, Patrick Mercier, and Dinesh Bharadia, University of California, San Diego


WiFi backscattering can enable direct connectivity of IoT devices with commodity WiFi hardware at low power. However, most existing work in this area has overlooked the importance of synchronization and have, as a result, accepted either limited range between the transmitter and the IoT device, reduced throughput via bit repetition, or both.

In this paper, we present SyncScatter, which achieves accurate synchronization to incident signals at the IoT device level, while also achieving sensitivity commensurate with the maximum possible afforded by a backscattering link budget. SyncScatter creates a novel modeling framework, and derives the maximal optimal range and synchronization error that can be achieved without major performance compromises. Next, SyncScatter builds a novel hierarchical wake-up protocol, which together with a custom ASIC, achieves a range of 30+ meters at 2Mbps, with an average power consumption of 25.2µW.

NSDI '21 Open Access Sponsored by NetApp

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@inproceedings {265041,
author = {Manideep Dunna and Miao Meng and Po-Han Wang and Chi Zhang and Patrick Mercier and Dinesh Bharadia},
title = {{SyncScatter}: Enabling {WiFi} like synchronization and range for {WiFi} backscatter Communication},
booktitle = {18th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation (NSDI 21)},
year = {2021},
isbn = {978-1-939133-21-2},
pages = {923--937},
url = {},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = apr

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