Subblock-Constrained Codes for Real-Time Simultaneous Energy and Information Transfer

Anshoo Tandon, Mehul Motani, Lav R. Varshney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Consider an energy-harvesting receiver that uses the same received signal both for decoding information and for harvesting energy, which is employed to power its circuitry. In the scenario where the receiver has limited battery size, a signal with bursty energy content may cause power outage at the receiver, since the battery will drain during intervals with low signal energy. In this paper, we analyze subblock energy-constrained codes (SECCs), which ensure that sufficient energy is carried within every subblock duration. We consider discrete memoryless channels and characterize the SECC capacity and the SECC error exponent, and provide useful bounds for these values. We also study constant subblock-composition codes (CSCCs), which are a subclass of SECCs where all the subblocks in every codeword have the same fixed composition, and this subblock composition is chosen to maximize the rate of information transfer while meeting the energy requirement. Compared with constant composition codes (CCCs), we show that CSCCs incur a rate loss and that the error exponent for CSCCs is also related to the error exponent for CCCs by the same rate loss term. We exploit the symmetry in CSCCs to obtain a necessary and sufficient condition on the subblock length for avoiding power outage at the receiver. Furthermore, for CSCC sequences, we present a tight lower bound on the average energy per symbol within a sliding time window. We provide numerical examples highlighting the tradeoff between the delivery of sufficient energy to the receiver and achieving high information transfer rates. It is observed that the ability to use energy in real-time imposes less of penalty compared with the ability to use information in real-time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7460906
Pages (from-to)4212-4227
Number of pages16
JournalIEEE Transactions on Information Theory
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2016


  • Constant subblock-composition codes
  • simultaneous energy and information transfer
  • subblock energy-constrained codes
  • subblock-constrained codes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Library and Information Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'Subblock-Constrained Codes for Real-Time Simultaneous Energy and Information Transfer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this