Recent years have seen the emergence of programmable metasurfaces, where the user can modify the EM response of the device via software. Adding reconfigurability to the already powerful EM capabilities of metasurfaces opens the door to novel cyber-physical systems with exciting applications in domains such as holography, cloaking, or wireless communications. This paradigm shift, however, comes with a non-trivial increase of the complexity of the metasurfaces that will pose new reliability challenges stemming from the need to integrate tuning, control, and communication resources to implement the programmability. While metasurfaces will become prone to failures, little is known about their tolerance to errors. To bridge this gap, this paper examines the reliability problem in programmable metamaterials by proposing an error model and a general methodology for error analysis. To derive the error model, the causes and potential impact of faults are identified and discussed qualitatively. The methodology is presented and exemplified for beam steering, which constitutes a relevant case for programmable metasurfaces. Results show that performance degradation depends on the type of error and its spatial distribution and that, in beam steering, error rates over 20% can still be considered acceptable.
IEEE Journal on Emerging and Selected Topics in Circuits and Systems
- Pub Date:
- March 2020
- Electrical Engineering and Systems Science - Signal Processing