ZTE Communications ›› 2022, Vol. 20 ›› Issue (1): 3-13.DOI: 10.12142/ZTECOM.202201002

• Special Topic • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Recent Progress in Research and Development of Reconfigurable Intelligent Surface

YUAN Yifei(), GU Qi, WANG Anna, WU Dan, LI Ya   

  1. China Mobile Research Institute, Beijing 100053, China
  • Received:2021-11-11 Online:2022-03-25 Published:2022-04-06
  • About author:YUAN Yifei (yuanyifei@chinamobile.com) was with Alcatel-Lucent from 2000 to 2008. From 2008 to 2020, he was with ZTE Corporation as a technical director and Chief Engineer, responsible for standards and research of LTE-Advanced and 5G technologies. He joined the China Mobile Research Institute in 2020 as a Chief Expert, responsible for 6G. He has extensive publications, including seven books on LTE-Advanced and 5G. He has over 60 granted patents.|GU Qi received the B.E. degree from Civil Aviation University of China, China, in 2013, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Beijing Jiaotong University, China in 2015 and 2020, respectively. She is currently an engineer with the China Mobile Research Institute. Her research interests include reconfigurable intelligent surface.|WANG Anna received the B.Sc., M.Sc., and Ph.D. degrees from Southeast University, China in 2003, 2006, and 2010, respectively. In June 2010, she joined the China Mobile Research Institute, where she was involved in network optimization and the development of base station antennas, indoor distributed antennas and other types of antennas for specific scenarios, which are widely used in the commercial 4G and 5G networks of China Mobile. Since 2020, her research interests have been focused on the area of 6G networks, e.g., reconfigurable intelligent surface. She has authored 14 journal articles and holds over 30 patents.|WU Dan is a senior member of technical staff in the Future Research Laboratory, the China Mobile Research Institute. She received the B.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Beihang University, China in 2009 and 2015, respectively. Her research interests include wireless communications, MIMO, interference management, and reconfigurable intelligent surface.|LI Ya received the Ph.D. degree from Beihang University, China and joined the China Mobile Research Institute in 2020. He is currently the member of technical staff of the Future Research Laboratory. His research interests include reconfigurable intelligent surface and advanced materials.


We aim to provide a comprehensive overview of the progress in research and development of the reconfigurable intelligent surface (RIS) over the last 2–3 years in this paper, especially when the RIS is used as relays in next-generation mobile networks. Major areas of research in academia are outlined, including fundamental performance, channel estimation, joint optimization with antenna precoding at base stations, propagation channel modeling and meta-material devices of RIS elements. Development in industry is surveyed from the aspects of performance potentials and issues, realistic joint optimization algorithms, control mechanisms, field trials and related activities in standardization development organizations (SDOs). Our views on how to carry out the engineering-aspect study on RIS for 6G systems are also presented, which cover the realistic performance, the comparison with other topological improvements, approaches for channel modeling, factors for designing control mechanisms and the timeline for RIS standardization.

Key words: 6G, reconfigurable intelligent surface, relay, meta-material, metasurface