Analysis of a 1kbps Backscatter Receiver with up to -80dBm Tag-to-tag Receive Sensitivity

R.J. de Jong*, R.A.R. van der Zee, A.B.J. Kokkeler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
116 Downloads (Pure)


Merging developments in RFID and wireless sensor networks have increased the interest in using backscatter radio for tag-to-tag communication. Low power consumption is a major concern, often limiting the choice to incoherent receivers such as diode envelope detectors. Link budget calculations require receiver sensitivity specifications, however accurate characterizations are scarce. In this work, we show that the receiver sensitivity is strongly related to the exciter incident power. Full-range analysis of a zero-bias diode detector shows a decreasing noise factor at higher incident powers, which leads to improved sensitivity. On the other side, at strong incident powers, the phase noise of the exciter interferes with the received signal, setting an lower bound to the sensitivity of the backscatter receiver. This work proposes a semi-passive RFID tag capable of 1kbps to 10kbps data rates in the 434MHz band using off the shelf components. The tag has a low power consumption of 85μW during receive, 45μW during transmit and less than 4μW in sleep. The receiver sensitivity at 1kbps shows a 25dB variation as a function of exciter incident power between -50 to 10dBm, while a peak sensitivity of around -80dBm is measured at an incident power of -25dBm.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2020 IEEE International Conference on RFID, RFID 2020
Place of PublicationPiscataway, NJ
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-7281-5577-7
ISBN (Print)978-1-7281-5576-0
Publication statusPublished - 4 Nov 2020
Event14th Annual International Conference on RFID 2020 - Orlando, United States
Duration: 5 Oct 20209 Oct 2020
Conference number: 14

Publication series

NameIEEE International Conference on RFID
ISSN (Print)2374-0221
ISSN (Electronic)2573-7635


Conference14th Annual International Conference on RFID 2020
Abbreviated titleIEEE RFID
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


  • Backscatter
  • Radio transceivers
  • Semi-passive RFID tags
  • Tag-to-tag
  • Wireless sensor networks
  • 22/2 OA procedure


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