(19)
(11)EP 2 486 669 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
27.02.2019 Bulletin 2019/09

(21)Application number: 10822408.0

(22)Date of filing:  14.09.2010
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
H04B 7/04(2017.01)
H04B 7/06(2006.01)
H04W 72/04(2009.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/US2010/048724
(87)International publication number:
WO 2011/043901 (14.04.2011 Gazette  2011/15)

(54)

MILLIMETER-WAVE COMMUNICATION STATION AND METHOD FOR MULTIPLE-ACCESS BEAMFORMING IN A MILLIMETER-WAVE COMMUNICATION NETWORK

MILLIMETERWELLEN-KOMMUNIKATIONSSTATION UND VERFAHREN FÜR MEHRFACHZUGANGSSTRAHLFORMUNG IN EINEM MILLIMETERWELLEN-KOMMUNIKATIONSNETZ

STATION DE COMMUNICATION À ONDES MILLIMÉTRIQUES ET PROCÉDÉ DE FORMATION DE FAISCEAU À ACCÈS MULTIPLE DANS UN RÉSEAU DE COMMUNICATION À ONDES MILLIMÉTRIQUES


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 06.10.2009 US 574140

(43)Date of publication of application:
15.08.2012 Bulletin 2012/33

(60)Divisional application:
14163996.3 / 2824982

(73)Proprietor: Intel Corporation
Santa Clara, CA 95054 (US)

(72)Inventors:
  • CORDEIRO, Carlos
    Portland, OR 97229 (US)
  • KASHER, Assaf
    Haifa HA 34980 (IL)
  • TRAININ, Solomon, B.
    Haifa HA 31015 (IL)

(74)Representative: HGF Limited 
Fountain Precinct Balm Green
Sheffield S1 2JA
Sheffield S1 2JA (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
US-A1- 2005 147 115
US-A1- 2007 230 373
US-A1- 2009 238 156
US-A1- 2006 240 780
US-A1- 2009 061 784
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    TECHNICAL FIELD



    [0001] Embodiments pertain to millimeter-wave communication stations and methods for performing beamforming. Some embodiments pertain to wireless networks that use millimeter-wave frequencies to communicate, such as wireless personal area networks (WPANs) and wireless local area networks (WLANs). Some embodiments relate to millimeter-wave networks operating in accordance with specifications of the wireless gigabit alliance (WGA).

    BACKGROUND



    [0002] Many conventional wireless networks communicate using microwave frequencies generally ranging between two and ten gigahertz (GHz). These systems generally employ either omnidirectional or low-directivity antennas primarily because of the comparatively long wavelengths of the frequencies used. The low directivity of these antennas limits the throughput of such systems, making applications such as real-time video streaming and high-definition television (HDTV) difficult to implement. The millimeter-wave band has the available spectrum and is capable of providing significantly higher-level throughputs; however, due to higher attenuation levels of millimeter-waves, more directional antennas and beamforming techniques are employed. Beamforming allows a pair of stations to achieve a desirable link budged for subsequent communications.

    [0003] One issue with millimeter-wave networks is collisions that occur between communication stations attempting to establish or reestablish a link and perform beamforming training. Conventionally, only a single communication station at a time is able to perform beamforming training with the network coordinator (e.g., a Piconet Coordinator Point (PCP), Access Point, or Coordination Point). This may result in a significant delay when multiple responding stations are attempting to establish or reestablish a link at the same time (i.e. within the same beacon interval).

    [0004] Thus, there are general needs for millimeter-wave communication stations and methods for multiple-access beamforming that allow more than one responding station to perform beamforming training with a network coordinator.
    US 2009/238156 describes a system and method for antenna training of beamforming vectors by selective use of beam level training.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0005] 

    FIG. 1 is a millimeter-wave communication network, in accordance with some embodiments;

    FIG. 2A illustrates a plurality of antenna sectors provided by an array antenna of a millimeter-wave communication station, in accordance with some embodiments;

    FIG. 2B illustrates a portion of an array antenna, in accordance with some embodiments;

    FIG. 3 illustrates the slot structure of a beamforming training period, in accordance with some embodiments;

    FIG. 4 illustrates a configuration of a sector-sweep slot, in accordance with some embodiments;

    FIG. 5 illustrates communications between an initiating station and responding stations for multiple-access beamforming, in accordance with some embodiments;

    FIG. 6 illustrates communications between an initiating station and responding stations for multiple-access beamforming, in accordance with some alternate embodiments;

    FIG. 7 is a block diagram of a millimeter-wave communication station, in accordance with some embodiments; and

    FIG. 8 is a procedure for multiple-access beamforming, in accordance with some embodiments.


    DETAILED DESCRIPTION



    [0006] The following description and the drawings sufficiently illustrate specific embodiments to enable those skilled in the art to practice them. Other embodiments may incorporate structural, logical, electrical, process, and other changes. Portions and features of some embodiments may be included in, or substituted for, those of other embodiments. Embodiments set forth in the claims encompass all available equivalents of those claims.

    [0007] FIG. 1 is a millimeter-wave communication network in accordance with some embodiments. Millimeter-wave communication network 100 includes a plurality of millimeter-wave communication stations 101-104 that communicate using millimeter waves. Millimeter-wave communication stations 101-104 may utilize array antennas 111 to communicate within one or more antenna sectors. One of the stations, such as communication station 101, may act as the network coordinator (such as a PCP) to coordinate communications among the communication stations 101-104 and control access to the wireless medium. The network coordinator may broadcast a beacon frame that indicates the length of a beacon interval during which communications are to take place. The beacon frame may be received by the other stations 102-104, thereby informing the other stations 102-104 as to when the next beacon interval will occur. In some embodiments, the next beacon interval may be identified by a beacon transmission.

    [0008] In accordance with some embodiments, communication station 101 may act as an initiating station to initiate beamforming training (BFT) with other communication stations, such as stations 102-104, which may be referred to as responding stations. In these embodiments, the initiating station 101 may perform multiple-access beamforming with one or more responding stations, such as responding stations 102 and 103. The initiating station 101 may announce a number of sector-sweep (SS) slots of a BFT period and a number of SS frames within each SS slot. The initiating station 101 may receive one or more SS frames from two or more of the responding stations within one of the SS slots of the BFT period and may transmit one or more SS feedback frames to the responding stations within the one SS slot to indicate an antenna configuration to the responding stations for communication with the initiating station 101. The indicated antenna configuration may refer to a particular antenna sector.

    [0009] The responding stations transmit a limited number of SS frames per SS slot based on the number of SS frames announced by the initiating station 101. The responding stations may transmit any additional SS frames in a next SS slot of the beamforming training period. Accordingly, more than one responding station can perform beamforming within a beacon interval. Furthermore, the limitation on the number of SS frames within an SS slot helps reduce collisions, which may increase the success rate of SS frames being received by the initiating station 101. For multiple-access beamforming, the initiating station is configured to receive at least two reverse sector-sweep frames from two or more of the responding stations within either a single sector-sweep slot or separate sector-sweep slots of the beamforming training period. These embodiments are described in more detail below.

    [0010] In some embodiments, communication stations 101-104 may use the same frequency band for transmitting and receiving. In these embodiments, the communication stations 101-104 may employ a time-division multiplexed (TDM) communication technique.

    [0011] In some embodiments, communication stations 101-104 of millimeter-wave communication network 100 may communicate substantially in accordance with specific communication standards or proposed specifications, such as the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) standards, including the IEEE 802.15 standards and proposed specifications for millimeter-wave communications (e.g., the IEEE 802.15 task group 3c Call For Intent (CFI) dated December 2005), although the scope of the invention is not limited in this respect as they may also be suitable to transmit and/or receive communications in accordance with other techniques and standards. For more information with respect to the IEEE 802.15 standards, please refer to "IEEE Standards for Information TechnologyTelecommunications and Information Exchange between Systems" - Part 15. In some embodiments, communication stations 101-104 of millimeter-wave communication network 100 may communicate substantially in accordance within accordance with specifications of the WGA.

    [0012] FIG. 2A illustrates a plurality of antenna sectors provided by an array antenna of a millimeter-wave communication station, in accordance with some embodiments. An array antenna, such as array antenna 111 (FIG. 1), may be used to provide the plurality of antenna sectors 221. Although FIG. 2A shows only twelve antenna sectors 221 for illustrative purposes, array antenna 111 may provide a lesser or greater number of antenna sectors 221. In some embodiments, the array antenna 111 may provide up to fifty or more antenna sectors 221.

    [0013] FIG. 2B illustrates a portion of an array antenna, in accordance with some embodiments. In these embodiments, portion 222 may be a portion of an array antenna, such as array antenna 111 (FIG. 1), and may comprise a plurality of antenna elements 224 configured to transmit and receive millimeter-wave signals within antenna sectors 221 (FIG. 2A) utilizing beamforming techniques. The plurality of antenna elements 224 may provide a higher gain and allow beamwidth and beam direction to be controlled by signal processing techniques either in analog or digital domain. In these embodiments, array antenna 111 may operate as a phased array with a predetermined spacing between the antenna elements 224.

    [0014] In some embodiments, the millimeter-wave communication stations 101-104 (FIG. 1) may utilize one or more array antennas 111 which may be configured to selectively transmit in each antenna sector 221. In some embodiments, at least two antenna elements 224 may be used per each antenna sector 221. In some embodiments, the array antenna 111 may comprise up to 64 or more antenna elements 224 configurable to transmit in any one or more of the antenna sectors 221.

    [0015] FIG. 3 illustrates the slot structure of a beamforming training period, in accordance with some embodiments. Beacon interval (BI) 301 includes a BFT period 306, which may comprise a number of SS slots 304 and may be preceded by one or more beacon transmissions, which may be collectively referred to as beacon time (BT) 302. Beacon intervals 301 may repeat on a regular basis as illustrated.

    [0016] In accordance with multiple-access beamforming embodiments, the initiating station may announce the number of SS slots 304 of the BFT period 306 and the number of sector sweep SS frames of each SS slot 304 in a beacon transmission of the current beacon interval 301. A beacon transmission may comprise a sector sweep comprising beacon frames transmitted by the initiating station 101 for receipt by responding stations, such as responding stations 102 - 104. In these embodiments, the announced number of SS slots 304 of the BFT period 306 may follow the BT 302 in the current beacon interval 301. In other words, the beacon transmission announcing the number of SS slots 304 precedes the SS slots 304. In some embodiments, the BFT period 306 is an association beamforming training (A-BFT) period, although this is not a requirement.

    [0017] FIG. 4 illustrates a configuration of a sector-sweep slot, in accordance with some embodiments. The SS slot 304 comprises a first duration 404 for the number of SS frames per SS slot 304 announced by the initiating station 101, and a second duration 408 for a single SS feedback frame. In some embodiments, each SS slot 304 may include propagation delay time (aPropDelay) 401 to account for a propagation delay between the initiating station 101 (FIG. 1) and a responding station 102 (FIG. 1), and beamforming interface space (BFIS) 403 (or a short inter-Frame Space (SIFS)) between the first duration 404 and the second duration 408. The first duration 404 may be a time duration (aSSDuration) for a responding station 102 to transmit the predetermined number of SS frames to the initiating station. The second duration 408 may be a time duration (aSSFBDuration) 408 for the initiating station 101 to transmit at least the single SS feedback frame to one of the responding stations 102. In these embodiments, the BFIS 403 may be a constant and may also be provided after second duration 408.

    [0018] FIG. 5 illustrates communications between an initiating station and responding stations for multiple-access beamforming, in accordance with some embodiments. For multiple-access beamforming, the initiating station 101 may transmit one or more beacon frames 502 as a sector sweep 501 within the BT 302 of the current beacon interval 301 (FIG. 3). The sector sweep 501 may comprise a plurality of beacon frames 502 and may indicate that the initiating station 101 wishes to perform BFT. The initiating station 101 may announce in the beacon transmission the number of SS slots 304 of the BFT period 306 (FIG. 3) and the number of SS frames of each SS slot 304.

    [0019] The initiating station 101 may receive one or more SS frames 504, 506 from two or more of the responding stations within one of the SS slots 304 of the BFT period 306 (FIG. 3). In response, the initiating station 101 may transmit one or more SS feedback frames 508 to the responding stations 102 and 103 within the SS slot 304. The SS feedback frames 508 may be used to indicate the antenna configuration for communication with the initiating station 101 to the responding stations 102 and 103. In accordance with some embodiments, the responding stations 102 and 103 transmit a limited number of SS frames 504 per SS slot 304 based on the number of SS frames announced by the initiating station 101. The responding stations may transmit any additional SS frames 504 in a next SS slot of the BFT period 306.

    [0020] In these embodiments, the number of SS frames per SS slot 304 that is announced in the beacon transmission may be a total number of SS frames that can be transmitted in an SS slot 304. If a responding station has, for example, thirty-six antenna sectors but the SS slot 304 can only admit six SS frames 504, the responding station will use six SS slots 304 to complete a full reverse sector sweep.

    [0021] Although the network coordinator for millimeter-wave communication network 100 is described herein as the initiating station (i.e., the station that is initiating beamforming), this is not a requirement as any station, not necessarily the network coordinator, may operate as an initiating station and initiate beamforming.

    [0022] In some embodiments, the initiating station 101 may perform multiple-access beamforming for scheduling A-BFT with one or more responding stations in millimeter-wave communication network 100. In these embodiments, more than one responding station is able to schedule and perform A-BFT within a single beacon interval.

    [0023] In some embodiments, the antenna configuration indicated in the SS feedback frames 508 may indicate an antenna sector 221 (FIG. 2A) for each of the responding stations to use in communicating with the initiating station 101. In these embodiments, the initiating station 101 may use the SS frames 504 from the responding stations to identify the antenna sector 221 of a responding station from which the highest quality SS frame was received. The initiating station may indicate the antenna sector 221 to the responding stations in an SS feedback frame 508 for use in subsequent communications by the responding stations. The SS frames 504 from the responding stations may also indicate to the initiating station 101 that a responding station wishes to complete BFT and subsequently communicate with the initiating station 101. The SS frames 504 from the responding stations may also indicate to the initiating station 101 the antenna sector 221 that the initiating station is to use for communication with each responding station.

    [0024] In some embodiments, the sector sweep 501 comprises a beacon frame 502 transmitted in each of a plurality of antenna sectors of the initiating station 101 during the current beacon transmission. The responding stations, such as responding stations 102 and 103, may transmit one SS frame 504 in each of their antenna sectors. The responding stations 102 and 103 remain in a receive mode to receive a beacon frame and an SS feedback frame 508 from the initiating station 101. The initiating station 101 may remain in a receive mode to receive an SS frame 504 from the responding stations 102 and 103. In some embodiments, the responding stations 102 and 103 remain in an omni-directional receive mode to receive the SS feedback frames 508, although this is not a requirement. In some embodiments, a responding station may transmit more than one SS frame 504 in each of their antenna sectors, although this is not a requirement.

    Random Backoff Embodiments:



    [0025] In accordance with some random-backoff embodiments, a responding station may initiate a random backoff procedure at the start of the BFT period 306 to determine with which SS slot 304 of the BFT period 306 to begin transmissions of the SS frames 504. The responding station may limit the number of SS frames 504 transmitted per SS slot 304 as indicated by the initiating station 101 in the beacon transmission. The responding station may resume transmission of the SS frames 504 at a start of a next SS slot within the current BFT period 306 when the responding station 102 has more SS frames 504 to transmit.

    [0026] In accordance with these random-backoff embodiments, when the responding station 102 does not receive an SS feedback frame 508 from the initiating station 101 until completion of a reverse sector sweep 503, the responding station 102 may retransmit the SS frames 504 within the same BFT period 306 of the current beacon interval 301. The responding station 102 may also initiate a random backoff procedure to determine which SS slot following the completion of a prior reverse sector sweep 503 to retransmit the SS frames 504. SS frames 504 may be considered reverse SS frames.

    [0027] In these random-backoff embodiments, the initiating station 101 may schedule time in the beacon interval 301 for each of the responding stations to complete beamforming, including performing a beamforming refinement phase (BRP) within the current beacon interval 301 or the next beacon interval. The initiating station 101 may transmit a schedule in SS feedback frames 508 to indicate to each responding station when to perform beamforming refinement. In these embodiments, feedback frames 508 may be referred to as grant frames. In some embodiments, the BRP may occur anytime in the beacon interval 301 after a responding station has completed the SS phase in the BFT period 306. During the BRP, beamforming coefficients may be generated to direct antenna beams for reception and transmission of signals with the other station.

    [0028] In some embodiments, the initiating station 101 may send more than a single SS feedback frame 508 within the SS slot 304 when there is time remaining in the SS slot 304. In an example embodiment in which the size of SS slot 304 is eight frames, if there are two responding stations that have one and two antenna sectors respectively, only two SS frames are needed to complete a reverse sector sweep 503. After completion of their reverse sector sweeps 503, additional time remains in the current SS slot 304 for the initiating station 101 to send SS feedback frames 508 to both of these responding stations. In these embodiments, the second duration 408 (FIG. 4) is not limited to a single SS feedback frame 508.

    [0029] FIG. 6 illustrates communications between an initiating station and responding stations for multiple-access beamforming, in accordance with some alternate embodiments. As shown in FIG. 6, the initiating station 101 may transmit beacon frames 502 during beacon time 302. In these alternate embodiments, a responding station, such as responding station 102, may transmit one SS frame 604 within a first SS slot 603 of the BFT period 306 following the beacon transmission. When an SS feedback frame 608 is not received by the responding station 102 until after completion of its entire reverse sector sweep, the responding station 102 may initiate a backoff procedure to determine a backoff period 606 comprising a random number of SS slots 304 to delay transmissions of additional SS frames 605 within the BFT period 306. At the completion of the SS frame 605, the responding station 102 may switch to a receive mode to receive an SS feedback frame 609. In these embodiments, a reverse sector sweep may comprise all SS frames transmitted by a responding station. The responding station may transmit one SS frame in each antenna sector.

    [0030] In these alternate embodiments, a responding station 102 may refrain from delaying transmissions of the additional SS frames 605 after the backoff period 606 when an SS feedback frame is received during the backoff period 606. The responding station may also stop transmitting any of the additional SS frames 605 after an SS feedback frame 609 is received.

    [0031] In these alternate embodiments, when the remaining time in the BFT period 306 after the backoff period 606 is less than the time for an SS frame 605 and an SS feedback frame 608, the responding station may remain in receive mode until the end of the BFT period (e.g., in case it is able to receive an SS feedback frame 609).

    [0032] As illustrated in the example of FIG. 6, each responding station 102, 103 and 104 may have a different number of antenna sectors and, accordingly, the time that each station completes a reverse transmit sector sweep is different. For example, responding station 102 may have a single antenna sector and transmit a single SS frame 604 for its reverse sector sweep, while responding station 103 may have three antenna sectors and may transmit three SS frames 614 for its reverse sector sweep, and responding station 104 may have sixteen antenna sectors and may transmit sixteen SS frames 624 for its reverse sector sweep. In this example, since responding station 103 did not receive a sector sweep feedback frame during transmission of it reverse sector sweep (i.e., three SS frames 614), it may initiate a backoff procedure to determine a backoff period 616 to delay transmissions of additional reverse SS frames 615 within the BFT period 306.

    [0033] FIG. 7 is a block diagram of a millimeter-wave communication station, in accordance with some embodiments. Millimeter-wave communication station 700 may include, among other things, an array antenna 722, beamforming circuitry 702, transmitter circuitry 706, receiver circuitry 708 and processing circuitry 704. Millimeter-wave communication station 700 may be suitable for use as any one or more of millimeter-wave communication stations 101-104 (FIG. 1) and as discussed above. Array antenna 722 may include a plurality of antenna elements and may be configured to communicate in a plurality of antenna sectors, such as antenna sectors 221 FIG. 2A. In some alternate embodiments, millimeter-wave communication station 700 may utilize a switched-beam antenna, although the scope of the embodiments is not limited in this respect. In some alternate embodiments, millimeter-wave communication station 700 may utilize a single antenna element, although the scope of the embodiments is not limited in this respect.

    [0034] In accordance with some embodiments, beamforming circuitry 702 may configure array antenna 722 to transmit an SS frame (e.g., one of beacon frames 502 of FIG. 5) separately in each of the antenna sectors 221. Beamforming circuitry 702 may also configure array antenna 722 to receive the reverse sector-sweep frames (e.g., frames 504 and 506 of FIG. 5).

    [0035] In accordance with some embodiments, when millimeter-wave communication station 700 operates as an initiating station 101 for performing multiple-access beamforming with one or more responding stations, such as responding stations 102 and 103, the processing circuitry 704 may be configured to announce a number of SS slots 304 (FIG. 3) of a BFT period 306 (FIG. 3) and a number of SS frames of each SS slot 304. The receiver circuitry 708 may be configured to receive one or more SS frames 504, 506 from two or more of the responding stations within one of the SS slots 304 of the BFT period 306. The transmitter circuitry 706 may be configured to transmit one or more SS feedback frames 508 to the responding stations within the one SS slot 304 to indicate to the responding stations an antenna configuration for communication with the initiating station 101.

    [0036] In accordance with some embodiments, when millimeter-wave communication station 700 operates as a responding station, such as responding station 102, for performing multiple-access beamforming with an initiating station, the processing circuitry 704 may receive an announcement from an initiating station, such as initiating station 101, announcing a number of SS slots 304 of a BFT period 306 and a number of SS frames of each SS slot 304. The transmitter circuitry 706 may transmit one or more SS frames 504, 506 to the initiation station within one of the SS slots 304 of the BFT period 306. The receiver circuitry 708 may be configured to receive one or more SS feedback frames 508 within the one SS slot 304 indicating an antenna configuration for communication with the initiating station. The responding station may be configured to transmit a limited number of SS frames 504 per SS slot 304 based on the number of SS frames announced by the initiating station, and each transmitted SS frame from the initiating station may indicate the an antenna configuration for communicating with the responding station. The responding station may also be configured to transmit any additional SS frames 504 in a next SS slot of the beamforming training period 306.

    [0037] In accordance with some embodiments, when the millimeter-wave communication station 700 operates as a responding station, such as responding station 102, for performing multiple-access beamforming with an initiating station, such as initiating station 101, the processing circuitry 704 may be configured to initiate a random backoff procedure at the start of a BFT period 306 to determine which SS slot 304 of the BFT period 306 to begin transmissions of an SS frame 504. The processing circuitry 704 may also be configured to limit a number of SS frames 504 transmitted per SS slot 304 as indicated by the initiating station. The transmitter circuitry 706 may be configured to resume transmission of SS frames 504 at a start of a next SS slot within a current BFT period 306 when the responding station has more SS frames 504 to transmit.

    [0038] Millimeter-wave communication station 700 may include other circuitry for communicating millimeter-wave wireless communication signals, including 60 GHz wireless technologies. In some embodiments, millimeter-wave communication station 700 can be used to provide a flexible interface that can be efficiently embedded into home media gateways, cell phones, flat panel televisions (TVs), set-top boxes, Blu-ray players, digital cameras, personal computers (PCs), laptops, and many other multimedia and communication devices. Although millimeter-wave communication station 700 is illustrated as having several separate functional elements, one or more of the functional elements may be combined and may be implemented by combinations of software-configured elements, such as processing elements including digital signal processors (DSPs), and/or other hardware elements. For example, some elements may comprise one or more microprocessors, DSPs, application specific integrated circuits (ASICs), radio-frequency integrated circuits (RFICs) and combinations of various hardware and logic circuitry for performing at least the functions described herein. In some embodiments, the functional elements of millimeter-wave communication station 700 may refer to one or more processes operating on one or more processing elements.

    [0039] FIG. 8 is a procedure for multiple-access beamforming, in accordance with some embodiments. Procedure 800 may be performed by millimeter-wave communication stations, such as millimeter-wave communication stations 101-104 (FIG. 1).

    [0040] In operation 802, the initiating station 101 may announce the number of SS slots 304 (FIG. 3) of a BFT period 306 (FIG. 3) and a number of SS frames of each SS slot 304.

    [0041] In operation 804, the initiating station 101 may receive one or more SS frames 504, 506 (FIG. 5) from two or more of the responding stations within one of the SS slots 304 of the BFT period 306. The responding stations may transmit a limited number of SS frames 504 per SS slot 304 based on the number of SS frames announced by the initiating station 101.

    [0042] In operation 806, the initiating station may transmit one or more SS feedback frames 508 (FIG. 5) to the responding stations within the one SS slot 304 to indicate an antenna configuration to the responding stations for communication with the initiating station 101. The responding stations may transmit any additional SS frames 504 in a next SS slot of the beamforming training period 306.

    [0043] The Abstract is provided to comply with 37 C.F.R. Section 1.72(b) requiring an abstract that will allow the reader to ascertain the nature and gist of the technical disclosure. It is submitted with the understanding that it will not be used to limit or interpret the scope or meaning of the claims. The following claims are hereby incorporated into the detailed description, with each claim standing on its own as a separate embodiment.


    Claims

    1. A method performed by an initiating station (101) for multiple-access beamforming, the method comprising:

    Announcing (802) a number of sector-sweep slots (304) of a beamforming training period (301) and a number of frames of each sector-sweep slot;

    receiving (804) reverse sector-sweep frames (404) from responding stations (102) within the sector-sweep slots of the beamforming training period; and

    transmitting (806) sector-sweep feedback frames (408) to the responding stations (102) within the sector-sweep slot to indicate to the responding stations (102) an antenna configuration for communication with the initiating station,

    wherein for multiple-access beamforming, the initiating station (101) is configured to receive at least two reverse sector-sweep frames (404) from two or more of the responding stations (102) within either a single sector-sweep slot (304) or separate sector-sweep slots of the beamforming training period (301).


     
    2. The method of claim 1, wherein the responding stations (102) are to limit a number of reverse sector-sweep frames (404) transmitted per sector-sweep slot (304) based on the number of sector-sweep frames announced by the initiating station (101); and
    wherein the responding stations (102) are to transmit any additional reverse sector-sweep frames (404) in subsequent sector-sweep slots (304) of the beamforming training period (301).
     
    3. The method of claim 2, wherein the antenna configuration indicated in the sector-sweep feedback frames (408) indicates a transmit sector for each of the responding stations (102) to use for communicating with the initiating station (101); and
    wherein each reverse sector-sweep frame (404) indicates an antenna configuration for the initiating station (101) to use for communicating with one of the responding stations (102); or
    wherein the initiating station (101) is a network coordinator for a millimeter-wave communication network,
    wherein the number of sector-sweep slots (404) per beamforming training period (301) and the number of sector-sweep frames per sector-sweep slot are announced in a beacon transmission of a current beacon interval; and
    wherein the beacon transmission comprises a sector sweep transmitted by the initiating station (101) for receipt by the responding stations (102); and optionally wherein the sector sweep comprises a sector-sweep or beacon frame transmitted in each of a plurality of antenna sectors of the initiating station (101) during the beacon transmission of the current beacon interval,
    wherein the responding stations (102) are to transmit one reverse sector-sweep frame (404) in each of their antenna sectors; and
    wherein the responding stations (102) are to remain in a receive mode to receive a sector-sweep feedback frame (408) from the initiating station (101).
     
    4. The method of claim 1, wherein the responding stations (102) are configured to:

    initiate a random backoff procedure at the start of the beamforming training period to determine which sector-sweep slot of the beamforming training period to begin transmissions of the reverse sector-sweep frames (404);

    limit the number of reverse sector-sweep frames (404) transmitted per sector-sweep slot as indicated by the initiating station (101) in the beacon transmission; and

    resume transmission of the reverse sector-sweep frames (404) at a start of a next sector-sweep slot within the current beamforming training period (301) when a responding station has additional reverse sector-sweep frames to transmit; optionally

    wherein when the responding stations (102) do not receive a sector-sweep feedback frame (408) from the initiating station (101) until completion of a reverse sector-sweep, the responding stations (102) are configured to:
    retransmit the reverse sector-sweep frames (404) within the beamforming training period of the current beacon interval; and
    initiate the random backoff procedure to determine which sector-sweep slot following the completion of a prior reverse sector sweep to begin retransmission of the reverse sector-sweep frames.


     
    5. The method of claim 1, further comprising scheduling time in the beacon interval for each of the responding stations (102) to complete beamforming, including performing a beamforming refinement phase within the current or next beacon interval; or
    further comprising sending more than a single sector- sweep feedback frame within a sector-sweep slot when there is time remaining in the sector-sweep slot.
     
    6. The method of claim 1 , wherein each sector-sweep slot (304) comprises a first duration for the number of sector-sweep frames per sector-sweep slot announced by the initiating station (101) and a second duration for a single sector-sweep feedback frame; optionally
    wherein each sector-sweep slot (304) further includes:

    propagation delay time to account for a propagation delay between the initiating station (101) and a responding station (102); and

    short interface space between the first duration and the second duration,

    wherein the first duration is a time duration for a responding station to transmit the predetermined number of reverse sector-sweep feedback frames (408) to the initiating station (101); and wherein the second duration is a time duration for the initiating station (101) to transmit at least the single sector- sweep feedback frame (408) to one of the responding stations (102).


     
    7. The method of claim 1, wherein each of the responding stations (102) are to transmit one reverse sector-sweep frame (404) within a first sector-sweep slot (304) of the beamforming training period (301) following the beacon transmission,
    wherein when a sector-sweep feedback frame (408) is not received until after completion of a reverse sector sweep, each responding station (102) is configured to:

    initiate a backoff procedure to determine a backoff period comprising a random number of sector-sweep slots to delay transmissions of additional sector-sweep frames within the beamforming training period (301); and

    switch to a receive mode to receive a sector-sweep feedback frame (408) at completion of the reverse sector- sweep frame (404); optionally

    wherein each of the responding stations (102) refrains from delaying transmissions of the additional reverse sector-sweep frames after the backoff period when a sector-sweep feedback frame is received during the backoff period; and

    wherein when remaining time in the beamforming training period (301) after the backoff period is less than a time for a sector-sweep frame and a sector-sweep feedback frame, each responding station is configured to remain in receive mode until an end of the beamforming training period.


     
    8. A millimeter- wave communication station (700) to operate as an initiating station (101) for performing multiple-access beamforming, the millimeter-wave communication station comprising:

    processing circuitry (704) to announce a number of sector-sweep slots (304) of a beamforming training period (301) and a number of sector-sweep frames of each sector-sweep slot;

    receiver circuitry (708) to receive reverse sector-sweep frames (404) from responding stations (102) within the sector-sweep slots of the beamforming training period; and

    transmitter circuitry (706) to transmit sector-sweep feedback frames (408) to the responding stations (102) within the sector-sweep slot (304) to indicate to the responding stations (102) an antenna configuration for communication with the initiating station (101);

    wherein for multiple-access beamforming, the receiver circuitry (708) is configured to receive at least two reverse sector-sweep frames (404) from two or more of the responding stations (102) within either a single sector-sweep slot or separate sector-sweep slots of the beamforming training period.


     
    9. The millimeter- wave communication station (700) of claim 8
    wherein the responding stations (102) are configured to limit a number of reverse sector-sweep frames (404) transmitted per sector-sweep slot (304) based on the number of sector-sweep frames announced by the initiating station (101); and
    wherein the responding stations (102) are configured to transmit any additional reverse sector-sweep frames (404) in subsequent sector-sweep slots of the beamforming training period.
     
    10. The millimeter- wave communication station (700) of claim 9, wherein the antenna configuration indicated in the sector-sweep feedback frames (408) indicates a transmit sector for each of the responding stations (102) to use for communicating with the initiating station (101); and wherein each reverse sector-sweep frame (404) indicates an antenna configuration for the initiating station (101) to use for communicating with one of the responding stations (102); or
    wherein the initiating station (101) is a network coordinator for a millimeter-wave communication network,
    wherein the number of sector-sweep slots per beamforming training period (301) and the number of sector-sweep frames per sector-sweep slot are announced in a beacon transmission of a current beacon interval; and
    wherein the beacon transmission comprises a sector sweep transmitted by the initiating station (101) for receipt by the responding stations (102).
     
    11. A millimeter- wave communication station (700) to operate as a responding station (102) for performing beamforming with an initiating station (101), the millimeter-wave communication station comprising:

    processing circuitry (704) to receive an announcement from the initiating station (101) announcing a number of sector-sweep slots (304) of a beamforming training period (301) and a number of sector-sweep frames of each sector-sweep slot;

    transmitter circuitry (706) to transmit reverse sector-sweep frames (404) to the initiation station (101) within the sector-sweep slots of the beamforming training period (301); and

    receiver circuitry (708) to receive sector-sweep feedback frames (408) within the sector-sweep slots indicating an antenna configuration to use for communicating with the initiating station (101), wherein the responding station (102) is to limit transmissions of reverse sector-sweep frames per sector-sweep slot based on the number of sector-sweep frames announced by the initiating station (101); and

    wherein the responding station (102) is to transmit any additional reverse sector-sweep frames in subsequent sector-sweep slots of the beamforming training period (301).


     
    12. The millimeter- wave communication station (700) of claim 11, wherein the processing circuitry (704) is configured to:

    initiate a random backoff procedure at the start of the beamforming training period (301) to determine which sector-sweep slot of the beamforming training period to begin transmissions of the reverse sector-sweep frames; and

    cause the transmitter circuitry (706) to resume transmission of the reverse sector-sweep frames (404) at a start of a next sector-sweep slot within the current beamforming training period when the responding station has additional sector-sweep frames to transmit.


     
    13. The millimeter- wave communication station (700) of claim 11, wherein when the responding station (102) does not receive a sector-sweep feedback frame (408) from the initiating station (101) until completion of a reverse sector-sweep:

    the transmitter circuitry (706) is to retransmit the reverse sector-sweep frames (404) with the beamforming training period of the current beacon interval; and

    the processing circuitry (704) is to initiate the random backoff procedure to determine, following the completion of a prior reverse sector-sweep, which sector-sweep slot to use for retransmission of the reverse sector-sweep frames; or

    wherein the antenna configuration indicated in the sector-sweep feedback frames (408) indicates a transmit sector for each of the responding stations to use for communicating with the initiating station; and

    wherein each sector-sweep frame transmitted by the responding station indicates an antenna configuration for the initiating station to use for communicating with the responding station.


     
    14. The millimeter- wave communication station of claim 11, the millimeter-wave communication stationwherein:

    the processing circuitry to initiate a random backoff procedure at a start of a beamforming training period to determine which sector-sweep slot of the beamforming training period to begin transmissions of a reverse sector-sweep frame, and to limit transmissions of reverse sector-sweep frames transmitted per sector-sweep slot as indicated by the initiating station (101); and

    the transmitter circuitry (706) to resume transmission of the reverse sector-sweep frames (404) at a start of a next sector-sweep slot (304) within the beamforming training period (301) when the responding station (102) has additional sector-sweep frames to transmit.


     
    15. The millimeter- wave communication station (700) of claim 14, wherein an antenna configuration indicated in the sector-sweep feedback frames (408) indicates a transmit sector for the responding station (102) to use for communicating with the initiating station (101); and
    wherein each sector-sweep frame transmitted by the responding station (102) indicates an antenna configuration for the initiating station (101) to use for communicating with the responding station (102); or
    wherein the announcement is received within a beacon transmission of a current beacon interval; and optionally wherein when the responding station does not receive a sector-sweep feedback frame from the initiating station until completion of a reverse sector-sweep:

    the transmitter circuitry (706) is to retransmit the sector-sweep frames within the beamforming training period of the current beacon interval; and

    the processing circuitry (704) is to initiate the random backoff procedure to determine, following the completion of a prior reverse sector-sweep, which sector-sweep slot to use for retransmission of the sector-sweep frames.


     


    Ansprüche

    1. Verfahren zur Mehrfachzugangsstrahlformung, das von einer einleitenden Station (101) durchgeführt wird, wobei das Verfahren umfasst:

    Ankündigen (802) einer Anzahl von Sektorabtastungsschlitzen (304) einer Strahlformungstrainingsperiode (301) und einer Anzahl von Rahmen jedes Sektorabtastungsschlitzes;

    Empfangen (804) von Rückwärts-Sektorabtastungsrahmen (404) von antwortenden Stationen (102) innerhalb der Sektorabtastungsschlitze der Strahlformungstrainingsperiode; und

    Senden (806) von Sektorabtastungsrückmelderahmen (408) an die antwortenden Stationen (102) innerhalb des Sektorabtastungsschlitzes, um den antwortenden Stationen (102) eine Antennenkonfiguration zur Kommunikation mit der einleitenden Station anzugeben,

    wobei die einleitende Station (101) so konfiguriert ist, dass sie zur Mehrfachzugangsstrahlformung mindestens zwei Rückwärts-Sektorabtastungsrahmen (404) von zwei oder mehreren der antwortenden Stationen (102) entweder innerhalb eines einzigen Sektorabtastungsschlitzes (304) oder getrennter Sektorabtastungsschlitze der Strahlformungstrainingsperiode (301) empfängt.


     
    2. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, wobei die antwortenden Stationen (101) zum Begrenzen einer Anzahl von Rückwärts-Sektorabtastungsrahmen (404), die pro Sektorabtastungsschlitz (304) gesendet werden, basierend auf der Anzahl von Sektorabtastungsrahmen sind, die durch die einleitende Station (101) angekündigt werden; und
    wobei die antwortenden Stationen (102) zum Senden beliebiger zusätzlicher Rückwärts-Sektorabtastungsrahmen (404) in nachfolgenden Sektorabtastungsschlitzen (304) der Strahlformungstrainingsperiode (301) sind.
     
    3. Verfahren nach Anspruch 2, wobei die in den Sektorabtastungsrückmelderahmen (408) angegebene Antennenkonfiguration einen Sendesektor für jede der antwortenden Stationen (102) zur Verwendung zum Kommunizieren mit der einleitenden Station (101) angibt; und
    wobei jeder Rückwärts-Sektorabtastungsrahmen (404) eine Antennenkonfiguration für die einleitende Station (101) zur Verwendung zum Kommunizieren mit einer der antwortenden Stationen (102) angibt; oder
    wobei die einleitende Station (101) ein Netzwerkkoordinator für ein Millimeterwellen-Kommunikationsnetzwerk ist,
    wobei die Anzahl von Sektorabtastungsschlitzen (404) pro Strahlformungstrainingsperiode (301) und die Anzahl von Sektorabtastungsrahmen pro Sektorabtastungsschlitz in einer Bakensignalübertragung eines aktuellen Bakensignalintervalls angekündigt werden; und
    wobei die Bakensignalübertragung eine Sektorabtastung umfasst, die von der einleitenden Station (101) zum Empfang durch die antwortenden Stationen (102) gesendet wird; und wobei die Sektorabtastung gegebenenfalls eine Sektorabtastung oder einen Bakensignalrahmen umfasst, die/der in jedem einer Mehrzahl von Antennensektoren der einleitenden Station (102) während der Bakensignalübertragung des aktuellen Bakensignalintervalls gesendet wird,
    wobei die antwortenden Stationen (102) zum Senden eines Rückwärts-Sektorabtastungsrahmens (404) in jedem ihrer Antennensektoren sind; und
    wobei die antwortenden Stationen (102) zum Bleiben in einem Empfangsmodus zum Empfangen eines Sektorabtastungsrückmelderahmens (408) von der einleitenden Station (101) sind.
     
    4. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, wobei die antwortenden Stationen (102) konfiguriert sind zum:

    Einleiten einer Random-Backoff-Prozedur zu Beginn der Strahlformungstrainingsperiode, um zu bestimmen, welcher Sektorabtastungsschlitz der Strahlformungstrainingsperiode mit Übertragungen der Rückwärts-Sektorabtastungsrahmen (404) beginnen soll;

    Begrenzen der Anzahl von Rückwärts-Sektorabtastungsrahmen (404), die pro Sektorabtastungsschlitz gesendet werden, wie durch die einleitende Station (101) in der Bakensignalübertragung angegeben; und

    Wiederaufnehmen der Übertragung der Rückwärts-Sektorabtastungsrahmen (404) zu Beginn eines nächsten Sektorabtastungsschlitzes innerhalb der aktuellen Strahlformungstrainingsperiode (301), wenn eine antwortende Station zusätzliche Rückwärts-Sektorabtastungsrahmen zum Senden aufweist; gegebenenfalls

    wobei die antwortenden Stationen (102) so konfiguriert sind, dass sie, wenn die antwortenden Stationen (102) bis zum Abschluss einer Rückwärts-Sektorabtastung keinen Sektorabtastungsrückmelderahmen (408) von der einleitenden Station (101) empfangen:

    die Rückwärts-Sektorabtastungsrahmen (404) innerhalb der Strahlformungstrainingsperiode des aktuellen Bakensignalintervalls erneut senden; und

    die Random-Backoff-Prozedur einleiten, um zu bestimmen, welcher Sektorabtastungsschlitz nach Abschluss einer vorherigen Rückwärts-Sektorabtastung mit der Neuübertragung der Rückwärts-Sektorabtastungsrahmen beginnen soll.


     
    5. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, ferner umfassend ein Planen von Zeit im Bakensignalintervall für jede der antwortenden Stationen (102) zum Abschließen von Strahlformung, umfassend ein Durchführen einer Strahlformungsverfeinerungsphase innerhalb des aktuellen oder nächsten Bakensignalintervalls; oder
    ferner umfassend ein Senden mehr als eines einzigen Sektorabtastungsrückmelderahmens innerhalb eines Sektorabtastungsschlitzes, wenn im Sektorabtastungsschlitz noch Zeit bleibt.
     
    6. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, wobei jeder Sektorabtastungsschlitz (304) eine erste Dauer für die Anzahl von Sektorabtastungsrahmen pro Sektorabtastungsschlitz, die durch die einleitende Station (101) angekündigt werden, und eine zweite Dauer für einen einzigen Sektorabtastungsrückmelderahmen umfasst; gegebenenfalls
    wobei jeder Sektorabtastungsschlitz (304) ferner umfasst:

    Ausbreitungsverzögerungszeit, die für eine Ausbreitungsverzögerung zwischen der einleitenden Station (101) und einer antwortenden Station (102) zu berücksichtigen ist; und

    einen kurzen Zwischenraum zwischen der ersten Dauer und der zweiten Dauer,

    wobei die erste Dauer eine Zeitdauer für eine antwortende Station zum Senden der vorbestimmten Anzahl von Rückwärts-Sektorabtastungsrückmelderahmen (408) an die einleitende Basisstation (101) ist; und wobei die zweite Dauer eine Zeitdauer für die einleitende Station (101) zum Senden mindestens des einzigen Sektorabtastungsrückmelderahmens (408) an eine der antwortenden Stationen (102) ist.


     
    7. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, wobei jede der antwortenden Stationen (102) zum Senden eines Rückwärts-Sektorabtastungsrahmens (404) innerhalb eines ersten Sektorabtastungsschlitzes (304) der Strahlformungstrainingsperiode (301) nach der Bakensignalübertragung ist,
    wobei jede antwortende Station (102) so konfiguriert ist, dass sie, wenn bis nach Abschluss einer Rückwärts-Sektorabtastung kein Sektorabtastungsrückmelderahmen (408) empfangen wird:

    eine Backoff-Prozedur zum Bestimmen einer Backoff-Periode einleitet, die eine beliebige Anzahl von Sektorabtastungsschlitzen umfasst, um Übertragungen von zusätzlichen Sektorabtastungsrahmen innerhalb der Strahlformungstrainingsperiode (301) zu verzögern; und

    bei Abschluss der Rückwärts-Sektorabtastung (404) in einen Empfangsmodus zum Empfangen eines Sektorabtastungsrückmelderahmens (408) schaltet; gegebenenfalls

    wobei jede der antwortenden Stationen (102) Verzögern von Übertragungen der zusätzlichen Rückwärts-Sektorabtastungsrahmen nach der Backoff-Periode unterlässt, wenn ein Sektorabtastungsrückmelderahmen während der Backoff-Periode empfangen wird; und

    wobei jede antwortende Station so konfiguriert ist, dass sie bis zu einem Ende der Strahlformungstrainingsperiode im Empfangsmodus bleibt, wenn eine verbleibende Zeit in der Strahlformungstrainingsperiode (301) nach der Backoff-Periode kürzer als eine Zeit für einen Sektorabtastungsrahmen und einen Sektorabtastungsrückmelderahmen ist.


     
    8. Millimeterwellen-Kommunikationsstation (700), die als eine einleitende Station (101) zum Durchführen von Mehrfachzugangsstrahlformung fungiert, wobei die Millimeterwellen-Kommunikationsvorrichtung umfasst:

    Verarbeitungsschaltungsanordnung (704) zum Ankündigen einer Anzahl von Sektorabtastungsschlitzen (304) einer Strahlformungstrainingsperiode (301) und einer Anzahl von Sektorabtastungsrahmen jedes Sektorabtastungsschlitzes;

    Empfängerschaltungsanordnung (708) zum Empfangen von Rückwärts-Sektorabtastungsrahmen (404) von antwortenden Stationen (102) innerhalb der Sektorabtastungsschlitze der Strahlformungstrainingsperiode; und

    Senderschaltungsanordnung (706) zum Senden von Sektorabtastungsrückmelderahmen (408) an die antwortenden Stationen (102) innerhalb des Sektorabtastungsschlitzes (304), um den antwortenden Stationen (102) eine Antennenkonfiguration zur Kommunikation mit der einleitenden Station (101) anzugeben;

    wobei die Empfängerschaltungsanordnung (708) so konfiguriert ist, dass sie zur Mehrfachzugangsstrahlformung mindestens zwei Rückwärts-Sektorabtastungsrahmen (404) von zwei oder mehr antwortenden Stationen (102) entweder innerhalb eines einzigen Sektorabtastungsschlitzes oder getrennter Sektorabtastungsschlitze der Strahlformungstrainingsperiode empfängt.


     
    9. Millimeterwellen-Kommunikationsstation (700) nach Anspruch 8,
    wobei die antwortenden Stationen (102) so konfiguriert sind, dass sie eine Anzahl von Rückwärts-Sektorabtastungsrahmen (404), die pro Sektorabtastungsschlitz (304) gesendet werden, basierend auf der Anzahl von Sektorabtastungsrahmen begrenzen, die durch die einleitende Station (101) angekündigt werden; und
    wobei die antwortenden Stationen (102) so konfiguriert sind, dass sie beliebige zusätzliche Rückwärts-Sektorabtastungsrahmen (404) in nachfolgenden Sektorabtastungsschlitzen der Strahlformungstrainingsperiode senden.
     
    10. Millimeterwellen-Kommunikationsstation (700) nach Anspruch 9, wobei die in den Sektorabtastungsrückmelderahmen (408) angegebene Antennenkonfiguration einen Sendesektor für jede der antwortenden Stationen (102) zur Verwendung zum Kommunizieren mit der einleitenden Station (101) angibt; und wobei jeder Rückwärts-Sektorabtastungsrahmen (404) eine Antennenkonfiguration für die einleitende Station (101) zur Verwendung zum Kommunizieren mit einer der antwortenden Stationen (102) angibt; oder
    wobei die einleitende Station (101) ein Netzwerkkoordinator für ein Millimeterwellen-Kommunikationsnetzwerk ist,
    wobei die Anzahl von Sektorabtastungsschlitzen pro Strahlformungstrainingsperiode (301) und die Anzahl von Sektorabtastungsrahmen pro Sektorabtastungsschlitz in einer Bakensignalübertragung eines aktuellen Bakensignalintervalls angekündigt werden; und
    wobei die Bakensignalübertragung eine Sektorabtastung umfasst, die von der einleitenden Station (101) zum Empfang durch die antwortenden Stationen (102) gesendet wird.
     
    11. Millimeterwellen-Kommunikationsstation (700), die als eine antwortende Station (102) zum Durchführen von Mehrfachzugangsstrahlformung mit einer einleitenden Station (101) fungiert, wobei die Millimeterwellen-Kommunikationsvorrichtung umfasst:

    Verarbeitungsschaltungsanordnung (704) zum Empfangen einer Ankündigung von der einleitenden Station (101) einer Anzahl von Sektorabtastungsschlitzen (304) einer Strahlformungstrainingsperiode (301) und einer Anzahl von Sektorabtastungsrahmen jedes Sektorabtastungsschlitzes;

    Senderschaltungsanordnung (706) zum Senden von Rückwärts-Sektorabtastungsrahmen (404) an die einleitende Station (101) innerhalb der Sektorabtastungsschlitze der Strahlformungstrainingsperiode (301); und

    Empfängerschaltungsanordnung (708) zum Empfangen von Sektorabtastungsrückmelderahmen (408) innerhalb der Sektorabtastungsschlitze, die eine Antennenkonfiguration zur Verwendung zum Kommunizieren mit der einleitenden Station (101) angeben, wobei die antwortende Station (102) zum Begrenzen von Übertragungen von Rückwärts-Sektorabtastungsrahmen pro Sektorabtastungsschlitz basierend auf der durch einleitende Station (101) angekündigten Anzahl von Sektorabtastungsrahmen ist; und

    wobei die antwortende Station (102) zum Senden beliebiger zusätzlicher Rückwärts-Sektorabtastungsrahmen in nachfolgenden Sektorabtastungsschlitzen der Strahlformungstrainingsperiode (301) ist.


     
    12. Millimeterwellen-Kommunikationsstation nach Anspruch 11, wobei die Verarbeitungsschaltungsanordnung (704) konfiguriert ist zum:

    Einleiten einer Random-Backoff-Prozedur zu Beginn der Strahlformungstrainingsperiode (301), um zu bestimmen, welcher Sektorabtastungsschlitz der Strahlformungstrainingsperiode mit Übertragungen der Rückwärts-Sektorabtastungsrahmen beginnen soll; und

    Veranlassen der Senderschaltungsanordnung (706), die Übertragung der Rückwärts-Sektorabtastungsrahmen (404) zu Beginn eines nächsten Sektorabtastungsschlitzes innerhalb der aktuellen Strahlformungstrainingsperiode wiederaufzunehmen, wenn die antwortende Station zusätzliche Sektorabtastungsrahmen zum Senden aufweist.


     
    13. Millimeterwellen-Kommunikationsstation (700) nach Anspruch 11, wobei, wenn die antwortende Station (102) bis zum Abschluss einer Rückwärts-Sektorabtastung keinen Sektorabtastungsrückmelderahmen (408) von der einleitenden Station (101) empfängt:

    die Senderschaltungsanordnung (706) zum erneuten Senden der Rückwärts-Sektorabtastungsrahmen (404) innerhalb der Strahlformungstrainingsperiode des aktuellen Bakensignalintervalls ist; und

    die Verarbeitungsschaltungsanordnung (704) zum Einleiten der Random-Backoff-Prozedur ist, um nach Abschluss einer vorherigen Rückwärts-Sektorabtastung zu bestimmen, welcher Sektorabtastungsschlitz für Neuübertragung der Rückwärts-Sektorabtastungsrahmen verwendet werden soll; oder

    wobei die in den Sektorabtastungsrückmelderahmen (408) angegebene Antennenkonfiguration einen Sendesektor für jede der antwortenden Stationen zur Verwendung zum Kommunizieren mit der einleitenden Station angibt; und

    wobei jeder Sektorabtastungsrahmen, der durch die antwortende Station gesendet wird, eine Antennenkonfiguration für die einleitende Station zur Verwendung zum Kommunizieren mit einer der antwortenden Stationen angibt.


     
    14. Millimeterwellen-Kommunikationsstation (700) nach Anspruch 11, die Millimeterwellen-Kommunikationsstation, wobei:

    die Verarbeitungsschaltungsanordnung zum Einleiten einer Random-Backoff-Prozedur zu Beginn einer Strahlformungstrainingsperiode, um zu bestimmen, welcher Sektorabtastungsschlitz der Strahlformungsperiode mit Übertragungen eines Rückwärts-Sektorabtastungsrahmens beginnen soll, und Begrenzen von Übertragungen von Rückwärts-Sektorabtastungsrahmen ist, die pro Sektorabtastungsschlitz gesendet werden, wie durch die einleitende Stationen (101) angegeben; und

    die Senderschaltungsanordnung (706) zum Wiederaufnehmen der Übertragung der Rückwärts-Sektorabtastungsrahmen (404) bei einem Beginn eines nächsten Sektorabtastungsschlitzes (304) innerhalb der Strahlformungstrainingsperiode (301) ist, wenn die antwortende Station (102) zusätzliche Sektorabtastungsrahmen zum Senden aufweist.


     
    15. Millimeterwellen-Kommunikationsstation (700) nach Anspruch 14, wobei eine in den Sektorabtastungsrückmelderahmen (408) angegebene Antennenkonfiguration einen Sendesektor für die antwortende Station (102) zur Verwendung zum Kommunizieren mit der einleitenden Station (101) angibt; und
    wobei jeder Sektorabtastungsrahmen, der durch die antwortende Station (102) gesendet wird, eine Antennenkonfiguration für die einleitende Station (101) zur Verwendung zum Kommunizieren mit der antwortenden Stationen (102) angibt; oder
    wobei die Ankündigung innerhalb einer Bakensignalübertragung eines aktuellen Bakensignalintervalls empfangen wird; und wobei gegebenenfalls, wenn die antwortende Station bis zum Abschluss einer Rückwärts-Sektorabtastung keinen Sektorabtastungsrückmelderahmen von der einleitenden Station empfängt:

    die Senderschaltungsanordnung (706) zum erneuten Senden der Sektorabtastungsrahmen innerhalb der Strahlformungstrainingsperiode des aktuellen Bakensignalintervalls ist; und

    die Verarbeitungsschaltungsanordnung (704) zum Einleiten der Random-Backoff-Prozedur ist, um nach Abschluss einer vorherigen Rückwärts-Sektorabtastung zu bestimmen, welcher Sektorabtastungsschlitz zur Neuübertragung der Sektorabtastungsrahmen verwendet werden soll.


     


    Revendications

    1. Procédé exécuté par une station initiatrice (101) pour former des faisceaux à accès multiple, le procédé comprenant les étapes suivantes :

    annoncer (802) un certain nombre d'intervalles de balayage de secteur (304) d'une période d'apprentissage de formation de faisceaux (301) et un certain nombre de trames de chaque intervalle de balayage de secteur ;

    recevoir (804) des trames de balayage de secteur inverse (404) provenant des stations répondantes (102) à l'intérieur des intervalles de balayage de secteur de la période d'apprentissage de formation de faisceaux ; et

    transmettre (806) des trames de rétroaction de balayage de secteur (408) aux stations répondantes (102) à l'intérieur de l'intervalle de balayage de secteur pour indiquer aux stations répondantes (102) une configuration d'antenne pour communiquer avec la station initiatrice,

    où, pour la formation de faisceaux à accès multiple, la station initiatrice (101) est configurée pour recevoir au moins deux trames de balayage de secteur inverse (404) provenant de deux, ou plus, des stations répondantes (102) dans soit un seul intervalle de balayage de secteur (304), soit des intervalles de balayage de secteur séparés de la période d'apprentissage de formation de faisceaux (301).


     
    2. Procédé selon la revendication 1, dans lequel les stations répondantes (102) doivent limiter un nombre de trames de balayage de secteur inverse (404) transmises par intervalle de balayage de secteur (304) sur la base du nombre de trames de balayage de secteur annoncé par la station initiatrice (101) ; et
    où les stations répondantes (102) doivent transmettre toutes les trames de balayage de secteur inverse supplémentaires (404) quelles qu'elles soient dans des intervalles de balayage de secteur subséquents (304) de la période d'apprentissage de formation de faisceaux (301) .
     
    3. Procédé selon la revendication 2, dans lequel la configuration d'antenne indiquée dans les trames de rétroaction de balayage de secteur (408) indique un secteur d'émission pour chacune des stations répondantes (102) à utiliser pour communiquer avec la station initiatrice (101) ; et
    où chaque trame de balayage de secteur inverse (404) indique une configuration d'antenne pour la station initiatrice (101) à utiliser pour communiquer avec l'une des stations répondantes (102) ; ou
    où la station initiatrice (101) est un coordinateur de réseau pour un réseau de communication à ondes millimétriques,
    où le nombre d'intervalles de balayage de secteur (404) par période d'apprentissage de formation de faisceaux (301) et le nombre de trames de balayage de secteur par intervalle de balayage de secteur sont annoncés dans une transmission de balise d'un intervalle de balise en cours ; et
    où la transmission de balise comprend un balayage de secteur transmis par la station initiatrice (101) pour réception par les stations répondantes (102) ; et, facultativement, où le balayage de secteur comprend une trame de balayage de secteur ou une trame de balise transmise dans chacun d'une pluralité de secteurs d'antenne de la station initiatrice (101) au cours de la transmission de balise de l'intervalle de balise courant,
    où les stations répondantes (102) doivent transmettre une trame de balayage de secteur inverse (404) dans chacun de leurs secteurs d'antenne ; et
    où les stations répondantes (102) doivent rester dans un mode de réception pour recevoir une trame de rétroaction de balayage de secteur (408) de la station initiatrice (101).
     
    4. Procédé selon la revendication 1, dans lequel les stations répondantes (102) sont configurées pour :

    initier une procédure de réduction de puissance aléatoire au début de la période d'apprentissage de formation de faisceaux afin de déterminer quel intervalle de balayage de secteur de la période d'apprentissage de formation de faisceaux doit commencer les transmissions des trames de balayage de secteur inverse (404) ;

    limiter le nombre de trames de balayage de secteur inverse (404) transmises par intervalle de balayage de secteur, tel qu'indiqué par la station initiatrice (101) dans la transmission de la balise ; et

    reprendre la transmission des trames de balayage de secteur inverse (404) au début d'un intervalle de balayage de secteur suivant dans la période d'apprentissage de formation de faisceaux en cours (301) lorsqu'une station répondante a des trames de balayage de secteur inverse supplémentaires à transmettre ; éventuellement

    où, lorsque les stations répondantes (102) ne reçoivent pas de trame de rétroaction de balayage de secteur (408) de la station initiatrice (101) avant la fin d'un balayage de secteur inverse, les stations répondantes (102) sont configurées pour :

    retransmettre les trames de balayage de secteur inverse (404) pendant la période d'apprentissage de formation de faisceaux de l'intervalle de balise actuel ; et

    initier la procédure de réduction de puissance aléatoire afin de déterminer quel intervalle de balayage de secteur à la suite de l'achèvement d'un balayage de secteur inverse antérieur doit commencer la retransmission des trames de balayage de secteur inverse.


     
    5. Procédé selon la revendication 1, comprenant en outre l'ordonnancement du temps dans l'intervalle de balise pour chacune des stations répondantes (102) pour achever la formation de faisceaux, dont l'exécution d'une phase d'amélioration de formation de faisceaux dans l'intervalle de balise courant ou suivant ; ou comprenant en outre l'envoi de plus d'une seule trame de rétroaction de balayage de secteur à l'intérieur d'un intervalle de balayage de secteur lorsqu'il reste du temps dans l'intervalle de balayage de secteur.
     
    6. Procédé selon la revendication 1, dans lequel chaque intervalle de balayage de secteur (304) comprend une première durée pour le nombre de trames de balayage de secteur par intervalle de balayage de secteur annoncé par la station initiatrice (101) et une seconde durée pour une seule trame de rétroaction de balayage de secteur ; facultativement
    où chaque intervalle de balayage de secteur (304) comprend en outre :

    le temps de retard de propagation pour tenir compte d'un retard de propagation entre la station initiatrice (101) et une station répondante (102) ; et

    un court espace d'interface entre la première durée et la seconde durée,

    où la première durée est la durée requise pour qu'une station répondante transmette le nombre prédéterminé de trames de rétroaction de balayage de secteur inverse (408) à la station initiatrice (101) ; et où la seconde durée est la durée requise pour que la station initiatrice (101) transmette au moins la trame de rétroaction de balayage de secteur unique (408) à une des stations répondantes (102).


     
    7. Procédé selon la revendication 1, dans lequel chacune des stations répondantes (102) doit transmettre une trame de balayage de secteur inverse (404) dans un premier intervalle de balayage de secteur (304) de la période d'apprentissage de formation de faisceaux (301) qui suit la transmission de la balise,
    où, lorsqu'une trame de rétroaction de balayage de secteur (408) n'est pas reçue avant l'achèvement d'un balayage de secteur inverse, chaque station répondante (102) est configurée pour :

    initier une procédure de réduction de puissance pour déterminer une période de réduction de puissance comprenant un nombre aléatoire d'intervalles de balayage de secteur afin de retarder les transmissions de trames de balayage de secteur supplémentaires pendant la période d'apprentissage de formation de faisceaux (301) ; et

    basculer dans un mode de réception pour recevoir une trame de rétroaction de balayage de secteur (408) à la fin de la trame de rétroaction de balayage de secteur inverse (404) ; facultativement

    où chacune des stations répondantes (102) s'abstient de retarder les transmissions des trames de balayage de secteur inverse supplémentaires après la période de réduction de puissance lorsqu'une trame de rétroaction de balayage de secteur est reçue au cours de la période de réduction de puissance ; et

    où, lorsque le temps restant dans la période d'apprentissage de formation de faisceaux (301) après la période réduction de puissance est inférieur à un temps pour une trame de balayage de secteur et une trame de rétroaction de balayage de secteur, chaque station répondante est configurée pour rester en mode réception jusqu'à la fin de la période d'apprentissage de formation de faisceaux.


     
    8. Station de communication à ondes millimétriques (700) destinée à fonctionner en tant que station initiatrice (101) pour procéder à une formation de faisceaux à accès multiple, la station de communication à ondes millimétriques comprenant :

    des circuits de traitement (704) pour annoncer un certain nombre d'intervalles de balayage de secteur (304) d'une période d'apprentissage de formation de faisceaux (301) et un certain nombre de trames de balayage de secteur de chaque intervalle de balayage de secteur ;

    des circuits récepteurs (708) pour recevoir des trames de balayage de secteur inverse (404) provenant des stations répondantes (102) à l'intérieur des intervalles de balayage de secteur de la période d'apprentissage de formation de faisceaux ; et

    des circuits émetteurs (706) pour transmettre des trames de rétroaction de balayage de secteur (408) aux stations répondantes (102) à l'intérieur de l'intervalle de balayage de secteur (304) pour indiquer aux stations répondantes (102) une configuration d'antenne pour communiquer avec la station initiatrice (101) ;

    où, pour la formation de faisceaux à accès multiple, les circuits récepteurs (708) sont configurés pour recevoir au moins deux trames de balayage de secteur inverse (404) provenant de deux, ou plus, des stations répondantes (102) dans soit un seul intervalle de balayage de secteur, soit des intervalles de balayage de secteur séparés de la période d'apprentissage de formation de faisceaux.


     
    9. Station de communication à ondes millimétriques (700) selon la revendication 8,
    dans laquelle les stations répondantes (102) sont configurées pour limiter le nombre de trames de balayage de secteur inverse (404) transmises par intervalle de balayage de secteur (304) sur la base du nombre de trames de balayage de secteur annoncé par la station initiatrice (101) ; et
    où les stations répondantes (102) sont configurées pour transmettre toutes les trames de balayage de secteur inverse supplémentaires (404) quelles qu'elles soient dans des intervalles de balayage de secteur subséquents de la période d'apprentissage de formation de faisceaux.
     
    10. Station de communication à ondes millimétriques (700) selon la revendication 9, dans laquelle la configuration d'antenne indiquée dans les trames de rétroaction de balayage de secteur (408) indique un secteur d'émission pour chacune des stations répondantes (102) à utiliser pour communiquer avec la station initiatrice (101) ; et où chaque trame de balayage de secteur inverse (404) indique une configuration d'antenne pour la station initiatrice (101) à utiliser pour communiquer avec l'une des stations répondantes (102) ; ou
    où la station initiatrice (101) est un coordinateur de réseau pour un réseau de communication à ondes millimétriques,
    où le nombre d'intervalles de balayage de secteur par période d'apprentissage de formation de faisceaux (301) et le nombre de trames de balayage de secteur par intervalle de balayage de secteur sont annoncés dans une transmission de balise d'un intervalle de balise en cours ; et
    où la transmission de balise comprend un balayage de secteur transmis par la station initiatrice (101) pour réception par les stations répondantes (102).
     
    11. Station de communication à ondes millimétriques (700) destinée à fonctionner en tant que station répondante (102) pour procéder à une formation de faisceaux avec une station initiatrice (101), la station de communication à ondes millimétriques comprenant :

    des circuits de traitement (704) pour recevoir une annonce de la station initiatrice (101) annonçant un certain nombre d'intervalles de balayage de secteur (304) d'une période d'apprentissage de formation de faisceaux (301) et un certain nombre de trames de balayage de secteur de chaque intervalle de balayage de secteur ;

    des circuits émetteurs (706) pour transmettre des trames de balayage de secteur inverse (404) à la station initiatrice (101) à l'intérieur des intervalles de balayage de secteur de la période d'apprentissage de formation de faisceaux (301) ; et

    des circuits récepteurs (708) pour recevoir des trames de rétroaction de balayage de secteur (408) à l'intérieur des intervalles de balayage de secteur indiquant une configuration d'antenne à utiliser pour communiquer avec la station initiatrice (101), où la station répondante (102) doit limiter les transmissions de trames de balayage de secteur inverse par intervalle de balayage de secteur sur la base du nombre de trames de balayage de secteur annoncé par la station initiatrice (101) ; et

    où la station répondante (102) est destinée à transmettre toutes les trames de balayage de secteur inverse supplémentaires quelles qu'elles soient dans des intervalles de balayage de secteur subséquents de la période d'apprentissage de formation de faisceaux (301) .


     
    12. Station de communication à ondes millimétriques (700) selon la revendication 11, dans laquelle les circuits de traitement (704) sont configurés pour :

    initier une procédure de réduction de puissance aléatoire au début de la période d'apprentissage de formation de faisceaux (301) afin de déterminer quel intervalle de balayage de secteur de la période d'apprentissage de formation de faisceaux doit commencer les transmissions des trames de balayage de secteur inverse ; et

    amener les circuits émetteurs (706) à reprendre la transmission des trames de balayage de secteur inverse (404) au début d'un intervalle de balayage de secteur qui suit dans la période d'apprentissage de formation de faisceaux en cours lorsque la station répondante a des trames de balayage de secteur supplémentaires à transmettre.


     
    13. Station de communication à ondes millimétriques (700) selon la revendication 11, dans laquelle, lorsque la station répondante (102) ne reçoit pas de trame de rétroaction de balayage de secteur (408) de la station initiatrice (101) avant l'achèvement d'un balayage de secteur inverse :

    les circuits émetteurs (706) doivent retransmettre les trames de balayage de secteur inverse (404) avec la période d'apprentissage de formation de faisceaux de l'intervalle de balise courant ; et

    les circuits de traitement (704) doivent lancer la procédure de réduction de puissance aléatoire pour déterminer, après l'achèvement d'un balayage de secteur inverse antérieur, quel intervalle de balayage de secteur utiliser pour la retransmission des trames de balayage de secteur inverse ; ou

    où la configuration d'antenne indiquée dans les trames de rétroaction de balayage de secteur (408) indique un secteur d'émission pour chacune des stations répondantes à utiliser pour communiquer avec la station initiatrice ; et

    où chaque trame de balayage de secteur transmise par la station répondante indique une configuration d'antenne pour la station initiatrice à utiliser pour communiquer avec la station répondante.


     
    14. Station de communication à ondes millimétriques selon la revendication 11, station de communication à ondes millimétriques dans laquelle :

    les circuits de traitement initient une procédure de réduction de puissance aléatoire au début d'une période d'apprentissage de formation de faisceaux afin de déterminer quel intervalle de balayage de secteur de la période d'apprentissage de formation de faisceaux doit commencer la transmission d'une trame de balayage de secteur inverse, et pour limiter les transmissions de trames de balayage de secteur inverse transmises par intervalle de balayage de secteur comme indiqué par la station initiatrice (101) ; et

    les circuits émetteurs (706) reprennent la transmission des trames de balayage de secteur inverse (404) au début d'un intervalle de balayage de secteur suivant (304) pendant la période d'apprentissage de formation de faisceaux (301) lorsque la station répondante (102) a des trames de balayage de secteur supplémentaires à transmettre.


     
    15. Station de communication à ondes millimétriques (700) selon la revendication 14, dans laquelle une configuration d'antenne indiquée dans les trames de rétroaction de balayage de secteur (408) indique un secteur d'émission pour la station répondante (102) à utiliser pour communiquer avec la station initiatrice (101) ; et
    où chaque trame de balayage de secteur transmise par la station répondante (102) indique une configuration d'antenne pour la station initiatrice (101) à utiliser pour communiquer avec la station répondante (102) ; ou où l'annonce est reçue à l'intérieur d'une transmission de balise d'un intervalle de balise courant ; et, facultativement, où, lorsque la station répondante ne reçoit pas de trame de rétroaction de balayage de secteur de la station initiatrice avant l'achèvement d'un balayage de secteur inverse :

    les circuits émetteurs (706) doivent retransmettre les trames de balayage de secteur pendant la période d'apprentissage de formation de faisceaux de l'intervalle de balise en cours ; et

    les circuits de traitement (704) doivent initier la procédure de réduction de puissance aléatoire pour déterminer, après l'achèvement d'un balayage de secteur inverse antérieur, quel intervalle de balayage de secteur utiliser pour la retransmission des trames de balayage de secteur.


     




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    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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    Patent documents cited in the description