A hybrid relay and intelligent reflecting surface network and its ergodic performance analysis

This letter proposes a novel hybrid relay and Intelligent Reflecting Surface (IRS) assisted system for future wireless networks. We demonstrate that for practical scenarios where the amount of radiated power and/or the number of reflecting elements are/is limited, the performance of an IRS-supported system can be significantly enhanced by utilizing a simple Decode-and-Forward (DF) relay. Tight upper bounds for the ergodic capacity are derived for the proposed scheme under different channel environments, and shown to closely match Monte-Carlo simulations.