Joint Communication and Sensing Toward 6G: Models and Potential of Using MIMO

Xinran Fang, Wei Feng, Yunfei Chen, Ning Ge, Yan Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The sixth-generation (6G) network is envisioned to integrate communication and sensing functions, so as to improve the spectrum efficiency and support explosive novel applications. Although the similarities of wireless communication and radio sensing lay the foundation for their combination, there is still considerable incompatible interest between them. To simultaneously guarantee the communication capacity and the sensing accuracy, the multiple-input and multiple-output (MIMO) technique plays an important role due to its unique capability of spatial beamforming and waveform shaping. However, the configuration of MIMO also brings high hardware cost, high power consumption, and high signal processing complexity. How to efficiently apply MIMO to achieve balanced communication and sensing performance is still open. In this survey, we discuss joint communication and sensing (JCAS) in the context of MIMO. We first outline the roles of MIMO in the process of wireless communication and radar sensing. Then, we present current advances in both communication and sensing coexistence and integration in detail. Three novel JCAS MIMO models are subsequently discussed by combining cutting-edge technologies, i.e., cloud radio access networks (C-RANs), unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and reconfigurable intelligent surfaces (RISs). Examined from the practical perspective, the potential and challenges of MIMO in JCAS are summarized, and promising solutions are provided. Motivated by the great potential of the Internet of Things (IoT), we also specify JCAS in IoT scenarios and discuss the uniqueness of applying JCAS to IoT. In the end, open issues are outlined to envisage a ubiquitous, intelligent, and secure JCAS network in the near future.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4093-4116
Number of pages24
JournalIEEE Internet of Things Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 6 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2023-03-13
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): ORA-2021-CRG10-4696
Acknowledgements: This work was supported in part by the National Key Research and Development Program of China under Grant 2020YFA0711301; in part by the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant 61941104 and Grant 61922049; in part by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology Research Funding (KRF) under Award ORA-2021-CRG10-4696; and in part by EU H2020 Project COSAFE under Grant MSCA-RISE-2018-824019.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Information Systems
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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