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Zero-Energy Devices Empowered 6G Networks: Opportunities, Key Technologies, and Challenges
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  • Shimaa Naser ,
  • Lina Bariah ,
  • Sami Muhaidat ,
  • Ertugrul Basar
Shimaa Naser
Khalifa University, Khalifa University

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Lina Bariah
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Sami Muhaidat
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Ertugrul Basar
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The sixth generation (6G) of wireless networks are envisioned to support a plethora of human-centric applications and offer connectivity to a massive number of devices with diverse requirements, thus enabling massive Machine Type Communications. Nevertheless, with the rapid growth of the number of connected devices as well as the ever-increasing network traffic, network energy consumption has become a major challenge. Additionally, 6G is expected to catalyze the emergence of new applications that are characterized by their harsh environmental conditions, with ultra-small and low-cost wireless devices. Therefore, there is a pressing need for developing sustainable solutions that take into consideration all these requirements in order to realize the full potential of 6G networks. Within this context, zero-energy devices (ZEDs) have emerged as a prominent solution for the next generation green communication architecture. Such devices eliminate the need for recharging plugins and replacing batteries by integrating disruptive technologies, such as radio frequency energy harvesting, backscatter communications, low power computing, and ultra-low power receivers. Motivated by this, this article provides an in-depth review of the existing literature on the newly emerging ZEDs for future networks. We further identify different relevant use cases and provide an extensive overview on the key enabling technologies and their requirements for realizing ZED-empowered networks. Finally, we discuss potential future research directions and challenges that are envisioned to enhance the performance and efficiency of ZED-based networks.
Sep 2023Published in IEEE Internet of Things Magazine volume 6 issue 3 on pages 44-50. 10.1109/IOTM.001.2200235