Design and Application of Intelligent Reflecting Surface (IRS) for Beyond 5G Wireless Networks: A Review

Fred Chimzi Okogbaa, Qasim Ahmed, Fahd Ahmed Khan, Waqas Bin Abbas, Fuhu Che, Syed Ali Raza Zaidi, Temitope Alade

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


The existing sub-6 GHz band is insufficient to support the bandwidth requirement of emerging data-rate-hungry applications and Internet of Things devices, requiring ultrareliable low latency communication (URLLC), thus making the migration to millimeter-wave (mmWave) bands inevitable. A notable disadvantage of a mmWave band is the significant losses suffered at higher frequencies that may not be overcome by novel optimization algorithms at the transmitter and receiver and thus result in a performance degradation. To address this, Intelligent Reflecting Surface (IRS) is a new technology capable of transforming the wireless channel from a highly probabilistic to a highly deterministic channel and as a result, overcome the significant losses experienced in the mmWave band. This paper aims to survey the design and applications of an IRS, a 2-dimensional (2D) passive metasurface with the ability to control the wireless propagation channel and thus achieve better spectral efficiency (SE) and energy efficiency (EE) to aid the fifth and beyond generation to deliver the required data rate to support current and emerging technologies. It is imperative that the future wireless technology evolves toward an intelligent software paradigm, and the IRS is expected to be a key enabler in achieving this task. This work provides a detailed survey of the IRS technology, limitations in the current research, and the related research opportunities and possible solutions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2436
Number of pages24
Issue number7
Early online date22 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2022


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