In this paper, we investigate the simultaneous wireless information and power transfer (SWIPT) in a multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) decode-and-forward (DF) relay system where the relay is an energy harvesting (EH) multi-antenna node equipped with an EH receiver and an information decoding (ID) receiver. The relay harvests the energy from the radio frequency (RF) signals sent by the source and uses it to forward the signals to the destination. The main objective in this paper is to maximize the achievable transmission rate of the overall link by optimizing the source/relay precoders. First, we study an upper bound on the maximum achievable rate where we assume that the EH and ID receivers operate simultaneously and have access to the whole power of the received signals. Afterwards, we study two practical schemes, which are the power splitting (PS) and time switching (TS) schemes, where the ID and EH receivers have partial access to the power or duration of the received signals. For each scheme, we have studied the complexity and the performance comparison. In addition, we considered the case of the imperfect channel estimation error and we have observed its impact on the achievable end-to-end rate and the harvested energy at the relay. © 1972-2012 IEEE.