Next generation wireless base stations and access points will transmit and receive using an extremely massive numbers of antennas. A promising technology for realizing such massive arrays in a dynamically controllable and scalable manner with reduced cost and power consumption utilizes surfaces of radiating metamaterial elements, known as metasurfaces. To date, metasurfaces are mainly considered in the context of wireless communications as passive reflecting devices, aiding conventional transceivers in shaping the propagation environment. This article presents an alternative application of metasurfaces for wireless communications as active reconfigurable antennas with advanced analog signal processing capabilities for next generation transceivers. We review the main characteristics of metasurfaces used for radiation and reception, and analyze their main advantages as well as their capability to reliably communicate in wireless networks. As current studies unveil only a portion of the potential of metasurfaces, we detail a list of exciting research and implementation challenges which arise from the application of metasurface antennas for wireless transceivers.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Computer Science Applications
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering