Research Vision

Our goal is to design novel ultra low-power sensor systems for wearables and internet of things through innovations in asymmetric communication techniques that enable micro-watt communication at megabits/second.

Research Projects

Concurrent backscatter

Papers were accepted by HotWireless 2014 and SIGCOMM 2015.
We design and implement a new fully asymmetric backscatter communication protocol where nodes blindly transmit data as and when they sense. Such design is made possible by leveraging interleaved signal edges on the physical layer for extracting information embedded among concurrent transmissions from multiple devices.

High speed ultra-low power backscatter

Paper was accepted by Mobicom 2014. Best paper award runner up!
Existing sensing architectures incur substantial overhead for a variety of computational blocks between the sensor and RF front end. We present a radically new hardware architecture that is minimalist, yet efficient, and designed to operate end-to-end at tens of µWs while enabling high-data rate backscatter at rates upwards of hundreds of Kbps.

Operating systems for micro-powered sensors

Papers were accepted by NSDI 2014 and HotOS XIV.
Existing low-power network stacks make a slew of design choices that limit the ability to scale down to severe harvesting environments. We design a backscatter-based network stack that enables continuous communication even if there is only enough harvested energy to transmit a few bits at a time while simultaneously optimizing throughput across a network of micro-powered devices.


"Laissez-Faire: Fully asymmetric backscatter communication"
Pan Hu, Pengyu Zhang, Deepak Ganesan
SIGCOMM 2015. (Accept rate = 15.6%)
"Leveraging Interleaved Signal Edges for Concurrent Backscatter"
Pan Hu, Pengyu Zhang, Deepak Ganesan
HotWireless 2014
"EkhoNet: High Speed Ultra Low-power Backscatter for Next Generation Sensors."
Pengyu Zhang, Pan Hu, Vijay Pasikanti, Deepak Ganesan
Mobicom 2014. (Accept rate = 16.4%) Best paper award runner up!
"Enabling Bit-by-Bit Backscatter Communication in Severe Energy Harvesting Environments."
Pengyu Zhang, Deepak Ganesan
NSDI 2014. (Accept rate = 17.8%)
"QuarkOS: Pushing the operating of micro-powered sensors
Pengyu Zhang, Deepak Ganesan, Boyan Lu
HotOS XIV. (Accept rate = 30%)


Pan Hu
Pengyu Zhang
Deepak Ganesan


This research was partially funded by NSF grants CNS-1218586, CNS-1217606, and CNS-1239341.