(19)
(11)EP 2 514 223 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
26.06.2019 Bulletin 2019/26

(21)Application number: 10842399.7

(22)Date of filing:  28.10.2010
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
H04W 4/08(2009.01)
H04W 52/02(2009.01)
H04W 72/10(2009.01)
H04W 88/02(2009.01)
H04L 12/64(2006.01)
H04W 28/02(2009.01)
H04W 72/04(2009.01)
H04W 72/12(2009.01)
H04W 92/18(2009.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/US2010/054461
(87)International publication number:
WO 2011/084211 (14.07.2011 Gazette  2011/28)

(54)

DEVICE, SYSTEM AND METHOD OF SIMULTANEOUSLY COMMUNICATING WITH A GROUP OF WIRELESS COMMUNICATION UNITS

VORRICHTUNG, SYSTEM UND VERFAHREN FÜR SIMULTANE KOMMUNIKATION MIT EINER GRUPPE DRAHTLOSER KOMMUNIKATIONSEINHEITEN

DISPOSITIF, SYSTÈME ET PROCÉDÉ DE COMMUNICATION SIMULTANÉE AVEC UN GROUPE D'UNITÉS DE COMMUNICATION SANS FIL


(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 RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 16.12.2009 US 639061

(43)Date of publication of application:
24.10.2012 Bulletin 2012/43

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

(72)Inventors:
  • GONG, Michelle, X.
    Sunnyvale, California 94087 (US)
  • STACEY, Robert, J.
    Portland, OR 97210 (US)

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


(56)References cited: : 
WO-A2-2007/074452
US-A1- 2005 047 384
US-A1- 2007 149 236
US-A1- 2009 073 954
KR-A- 20090 072 135
US-A1- 2006 164 969
US-A1- 2007 274 256
  
      
    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

    BACKGROUND



    [0001] A Spatial Division Multiple Access (SDMA) communication technique may be implemented for communicating between a wireless communication device and a plurality of other wireless communication devices. The wireless communication device may transmit a downlink SDMA transmission by transmitting different signals substantially simultaneously via a combination of antennas. The combined transmitted signals may result in different signals, which are to be received by the plurality of other wireless communication devices, being transmitted substantially in different directions on the same frequency.

    [0002] The wireless communication device may receive an uplink SDMA transmission including different signals from the plurality of other wireless communication devices.
    US 2006/164969 A1 discloses the use of a space division multiple access (SDMA) compatible multibeam antenna system by a wireless local area network (WLAN) access point.
    US 2005/047384 A1 discloses WLAN communication including receiving uplink signals from a plurality of WLAN stations and responsively selecting a set of stations in a spatial multiplexing group. Downlink signals are transmitted simultaneously to stations in the set using spatial division multiplexing.
    WO 2007/074452 A2 discloses a system for performing simultaneous downlink transmission using SDMA to a plurality of wireless stations in a WLAN. A set of wireless stations are selected according to ranking criteria and the wireless medium is reserved for a sufficient duration to complete simultaneous downlink transmission to the wireless stations of the set.

    [0003] The present invention is defined by the subject matter of the appended independent claims.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0004] For simplicity and clarity of illustration, elements shown in the figures have not necessarily been drawn to scale. For example, the dimensions of some of the elements may be exaggerated relative to other elements for clarity of presentation. Furthermore, reference numerals may be repeated among the figures to indicate corresponding or analogous elements. The figures are listed below.

    Fig. 1 is a schematic block diagram illustration of a system, in accordance with some demonstrative embodiments.

    Fig. 2 is a schematic illustration of components of a group allocation frame, in accordance with some demonstrative embodiments.

    Fig. 3 is a schematic flow-chart illustration of a method of simultaneously communicating with a group of wireless communication devices, in accordance with some demonstrative embodiments.

    Fig. 4 is a schematic illustration of an article of manufacture, in accordance with some demonstrative embodiments.


    DETAILED DESCRIPTION



    [0005] In the following detailed description, numerous specific details are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of some embodiments. However, it will be understood by persons of ordinary skill in the art that some embodiments may be practiced
    without these specific details. In other instances, well-known methods, procedures, components, units and/or circuits have not been described in detail so as not to obscure the discussion.

    [0006] Discussions herein utilizing terms such as, for example, "processing", "computing", "calculating", "determining", "establishing", "analyzing", "checking", or the like, may refer to operation(s) and/or process(es) of a computer, a computing platform, a computing system, or other electronic computing device, that manipulate and/or transform data represented as physical (e.g., electronic) quantities within the computer's registers and/or memories into other data similarly represented as physical quantities within the computer's registers and/or memories or other information storage medium that may store instructions to perform operations and/or processes.

    [0007] The terms "power save" and "power save mode" as used herein may refer, for example, to reducing, diminishing, shutting down, powering off, turning off and/or switching off the electrical current to a device and/or component, and/or to switching the device and/or component to operate at a sleep mode, a reduced-power mode, a stand-by mode, an idle mode and/or any other operation mode, which consumes less power than required for full and/or normal operation of the device and/or component, e.g., for full reception, handling, decoding, transmitting and/or processing of wireless communication signals.

    [0008] The terms "regular power" and "regular power mode" as used herein may refer, for example, to any operating mode enabling full reception and/or normal operation of a device and/or component, e.g., for full reception, handling, decoding, transmitting and/or processing of wireless communication signals.

    [0009] Some embodiments may be used in conjunction with various devices and systems, for example, a Personal Computer (PC), a desktop computer, a mobile computer, a laptop computer, a notebook computer, a tablet computer, a server computer, a handheld computer, a handheld device, a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) device, a handheld PDA device, an on-board device, an off-board device, a hybrid device, a vehicular device, a non-vehicular device, a mobile or portable device, a consumer device, a non-mobile or non-portable device, a wireless communication station, a wireless communication device, a wireless Access Point (AP), a wired or wireless router, a wired or wireless modem, a video device, an audio device, an audio-video (A/V) device, a Set-Top-Box (STB), a Bluray disc (BD) player, a BD recorder, a Digital Video Disc (DVD) player, a High Definition (HD) DVD player, a DVD recorder, a HD DVD recorder, a Personal Video Recorder (PVR), a broadcast HD receiver, a video source, an audio source, a video sink, an audio sink, a stereo tuner, a broadcast radio receiver, a flat panel display, a Personal Media Player (PMP), a digital video camera (DVC), a digital audio player, a speaker, an audio receiver, an audio amplifier, a gaming device, a data source, a data sink, a Digital Still camera (DSC), a wired or wireless network, a wireless area network, a Wireless Video Area Network (WVAN), a Local Area Network (LAN), a Wireless LAN (WLAN), a Personal Area Network (PAN), a Wireless PAN (WPAN), devices and/or networks operating in accordance with existing IEEE 802.11 (IEEE 802.11-1999: Wireless LAN Medium Access Control (MAC) and Physical Layer (PHY) Specifications), 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802. 11h, 802.11j, 802.11n, 802.16, 802.16d, 802.16e, 802.16f, standards ("the IEEE 802 standards") and/or future versions and/or derivatives thereof, devices and/or networks operating in accordance with existing Wireless-Gigabit-Alliance (WGA) and/or WirelessHD™ specifications and/or future versions and/or derivatives thereof, units and/or devices which are part of the above networks, one way and/or two-way radio communication systems, cellular radio-telephone communication systems, a cellular telephone, a wireless telephone, a Personal Communication Systems (PCS) device, a PDA device which incorporates a wireless communication device, a mobile or portable Global Positioning System (GPS) device, a device which incorporates a GPS receiver or transceiver or chip, a device which incorporates an RFID element or chip, a Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) transceiver or device, a Single Input Multiple Output (SIMO) transceiver or device, a Multiple Input Single Output (MISO) transceiver or device, a device having one or more internal antennas and/or external antennas, Digital Video Broadcast (DVB) devices or systems, multi-standard radio devices or systems, a wired or wireless handheld device (e.g., BlackBerry, Palm Treo), a Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) device, or the like.

    [0010] Some embodiments may be used in conjunction with one or more types of wireless communication signals and/or systems, for example, Radio Frequency (RF), Infra Red (IR), Frequency-Division Multiplexing (FDM), Orthogonal FDM (OFDM), Time-Division Multiplexing (TDM), Time-Division Multiple Access (TDMA), Extended TDMA (E-TDMA), General Packet Radio Service (GPRS), extended GPRS, Code-Division Multiple Access (CDMA), Wideband CDMA (WCDMA), CDMA 2000, single-carrier CDMA, multi-carrier CDMA, Multi-Carrier Modulation (MDM), Discrete Multi-Tone (DMT), Bluetooth®, Global Positioning System (GPS), Wi-Fi, Wi-Max, ZigBee™, Ultra-Wideband (UWB), Global System for Mobile communication (GSM), 2G, 2.5G, 3G, 3.5G, Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution (EDGE), or the like. Other embodiments may be used in various other devices, systems and/or networks.

    [0011] The term "wireless device" as used herein includes, for example, a device capable of wireless communication, a communication device capable of wireless communication, a communication station capable of wireless communication, a portable or non-portable device capable of wireless communication, or the like. In some demonstrative embodiments, a wireless device may be or may include a peripheral that is integrated with a computer, or a peripheral that is attached to a computer. In some demonstrative embodiments, the term "wireless device" may optionally include a wireless service.

    [0012] Some demonstrative embodiments may be used in conjunction with suitable limited-range or short-range wireless communication networks, for example, a wireless area network, a "piconet", a WPAN, a WVAN and the like.

    [0013] Reference is now made to Fig. 1, which schematically illustrates a block diagram of a system 100 in accordance with some demonstrative embodiments.

    [0014] In some demonstrative embodiments, system 100 may include a wireless area network and/or a Basic Service Set (BSS) including one or more wireless communication devices, e.g., wireless communication devices 102, 144, 146, 148, 134, 136, and/or 138, capable of communicating content, data, information and/or signals over one or more suitable wireless communication links, for example, a radio channel, an IR channel, a RF channel, a Wireless Fidelity (WiFi) channel, and the like. One or more elements of system 100 may optionally be capable of communicating over any suitable wired communication links.

    [0015] In some demonstrative embodiments, wireless communication devices 102, 144, 146, 148, 134, 136, and/or 138 may include, for example, a PC, a desktop computer, a mobile computer, a laptop computer, a notebook computer, a tablet computer, a server computer, a handheld computer, a handheld device, a PDA device, a handheld PDA device, an on-board device, an off-board device, a hybrid device (e.g., combining cellular phone functionalities with PDA device functionalities), a consumer device, a vehicular device, a non-vehicular device, a mobile or portable device, a non-mobile or non-portable device, a cellular telephone, a PCS device, a PDA device which incorporates a wireless communication device, a mobile or portable GPS device, a DVB device, a relatively small computing device, a non-desktop computer, a "Carry Small Live Large" (CSLL) device, an Ultra Mobile Device (UMD), an Ultra Mobile PC (UMPC), a Mobile Internet Device (MID), an "Origami" device or computing device, a device that supports Dynamically Composable Computing (DCC), a context-aware device, a video device, an audio device, an A/V device, a STB, a BD player, a BD recorder, a DVD player, a HD DVD player, a DVD recorder, a HD DVD recorder, a PVR, a broadcast HD receiver, a video source, an audio source, a video sink, an audio sink, a stereo tuner, a broadcast radio receiver, a flat panel display, a PMP, a DVC, a digital audio player, a speaker, an audio receiver, a gaming device, an audio amplifier, a data source, a data sink, a DSC, a media player, a Smartphone, a television, a music player, or the like.

    [0016] In some demonstrative embodiments, wireless communication devices 102, 144, 146, 148, 134, 136, and/or 138 may include a wireless communication unit 108 to communicate with other wireless communication devices of system 100, e.g., as described below. Wireless communication devices 102, 144, 146, 148, 134, 136, and/or 138 may also include, for example, one or more of a processor 120, an input unit 112, an output unit 114, a memory unit 118, and a storage unit 116. Wireless communication devices 102, 144, 146, 148, 134, 136, and/or 138 may optionally include other suitable hardware components and/or software components.

    [0017] In some demonstrative embodiments, some or all of the components of each of wireless communication devices 102, 144, 146, 148, 134, 136, and/or 138 may be enclosed in a common housing or packaging, and may be interconnected or operably associated using one or more wired or wireless links. In other embodiments, components of wireless communication devices 102, 144, 146, 148, 134, 136, and/or 138 may be distributed among multiple or separate devices.

    [0018] Processor 120 includes, for example, a Central Processing Unit (CPU), a Digital Signal Processor (DSP), one or more processor cores, a single-core processor, a dual-core processor, a multiple-core processor, a microprocessor, a host processor, a controller, a plurality of processors or controllers, a chip, a microchip, one or more circuits, circuitry, a logic unit, an Integrated Circuit (IC), an Application-Specific IC (ASIC), or any other suitable multi-purpose or specific processor or controller. Processor 120 executes instructions, for example, of an Operating System (OS) of wireless communication device 102, and/or of one or more suitable applications.

    [0019] Input unit 112 includes, for example, a keyboard, a keypad, a mouse, a touch-pad, a track-ball, a stylus, a microphone, or other suitable pointing device or input device.

    [0020] Output unit 114 includes, for example, a monitor, a screen, a flat panel display, a Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) display unit, a Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) display unit, a plasma display unit, one or more audio speakers or earphones, or other suitable output devices.

    [0021] Memory unit 118 includes, for example, a Random Access Memory (RAM), a Read Only Memory (ROM), a Dynamic RAM (DRAM), a Synchronous DRAM (SDRAM), a flash memory, a volatile memory, a non-volatile memory, a cache memory, a buffer, a short term memory unit, a long term memory unit, or other suitable memory units. Storage unit 116 includes, for example, a hard disk drive, a floppy disk drive, a Compact Disk (CD) drive, a ROM drive, a DVD drive, or other suitable removable or non-removable storage units. Memory unit 118 and/or storage unit 116, for example, may store data processed by wireless communication device 102.

    [0022] In some demonstrative embodiments, wireless communication unit 108 includes, for example, one or more wireless transmitters, receivers and/or transceivers able to send and/or receive wireless communication signals, RF signals, frames, blocks, transmission streams, packets, messages, data items, and/or data. For example, wireless communication unit 108 may include or may be implemented as part of a wireless Network Interface Card (NIC), and the like.

    [0023] Wireless communication unit 108 may include, or may be associated with, one or more antennas or one or more sets of antennae 110. Antennae 110 may include, for example, an internal and/or external RF antenna, a dipole antenna, a monopole antenna, an omni-directional antenna, an end fed antenna, a circularly polarized antenna, a micro-strip antenna, a diversity antenna, or other type of antenna suitable for transmitting and/or receiving wireless communication signals, blocks, frames, transmission streams, packets, messages and/or data.

    [0024] In some demonstrative embodiments, one or more of the wireless communication devices of system 100, for example, wireless communication device 102, may perform the functionality of an Access Point (AP), Control Point (CP), Base Station (BS) or any coordinator or controller, e.g., as defined by the IEEE 802.11 and/or WGA specifications.

    [0025] In some demonstrative embodiments, wireless communication unit 108 may be capable of simultaneously transmitting transmissions to two or more other devices of system 100 and/or simultaneously receiving transmissions from two or more other devices of system 100.

    [0026] In some embodiments, wireless communication unit 108 may be capable of performing Spatial Division Multiple Access (SDMA) communication. For example, wireless communication unit 108 may transmit a downlink SDMA transmission by transmitting different signals substantially simultaneously via antennae 110, such that the combined transmitted signals result in different signals, which are intended to be received by two or more other wireless communication devices of system 100, being transmitted substantially in different directions on the same frequency.

    [0027] In some demonstrative embodiments, wireless communication unit 108 may receive an uplink SDMA transmission including different signals from two or more other devices of system 100.

    [0028] The term "substantially simultaneously", as used herein with reference to transmitting to two or more different wireless communication devices and/or receiving from two or more wireless communication devices, may refer to transmitting and/or receiving two or more transmissions, wherein at least a portion of each transmission and/or reception occurs at the same time, but does not imply that the different transmissions and/or receptions must start and/or end at the same time, although they may.

    [0029] In some demonstrative embodiments, wireless communication unit 108 may simultaneously communicate with one or more groups of devices according to a SDMA scheme, e.g., as described in detail below.

    [0030] In some demonstrative embodiments, wireless communication unit 108 may assign two or more other wireless communication devices of system 100 to at least one group, and simultaneously communicate with the devices of the group according to a SDMA scheme, e.g., as described in detail below. For example, wireless communication unit 108 may assign one or more devices, e.g., devices 144, 146 and/or 148, to a first SDMA group 140; and/or assign one or more devices, e.g., devices 134, 136 and/or 138, to a second SDMA group 130.

    [0031] In some demonstrative embodiments, the wireless communication devices of groups 140 and/or 130 may be grouped together, e.g., by wireless communication unit 108, according to any suitable criteria, for example, one or more traffic-specification (TSPEC) requirements, e.g., quality of service requirements, bandwidth requirements, traffic pattern requirements, and the like, and/or any other suitable requirement and/or parameter.

    [0032] In some demonstrative embodiments, wireless communication unit 108 may be capable of receiving the TSPEC information corresponding to wireless communication devices 144, 146, 148, 134, 136, and/or 138 as a part of an Add Traffic Stream (ADDTS) Request frame. The ADDTS frame received from a wireless communication device may include a suitable TSPEC Information Element (IE) and/or field, which may include the TSPEC information corresponding to the wireless communication device. In other embodiments, wireless communication unit 108 may receive the TSPEC information as part of any other suitable frame and/or communication and/or in any other suitable format.

    [0033] In some demonstrative embodiments, the TSPEC information corresponding to a wireless communication device, as received by wireless communication unit 108, may include traffic flow information defining a traffic flow between the wireless communication device and wireless communication unit 108. The TSPEC information corresponding to the wireless communication device may include, for example, one or more of a traffic pattern of the traffic flow, a Quality of Service (QoS) of the traffic flow, and/or any other series of requirements, parameters, characteristics and/or expectations of a traffic flow. For example, wireless communication unit 108 may receive a first ADDTS frame from wireless communication device 144, including traffic flow information, e.g., a traffic pattern and/or a QoS, defining a traffic flow between wireless communication device 144 and wireless communication unit 108; a second ADDTS frame from wireless communication device 146, including traffic flow information, e.g., a traffic pattern and/or a QoS, defining a traffic flow between wireless communication device 146 and wireless communication unit 108; a third ADDTS frame from wireless communication device 148, including traffic flow information, e.g., a traffic pattern and/or a QoS, defining a traffic flow between wireless communication device 148 and wireless communication unit 108; a fourth ADDTS frame from wireless communication device 134, including traffic flow information, e.g., a traffic pattern and/or a QoS, defining a traffic flow between wireless communication device 134 and wireless communication unit 108; a fifth ADDTS frame from wireless communication device 136, including traffic flow information, e.g., a traffic pattern and/or a QoS, defining a traffic flow between wireless communication device 136 and wireless communication unit 108; and/or a sixth ADDTS frame from wireless communication device 138, including traffic flow information, e.g., a traffic pattern and/or a QoS, defining a traffic flow between wireless communication device 144 and wireless communication unit 138.

    [0034] In some demonstrative embodiments, the TSPEC information, received by wireless communication unit 108 from a wireless communication device, may include a directionality of the traffic flow between the wireless communication device and wireless communication unit 108. The directionality of the traffic flow may be determined, for example, based on the traffic pattern of the traffic flow. For example, the directionality of the traffic flow may include an uplink traffic flow, e.g., including uplink transmissions from the wireless communication device to wireless communication unit 108; a downlink traffic flow, e.g., including downlink transmissions from wireless communication unit 108 to the wireless communication device; or a bidirectional traffic flow, e.g., including both uplink transmissions and downlink transmissions.

    [0035] In some demonstrative embodiments, the QoS of the traffic flow may include, for example, a QoS parameter representing, for example, a priority type of the traffic flow, e.g., guaranteeing a certain level of performance. The priority type of the traffic flow may be selected, for example, from a set of predefined priority types. In one example, the QoS of the traffic flow may be selected from a set of four predefined priority types, for example, a video priority type, an audio (voice) priority type, a best effort priority type, and a background priority type, e.g., as defined by the 802.11 standard and/or any other suitable standard.

    [0036] In some demonstrative embodiments, the traffic flow corresponding to a wireless communication device may be categorized as an isochronous traffic flow, for example, if the traffic flow includes a time-dependent traffic flow, e.g., including video and/or voice data; and/or as an asynchronous traffic flow, for example, if the traffic flow is not time-dependent, e.g., if the traffic flow does not include video or voice data.

    [0037] In some demonstrative embodiments, wireless communication unit 108 may assign wireless communication devices 144, 146, 148, 134, 136 and/or 138 to one or more groups, e.g., including groups 130 and/or 140, based on the categorization and/or directionality of the traffic flows corresponding to wireless communication devices 144, 146, 148, 134, 136 and/or 138.

    [0038] In some demonstrative embodiments, wireless communication unit 108 may assign wireless communication devices 144, 146, 148, 134, 136 and/or 138 to an uplink isochronous group, a downlink isochronous group, a bidirectional isochronous group, and/or a bi-directional asynchronous group. In other embodiments, wireless communication unit 108 may assign wireless communication devices 144, 146, 148, 134, 136 and/or 138 to any other suitable group.

    [0039] In some demonstrative embodiments, wireless communication unit 108 may assign a wireless communication device of devices 144, 146, 148, 134, 136 and 138 to the uplink isochronous group, for example, if the TSPEC information corresponding to the wireless communication device represents an uplink traffic pattern including at least one of video and voice data; wireless communication unit 108 may assign the wireless communication device to the downlink isochronous group if the TSPEC information corresponding to the wireless communication device represents a downlink traffic pattern including at least one of video and voice data; wireless communication unit 108 may assign the wireless communication device to the bi-directional isochronous group if the TSPEC information corresponding to the wireless communication device represents a bidirectional traffic pattern including at least one of video and voice data; and/or wireless communication unit 108 may assign the wireless communication device to the bi-directional asynchronous group if the TSPEC information corresponding to the wireless communication device represents another traffic pattern.

    [0040] In one example, the TSPEC information corresponding to wireless communication device 144 may define an uplink traffic flow of the video priority type; the TSPEC information corresponding to wireless communication device 146 may define an uplink traffic flow of the audio priority type; the TSPEC information corresponding to wireless communication device 148 may define an uplink traffic flow of the video priority type; the TSPEC information corresponding to wireless communication device 134 may define a bidirectional traffic flow of the video priority type; the TSPEC information corresponding to wireless communication device 136 may define a bidirectional traffic flow of the video priority type; and the TSPEC information corresponding to wireless communication device 138 may define a bidirectional traffic flow of the audio priority type. According to this example, wireless communication unit 108 may assign wireless communication devices 144, 146 and 148 to an uplink isochronous group, e.g., group 140; and/or wireless communication unit 108 may assign wireless communication devices 134, 136 and 138 to a bi-directional isochronous group, e.g., group 130.

    [0041] In some demonstrative embodiments, wireless communication unit 108 may assign wireless communication devices that do not support steady stream communication, or which did not provide their TSPEC information to wireless communication unit 108, to the bi-directional asynchronous SDMA group and/or any other suitable group.

    [0042] In some demonstrative embodiments, wireless communication unit 108 may simultaneously assign at least one wireless communication device of the other wireless communication devices of system 100 to more than one SDMA group. For example, although in the embodiments shown in Fig. 1 wireless communication devices 144, 146 and/or 148 are illustrated as being assigned only to group 140, it should be appreciated that in other embodiments wireless communication unit 108 may assign at least one wireless communication device of system 100, e.g., wireless communication device 144, to two or more groups, e.g., to both groups 140 and 130. Such assignment of a wireless communication device to two or more groups may be performed if, for example, the wireless communication device is the single device having a bi-directional isochronous traffic flow in a network and/or a Basic-Service-Set (BSS) controlled and/or managed by wireless communication unit 108. In this case, it may be preferable to assign the wireless communication device to both a downlink isochronous group and an uplink isochronous SDMA group, rather than to create a bi-directional isochronous "group" including only the wireless communication device.

    [0043] In some demonstrative embodiments, wireless communication unit 108 may assign wireless communication devices 144, 146 and/or 148 to group 140, and provide to wireless communication devices 144, 146 and/or 148 suitable group allocation information defining group 140 and/or relating to group 140. Wireless communication unit 108 may assign wireless communication devices 134, 136 and/or 138 to group 130, and provide to wireless communication devices 134, 136 and/or 138 suitable group allocation information defining group 130 and/or relating to group 130.

    [0044] In some demonstrative embodiments, wireless communication unit 108 may assign to each of groups 140 and/or 130 a wireless communication address (also referred to as "group address" or "multicast address"). The group address assigned to groups 140 and/or 130 may include, for example, a suitable Media-Access-Control (MAC) address or a multicast address, which may be assigned uniquely, e.g., within system 100 and/or a BSS controlled and/or managed by wireless communication unit 108.

    [0045] In some demonstrative embodiments, wireless communication unit 108 may inform wireless communication devices 144, 146 and/or 148 of the group address assigned to group 140, and/or may inform wireless communication devices 134, 136 and/or 138 of the group address assigned to group 130, for example, by using any suitable transmission, frame and/or packet. For example, wireless communication unit 108 may transmit one or more unicast frames to wireless communication devices 144, 146, 148, 134, 136 and/or 138 e.g., a first group allocation frame addressed to wireless communication device 144, a second group allocation frame addressed to wireless communication device 146, a third group allocation frame addressed to wireless communication device 148, a fourth group allocation frame addressed to wireless communication device 134, a fifth group allocation frame addressed to wireless communication device 136 and/or a sixth group allocation frame addressed to wireless communication device 138. The first, second and third group allocation frames may include, for example, the group address of group 140 and/or the forth, fifth and sixth third group allocation frames may include, for example, the group address of group 130.

    [0046] In some demonstrative embodiments, wireless communication unit 108 may determine, e.g., based on any suitable criteria, an order at which wireless communication devices 144, 146, 148, 134, 136 and/or 138 are to respond to a transmission from wireless communication unit 108, for example, such that wireless communication devices 144, 146, 148, 134, 136 and/or 138 may respond during non-overlapping time periods, e.g., as described below. For example, after assigning wireless communication devices 144, 146, 148 to group 140, wireless communication unit 108 may determine that wireless communication device 144 is to respond to the transmission from wireless communication unit 108 a first offset time after the transmission from wireless communication unit 108, that wireless communication device 146 is to respond to the transmission from wireless communication unit 108 a second offset time, which is longer than the first offset time after the transmission, and/or that wireless communication device 148 is to respond to the transmission from wireless communication unit 108 a third offset time, which is longer than the second offset time after the transmission. A difference between the second and first offset times and/or difference between the third and second offset times may be at least equal to a duration of the responses from wireless communication devices 144 and/or 146, e.g., to allow wireless communication devices 144, 146 and 148 to respond during non-overlapping periods.

    [0047] In some demonstrative embodiments, wireless communication unit 112 may include an indication of the required order, for example, in the group allocation frame, e.g., as part of a predefined field ("the Device Association Identifier (AID) list field"). For example, the group allocation frame transmitted to devices 144, 146 and/or 148 may include values representing wireless communication devices 144, 146 and 148 according to the required order. For example, the group allocation frame may include, e.g., in AID list field, a value representing the MAC address of wireless communication device 146 followed by a value representing the MAC address of wireless communication device 144, which in turn may be followed by a value representing the MAC address of wireless communication device 148, e.g., if wireless communication device 146 is to respond to wireless communication unit 108 prior to a response from wireless communication device 144, which in turn is to respond to wireless communication unit 108 prior to a response from wireless communication device 148.

    [0048] In some demonstrative embodiments, wireless communication devices 144, 146 and/or 148 may each determine the order at which to respond to wireless communication unit 108, based on the indication of the required order.

    [0049] In some embodiments, wireless communication devices 144, 146 and/or 148 may transmit the responses at a data rate equal to a data rate of the transmission from wireless communication unit 108, e.g., in order to allow wireless communication devices 144, 146 and/or 148 to schedule the transmission of the responses, such that wireless communication device 108 may be able to receive the responses.

    [0050] In another embodiment, wireless communication devices 144, 146 and/or 148 may transmit the responses at a selected predefined data rate for communication with wireless communication unit 108. In one example, wireless communication devices 144, 146 and/or 148 may transmit the responses at a data rate, which is selected from a predefined set of data rates implemented for communication in system 100, e.g., the BSSBasicRateSet as defined by the 802.11 standards. For example, wireless communication devices 144, 146 and/or 148 may transmit the responses at a highest data rate of the BSSBasicRateSet, which is less than or equal to a rate of an immediately previous frame received from wireless communication unit 108.

    [0051] In some demonstrative embodiments, wireless communication unit 108 may assign wireless communication devices 144, 146 and/or 148 to group 140, and/or assign wireless communication devices 134, 136 and/or 138 to group 130, for example, while not directly providing wireless communication devices 144, 146 and/or 148 with information defining and/or relating to group 140 and/or not directly providing wireless communication devices 134, 136 and/or 138 with information defining and/or relating to group 130. According to this example, wireless communication unit 108 may simultaneously transmit downlink transmissions to devices of group 140 and/or 130, e.g., while one or more of the wireless communication devices of group 140 and/or 130 may not be aware of the simultaneous transmission to other devices in group 140 and/or 130, respectively, for example, if the one or more wireless communication devices are not required to and/or is not able to transmit uplink SDMA transmissions to wireless communication unit 108. For example, wireless communication unit 108 may transmit a downlink SDMA transmission to a wireless communication device, e.g., device 148, while the wireless communication device may not be aware of the fact that the downlink transmission is a downlink transmission, for example, if wireless communication device 148 is not required to and/or is not able to transmit uplink SDMA transmissions to wireless communication unit 108.

    [0052] Reference is now made to Fig. 2, which schematically illustrates components of a group allocation frame 200, in accordance with some demonstrative embodiments. In some embodiments, group allocation frame 200 may include a group allocation frame transmitted by wireless communication unit 108 (Fig. 1) to a group of wireless communication devices, e.g., group 130 and/or 140 (Fig. 1), as described above. Group allocation frame 200 may be transmitted in the form of and/or as part of any suitable control, management and/or data frame.

    [0053] In some demonstrative embodiments, group allocation frame 200 may include any suitable category field 204 having a value to indicate a category of frame 200 and/or an action field 206, e.g., as defined by the IEEE 802.11 standard, and the like. For example, fields 204 and/or 206 may have predefined values indicating that frame 200 is a group allocation frame.

    [0054] In some demonstrative embodiments, group allocation frame 200 may include a group type field 208 having a value representing the type of the group. For example, field 208 may have a value, e.g., selected from a predefined set of values, indicating a predefined set of different group types. In one example, field 208 may have a value a downlink isochronous group, an uplink isochronous group, a bidirectional isochronous group or a bidirectional asynchronous group, e.g., as described above.

    [0055] In some demonstrative embodiments, group allocation frame 200 may include a multicast address field 212, which may contain a value representing a group address assigned to the group. For example, field 212 may include a MAC address, e.g., uniquely assigned to the group within a BSS and/or a network, e.g., as described above.

    [0056] In some demonstrative embodiments, group allocation frame 200 may include an AID list field 214, which may include a set of values defining a response order of the wireless communication devices assigned to the group, e.g., as described above.

    [0057] Referring back to Fig. 1., in some demonstrative embodiments, wireless communication unit 108 may schedule the communication with one or more other wireless communication devices of system 100, for example, after sending group allocation frame 200 (Fig. 2) to one or more of the other wireless communication devices of system 100.

    [0058] In some demonstrative embodiments, wireless communication unit 108 may schedule simultaneous uplink and/or downlink transmissions between wireless communication unit 108 and the wireless communication devices of a group ("the scheduled group") of groups 130 and/or 140, for example, according to any suitable power management scheme, e.g., a Power Save Multi-Poll (PSMP) scheme, and the like.

    [0059] In some demonstrative embodiments, wireless communication unit 108 may transmit at least one scheduling frame to the wireless communication devices of the scheduled group.

    [0060] In some demonstrative embodiments, wireless communication unit 108 may transmit at least one scheduling frame, defining one or more uplink and downlink time periods, to the wireless communication devices of the scheduled group, e.g., as described below.

    [0061] In some demonstrative embodiments, the scheduling frame may include any suitable power-management control frame, e.g., a PSMP activation frame, and the like. The scheduling frame may schedule at least one downlink transmission period, e.g., a PSMP downlink transmission (PSMP-DTT) period, during which wireless communication unit 108 may transmit simultaneous transmissions to wireless communication devices of the scheduled group; and/or at least one uplink transmission period, e.g., a PSMP uplink transmission (PSMP-UTT) period, during which wireless communication unit 108 is to receive uplink communications, e.g., sequentially and/or simultaneously, from wireless communication devices of the scheduled group, e.g., as described below.

    [0062] In some demonstrative embodiments, wireless communication unit 108 may use the scheduling frame as part of the power management scheme, for example, to manage the scheduling of power save periods at one or more wireless communication devices of the scheduled group, e.g., between the downlink and/or uplink transmissions. For example, wireless communication unit 108 may transmit to the wireless communication devices of group 140 a scheduling frame instructing the wireless communication devices of group 140 to operate, during the one or more scheduled downlink periods, at a power mode, e.g., a regular power mode, at which the devices of group 140 are capable of receiving communications from wireless communication unit; and/or informing the wireless communication devices of group 140 of the one or more uplink periods, during which the wireless communication devices of group 140 may be allowed to transmit uplink transmissions to wireless communication unit 108. In one example, wireless communication unit 108 may transmit to the wireless communication devices of group 140 a scheduling frame defining a downlink period beginning within 5 milliseconds (ms), e.g., with reference to any suitable reference time point, and lasting 10 ms; and/or an uplink beginning within 60 ms and lasting 20 ms. According to this example, wireless communication devices 144, 146 and/or 148 may switch to a power save mode during a time period between 15th ms and the 60th ms. One or more wireless communication devices of the scheduled group may switch back to the regular power mode, e.g., before or at the end of the power save period.

    [0063] In some demonstrative embodiments, wireless communication unit 108 may transmit one ore more scheduling frames to schedule uplink and/or downlink periods corresponding to two or more groups, e.g., groups 130 and 140. In one embodiment, wireless communication unit 108 may transmit a common scheduling frame to schedule different uplink and/or downlink periods for groups 130 and 140. For example, the scheduling frame may include an indication of group 130, e.g., the group multicast address assigned to group 130, which may be associated with an indication of first uplink and/or downlink periods scheduled fro group 130; an indication of group 140, e.g., the group multicast address assigned to group 140, which may be associated with an indication of first uplink and/or downlink periods scheduled fro group 140. In another embodiment, wireless communication unit 108 may transmit different scheduling frames to the wireless communication devices of different groups of wireless communication devices, to notify the wireless communication devices of the different groups of different scheduled simultaneous downlink and/or uplink periods. For example, wireless communication unit 108 may transmit a first scheduling frame to wireless communication devices 144, 146 and 148 of group 140, defining the downlink and/or uplink periods for group 140; and/or a second scheduling frame to wireless communication devices 134, 136 and 138 of group 130, defining the downlink and/or uplink periods transmission for group 130.

    [0064] In some demonstrative embodiments, the scheduling frame may include a PSMP downlink transmission (PSMP-DTT) start offset field to indicate the time of initiation of a PSMP-DTT period, e.g., with reference to any suitable reference time; and a PSMP-DTT duration field 206 to indicate the duration of the PSMP DTT period.

    [0065] In some demonstrative embodiments, the scheduling frame may include at least one PSMP uplink transmission (PSMP-UTT) start offset field, to indicate the time of initiation of at least one PSMP UTT period, respectively; and at least one PSMP-UTT duration field, to indicate the duration time of the at least one PSMP UTT period, respectively.

    [0066] In some demonstrative embodiments, the scheduling frame may include one or more address ID fields to identify one or more wireless communication devices and/or one or more groups of wireless communication devices intended to receive the scheduling frame. In one embodiment, an address ID field may represent the group address or multicast address assigned to the scheduled group, e.g., as described above, for example, if wireless communication unit 108 (Fig. 1) transmits the scheduling frame to the group of wireless communication devices as part of a broadcast transmission. In another embodiment, an address ID field may represent a unicast address of a specific wireless communication device, e.g., wireless communication device 144 (Fig. 1), intended to receive the scheduling frame, e.g., if wireless communication unit 108 (Fig. 1) transmits the scheduling frame to a single wireless communication device as part of a unicast transmission. In another embodiment, the address ID fields may include a plurality of address ID fields including a plurality of group addresses corresponding to a plurality of groups, e.g., two group address corresponding to groups 130 and 140, respectively. According to this embodiment, the scheduling frame may include for example, a first address ID field having a value representing a first group or a first wireless communication device ("first recipient") followed by a second address ID field having a value representing a second group or a second wireless communication device ("second recipient"); and a first set of PSMP-DTT and/or PSMP-UTT values defining one or more PSMP DTT and/or UTT periods scheduled for the first recipient; followed by a second set of PSMP-DTT and/or PSMP-UTT values defining one or more PSMP DTT and/or UTT periods scheduled for the second recipient, and so on.

    [0067] In some demonstrative embodiments, the scheduling frame may define a common PSMP UTT period, during which the wireless communication devices of the scheduled group may simultaneously perform uplink transmissions, for example, if the wireless communication devices of the scheduled group support uplink SDMA transmission. For example, wireless communication unit 108 (Fig. 1) may transmit a first scheduling frame to wireless communication devices 144, 146 and/or 148 (Fig. 1), defining at least one PSMP-UTT period scheduled for transmissions from wireless communication devices 144, 146 and/or 148 (Fig. 1) to wireless communication unit 108 (Fig. 1), e.g., if wireless communication devices 144, 146 and/or 148 (Fig. 1) support uplink SDMA transmission.

    [0068] In some demonstrative embodiments, the scheduling frame may define a plurality of PSMP UTT periods, during which the wireless communication devices of the scheduled group may sequentially perform uplink transmissions, for example, if the wireless communication devices of the scheduled group do not support uplink SDMA transmission. For example, wireless communication unit 108 (Fig. 1) may define the order at which a plurality of PSMP UTT periods are to be scheduled to wireless communication devices 134, 136 and/or 138 of group 130 (Fig. 1), e.g., if wireless communication devices 134, 136 and/or 138 of group 130 (Fig. 1) do not support uplink SDMA transmissions. Wireless communication unit 108 (Fig. 1) may define the order using, for example, the AID list field, e.g., as described above.

    [0069] Reference is now made to Fig. 3, which schematically illustrates a method of simultaneously communicating with a group of wireless communication devices, in accordance with some demonstrative embodiments.

    [0070] In some demonstrative embodiments, one or more of the operations of the method of Fig. 3 may be performed by a wireless communication device, for example, wireless communication device 102 (Fig.1), a wireless communication unit, e.g., wireless communication unit 108 (Fig. 1) and/or any other wireless communication device capable coordinating transmissions within a network.

    [0071] As indicated in block 306, the method may include assigning a plurality of wireless communication devices to at least one SDMA group based on TSPEC information corresponding to the plurality of wireless communication devices.

    [0072] As indicated at block 304, the method may include receiving the TSPEC information corresponding to the plurality of wireless communication devices. For example, wireless communication unit 108 (Fig. 1) may receive the TSPEC information corresponding to wireless communication device 144, 146, 148, 134, 136 and/or 138 (Fig.1), e.g., as described above.

    [0073] As indicated in block 312, assigning the plurality of wireless communication devices may include assigning a wireless communication device of the plurality of wireless communication devices based on at least one of a traffic pattern of traffic flow corresponding to the wireless communication device, and quality of service of the traffic flow, e.g., as described above.

    [0074] As indicated in block 314, assigning the plurality of wireless communication devices may include assigning the wireless communication device based on a directionality of the traffic flow. The directionality of the traffic flow may include, for example, an uplink traffic flow, a downlink traffic flow or a bidirectional traffic flow, e.g., as described above.

    [0075] As indicated in block 316, assigning the plurality of wireless communication devices may include assigning the wireless communication device based on a priority type of the traffic flow, the priority type including a voice priority, a video priority, a best effort priority or a background priority, e.g., as described above.

    [0076] In some demonstrative embodiments, assigning the one or more wireless communication devices may include assigning a wireless communication device to an uplink isochronous group if the TSPEC information corresponding to the wireless communication device represents an uplink traffic pattern including at least one of video and voice data; assigning the wireless communication device to a downlink isochronous group if the TSPEC information corresponding to the wireless communication device represents a downlink traffic pattern including at least one of video and voice data; assigning the wireless communication device to a bi-directional isochronous group if the TSPEC information corresponding to the wireless communication device represents a bidirectional traffic pattern including at least one of video and voice data; and assigning the wireless communication device to a bi-directional asynchronous group if the TSPEC information corresponding to the wireless communication device represents another traffic pattern, e.g., as described above.

    [0077] As indicated in block 318, the method may include transmitting group allocation information to the plurality of wireless communication devices assigned to the group. The group allocation information may include, for example, a group address assigned to the group, wherein a common transmission to the plurality of wireless communication devices assigned to the group is to be addressed to the group address, e.g., as described above.

    [0078] As indicated at block 320, transmitting the group allocation information may include transmitting an indication of an order at which the wireless communication devices of the group are to respond to a downlink transmission, e.g., as described above.

    [0079] As indicated in block 308, the method may include simultaneously transmitting a plurality of different wireless communication transmissions to the plurality of wireless communication devices of the group, respectively. For example, wireless communication unit 108 (Fig. 1) may simultaneously transmit a plurality of different wireless communication transmissions, e.g., in the form of a SDMA downlink transmission, to wireless communication devices 144, 146, 148 (Fig. 1) of group 140 (Fig. 1).

    [0080] As indicated at block 309, the method may include transmitting at least one scheduling frame including an indication of a downlink period, during which the plurality of different wireless communication transmissions are to be transmitted to the plurality of wireless communication devices of the group. For example, wireless communication unit 108 (Fig. 1) may transmit a scheduling frame defining at least one PSMP-DTT period, e.g., as described above.

    [0081] In some demonstrative embodiments, the scheduling frame may include an indication of an uplink period for receiving, simultaneously or sequentially, a plurality of different uplink transmissions from the plurality of wireless communication devices of the group. For example, wireless communication unit 108 (Fig. 1) may transmit the scheduling frame defining at least one PSMP-UTT period, e.g., as described above.

    [0082] Reference is made to Fig. 5, which schematically illustrates an article of manufacture 500, in accordance with some demonstrative embodiments. Article 500 may include a machine-readable storage medium 502 to store logic 504, which may be used, for example, to perform at least part of the functionality of wireless communication unit 108 (Fig. 1) and/or wireless communication device 102 (Fig. 1); and/or to perform one or more operations of the methods of Figs. 3 and/or 7.

    [0083] In some demonstrative embodiments, article 500 and/or machine-readable storage medium 502 may include one or more types of computer-readable storage media capable of storing data, including volatile memory, non-volatile memory, removable or non-removable memory, erasable or non-erasable memory, writeable or re-writeable memory, and the like. For example, machine-readable storage medium 502 may include, RAM, DRAM, Double-Data-Rate DRAM (DDR-DRAM), SDRAM, static RAM (SRAM), ROM, programmable ROM (PROM), erasable programmable ROM (EPROM), electrically erasable programmable ROM (EEPROM), Compact Disk ROM (CD-ROM), Compact Disk Recordable (CD-R), Compact Disk Rewriteable (CD-RW), flash memory (e.g., NOR or NAND flash memory), content addressable memory (CAM), polymer memory, phase-change memory, ferroelectric memory, silicon-oxide-nitride-oxide-silicon (SONOS) memory, a disk, a floppy disk, a hard drive, an optical disk, a magnetic disk, a card, a magnetic card, an optical card, a tape, a cassette, and the like. The computer-readable storage media may include any suitable media involved with downloading or transferring a computer program from a remote computer to a requesting computer carried by data signals embodied in a carrier wave or other propagation medium through a communication link, e.g., a modem, radio or network connection.

    [0084] In some demonstrative embodiments, logic 504 may include instructions, data, and/or code, which, if executed by a machine, may cause the machine to perform a method, process and/or operations as described herein. The machine may include, for example, any suitable processing platform, computing platform, computing device, processing device, computing system, processing system, computer, processor, or the like, and may be implemented using any suitable combination of hardware, software, firmware, and the like.

    [0085] In some demonstrative embodiments, logic 504 may include, or may be implemented as, software, a software module, an application, a program, a subroutine, instructions, an instruction set, computing code, words, values, symbols, and the like. The instructions may include any suitable type of code, such as source code, compiled code, interpreted code, executable code, static code, dynamic code, and the like. The instructions may be implemented according to a predefined computer language, manner or syntax, for instructing a processor to perform a certain function. The instructions may be implemented using any suitable high-level, low-level, object-oriented, visual, compiled and/or interpreted programming language, such as C, C++, Java, BASIC, Matlab, Pascal, Visual BASIC, assembly language, machine code, and the like.

    [0086] Functions, operations, components and/or features described herein with reference to one or more embodiments, may be combined with, or may be utilized in combination with, one or more other functions, operations, components and/or features described herein with reference to one or more other embodiments, or vice versa.

    [0087] While certain features of the invention have been illustrated and described herein, many modifications, substitutions, changes, and equivalents may occur to those skilled in the art.


    Claims

    1. A device including:

    a wireless communication unit (108) to assign a plurality of wireless communication devices to at least one Space-Division Multiple Access, SDMA, group (140) based on traffic-specification, TSPEC, information corresponding to the plurality of wireless communication devices,

    wherein the TSPEC information corresponding to a wireless communication device of the plurality of wireless communication devices includes at least a quality of service of a traffic flow between the wireless communication device and the wireless communication unit (108), the wireless communication unit (108) is configured to assign the wireless communication device to the group based at least on the quality of service of the traffic flow between the wireless communication device and the wireless communication unit,

    wherein the wireless communication unit is configured to simultaneously transmit a plurality of different wireless communication transmissions to the plurality of wireless communication devices of the group (140),

    and wherein the wireless communication unit (108) is configured to transmit group allocation information to the plurality of wireless communication devices assigned to the group (140), the group allocation information includes a group address assigned to the group, the wireless communication unit (108) is configured to transmit a common transmission to the plurality of wireless communication devices assigned to the group (140) by transmitting the common transmission addressed to the group address.


     
    2. The device of claim 1, wherein the TSPEC information corresponding to the wireless communication device includes a traffic pattern of the traffic flow between the wireless communication device and the wireless communication unit, and wherein the wireless communication unit is to assign the wireless communication device to the group based on the traffic pattern.
     
    3. The device of claim 1 or 2, wherein the TSPEC information includes a directionality of the traffic flow, and wherein the wireless communication unit is to assign the wireless communication device to the group based on the directionality of the traffic flow.
     
    4. The device of any one of claims 1-3, wherein the quality of service of the traffic flow represents a priority type of the traffic flow, the priority type including a voice priority, a video priority, a best effort priority or a background priority.
     
    5. The device of any one of claims 1-4, wherein the group allocation information includes an indication of an order at which the wireless communication devices of the group are to respond to the wireless communication unit.
     
    6. The device of any one of claims 1-5, wherein the wireless communication unit is to assign the wireless communication device to an isochronous group if the TSPEC information corresponding to the wireless communication device represents a first traffic pattern, and to assign the wireless communication device to an asynchronous group if the TSPEC information corresponding to the wireless communication device represents a second traffic pattern, different from said first traffic pattern.
     
    7. The device of any one of claims 1-6, wherein the wireless communication unit comprises a coordinator of a wireless communication network.
     
    8. The device of any one of claims 1-7, wherein the wireless communication unit is to transmit at least one scheduling frame including an indication of a downlink period, and wherein the wireless communication unit is to simultaneously transmit the plurality of different wireless communication transmissions to the plurality of wireless communication devices of the group during the downlink period.
     
    9. The device of claim 8, wherein the scheduling frame comprises an indication of an uplink period, the wireless communication unit is configured to simultaneously receive a plurality of different uplink transmissions from the plurality of wireless communication devices of the group during the uplink period.
     
    10. A system including at least one station, the station comprising the device of any one of claims 1-9 and one or more antennas.
     
    11. A method comprising:

    assigning (306, 312) a plurality of wireless communication devices to at least one Space-Division Multiple Access, SDMA, group based on traffic specification, TSPEC, information corresponding to the plurality of wireless communication devices, wherein the TSPEC information corresponding to a wireless communication device of the plurality of wireless communication devices includes at least a quality of service of a traffic flow corresponding to the wireless communication device, and wherein assigning the plurality of wireless communication devices comprises assigning the wireless communication device to the group based at least on the quality of service of the traffic flow corresponding to the wireless communication device;

    transmitting (318) group allocation information to the plurality of wireless communication devices assigned to the group, the group allocation information includes a group address assigned to the group;

    transmitting (308) a common transmission to the plurality of wireless communication devices assigned to the group by transmitting the common transmission addressed to the group address; and

    simultaneously transmitting a plurality of different wireless communication transmissions to the plurality of wireless communication devices of the group, respectively.


     
    12. The method of claim 11, wherein the TSPEC information corresponding to the wireless communication device includes a traffic pattern of the traffic flow corresponding to the wireless communication device, and wherein assigning the plurality of wireless communication devices includes assigning the wireless communication device to the group based the traffic pattern.
     
    13. The method of any one of claims 11-12 including transmitting at least one scheduling frame including an indication of a downlink period, and simultaneously transmitting the plurality of different wireless communication transmissions to the plurality of wireless communication devices of the group during the downlink period.
     
    14. The method of any one of claims 11-13, wherein the scheduling frame comprises an indication of an uplink period, the method comprising simultaneously receiving a plurality of different uplink transmissions from the plurality of wireless communication devices of the group during the uplink period.
     
    15. A product including a storage having stored thereon instructions, wherein the instructions, when executed by a machine, cause the machine to perform the method of any one of claims 11-14.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Vorrichtung, die Folgendes enthält:

    eine drahtlose Kommunikationseinheit (108) zur Zuweisung einer Vielzahl von drahtlosen Kommunikationsvorrichtungen zu mindestens einer Raummultiplexverfahren (Space-Division Multiple Access, SDMA)-Gruppe (140) basierend auf der Datenverkehrsspezifikations (Traffic Specification, TSPEC)-Information, die der Vielzahl von drahtlosen Kommunikationsvorrichtungen entspricht,

    wobei die TSPEC-Information, die einer drahtlosen Kommunikationsvorrichtung der Vielzahl von drahtlosen Kommunikationsvorrichtungen entspricht, mindestens eine Dienstgüte eines Verkehrsflusses zwischen der drahtlosen Kommunikationsvorrichtung und der drahtlosen Kommunikationseinheit (108) beinhaltet, wobei die drahtlose Kommunikationseinheit (108) konfiguriert ist, um die drahtlose Kommunikationsvorrichtung der Gruppe basierend auf mindestens der Dienstgüte des Verkehrsflusses zwischen der drahtlosen Kommunikationsvorrichtung und der drahtlosen Kommunikationseinheit zuzuweisen,

    wobei die drahtlose Kommunikationseinheit konfiguriert ist, um eine Vielzahl von unterschiedlichen drahtlosen Kommunikationsübertragungen gleichzeitig an die Vielzahl von drahtlosen Kommunikationsvorrichtungen der Gruppe (140) zu übertragen,

    und wobei die drahtlose Kommunikationseinheit (108) konfiguriert ist, um eine Gruppenzuordnungsinformation an die Vielzahl von der Gruppe (140) zugewiesenen drahtlosen Kommunikationsvorrichtungen zu übertragen, wobei die Gruppenzuordnungsinformation eine Gruppenadresse enthält, die der Gruppe zugewiesen ist, wobei die drahtlose Kommunikationseinheit (108) konfiguriert ist, um eine gemeinsame Übertragung an die Vielzahl von drahtlosen Kommunikationsvorrichtungen, die der Gruppe (140) zugewiesen sind, zu übertragen, indem die an die Gruppenadresse adressierte gemeinsame Übertragung übertragen wird.


     
    2. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 1, wobei die TSPEC-Information, die der drahtlosen Kommunikationsvorrichtung entspricht, ein Datenverkehrsmuster des Verkehrsflusses zwischen der drahtlosen Kommunikationsvorrichtung und der drahtlosen Kommunikationseinheit enthält und wobei die drahtlose Kommunikationseinheit die drahtlose Kommunikationsvorrichtung der Gruppe basierend auf dem Datenverkehrsmuster zuweisen soll.
     
    3. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 1 oder 2, wobei die TSPEC-Information eine Direktionalität des Verkehrsflusses enthält und wobei die drahtlose Kommunikationseinheit die drahtlose Kommunikationsvorrichtung der Gruppe basierend auf der Direktionalität des Verkehrsflusses zuweisen soll.
     
    4. Vorrichtung nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 3, wobei die Dienstgüte des Verkehrsflusses einen Prioritätstyp des Verkehrsflusses darstellt, wobei der Prioritätstyp eine Sprachpriorität, eine Videopriorität, eine Priorität bester Möglichkeit oder eine Hintergrundpriorität enthält.
     
    5. Vorrichtung nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 4, wobei die Gruppenzuordnungsinformation eine Angabe einer Reihenfolge enthält, in der die drahtlosen Kommunikationsvorrichtungen der Gruppe auf die drahtlose Kommunikationseinheit antworten sollen.
     
    6. Vorrichtung nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 5, wobei die drahtlose Kommunikationseinheit die drahtlose Kommunikationsvorrichtung einer isochronen Gruppe zuweisen soll, wenn die TSPEC-Information, die der drahtlosen Kommunikationsvorrichtung entspricht, ein erstes Verkehrsmuster darstellt, und die drahtlose Kommunikationsvorrichtung einer asynchronen Gruppe zuweisen soll, wenn die TSPEC-Information, die der drahtlosen Kommunikationsvorrichtung entspricht, ein zweites Verkehrsmuster darstellt, das sich von dem ersten Verkehrsmuster unterscheidet.
     
    7. Vorrichtung nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 6, wobei die drahtlose Kommunikationseinheit einen Koordinator eines drahtlosen Kommunikationsnetzes umfasst.
     
    8. Vorrichtung nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 7, wobei die drahtlose Kommunikationseinheit mindestens einen Planungsrahmen, der eine Angabe eines Downlink-Zeitraums enthält, übertragen soll, und wobei die drahtlose Kommunikationseinheit die Vielzahl von unterschiedlichen drahtlosen Kommunikationsübertragungen gleichzeitig an die Vielzahl von drahtlosen Kommunikationsvorrichtungen der Gruppe während des Downlink-Zeitraums übertragen soll.
     
    9. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 8, wobei der Planungsrahmen eine Angabe eines Uplink-Zeitraums umfasst, wobei die drahtlose Kommunikationseinheit konfiguriert ist, um eine Vielzahl von unterschiedlichen Uplink-Übertragungen gleichzeitig von der Vielzahl von drahtlosen Kommunikationsvorrichtungen der Gruppe während des Uplink-Zeitraums zu empfangen.
     
    10. System, das mindestens eine Station enthält, wobei die Station die Vorrichtung nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 9 und eine oder mehrere Antennen umfasst.
     
    11. Verfahren, umfassend:

    Zuweisen (306, 312) einer Vielzahl von drahtlosen Kommunikationsvorrichtungen zu mindestens einer Raummultiplexverfahren (SDMA)-Gruppe basierend auf der Datenverkehrsspezifikations (TSPEC)-Information, die der Vielzahl von drahtlosen Kommunikationsvorrichtungen entspricht, wobei die einer drahtlosen Kommunikationsvorrichtung der Vielzahl von drahtlosen Kommunikationsvorrichtungen entsprechende TSPEC-Information mindestens eine Dienstgüte eines Verkehrsflusses enthält, der der drahtlosen Kommunikationsvorrichtung entspricht, und wobei das Zuweisen der Vielzahl von drahtlosen Kommunikationsvorrichtungen das Zuweisen der drahtlosen Kommunikationsvorrichtung zu der Gruppe basierend auf mindestens der Dienstgüte des der drahtlosen Kommunikationsvorrichtung entsprechenden Verkehrsflusses umfasst;

    Übertragen (318) einer Gruppenzuordnungsinformation an die Vielzahl von drahtlosen Kommunikationsvorrichtungen, die der Gruppe zugewiesen sind, wobei die Gruppenzuordnungsinformation eine der Gruppe zugewiesene Gruppenadresse enthält;

    Übertragen (308) einer gemeinsamen Übertragung an die Vielzahl von der Gruppe zugewiesenen drahtlosen Kommunikationsvorrichtungen durch Übertragen der an die Gruppenadresse adressierten gemeinsamen Übertragung; und

    gleichzeitiges Übertragen einer Vielzahl von unterschiedlichen drahtlosen Kommunikationsübertragungen jeweils an die Vielzahl von drahtlosen Kommunikationsvorrichtungen der Gruppe.


     
    12. Verfahren nach Anspruch 11, wobei die der drahtlosen Kommunikationsvorrichtung entsprechende TSPEC-Information ein Verkehrsmuster des Verkehrsflusses enthält, der der drahtlosen Kommunikationsvorrichtung entspricht, und wobei das Zuweisen der Vielzahl von drahtlosen Kommunikationsvorrichtungen das Zuweisen der drahtlosen Kommunikationsvorrichtung zu der Gruppe basierend auf dem Verkehrsmuster beinhaltet.
     
    13. Verfahren nach einem der Ansprüche 11 bis 12, das das Übertragen von mindestens einem Planungsrahmen, der eine Angabe eines Downlink-Zeitraums enthält, und das gleichzeitige Übertragen der Vielzahl von unterschiedlichen drahtlosen Kommunikationsübertragungen an die Vielzahl von drahtlosen Kommunikationsvorrichtungen der Gruppe während des Downlink-Zeitraums beinhaltet.
     
    14. Verfahren nach einem der Ansprüche 11 bis 13, wobei der Planungsrahmen eine Angabe eines Uplink-Zeitraums umfasst, wobei das Verfahren das gleichzeitige Empfangen einer Vielzahl von unterschiedlichen Uplink-Übertragungen von der Vielzahl von drahtlosen Kommunikationsvorrichtungen der Gruppe während des Uplink-Zeitraums umfasst.
     
    15. Produkt mit einem Speicher, auf dem Anweisungen gespeichert sind, wobei die Anweisungen bei Ausführung durch eine Maschine die Maschine veranlassen, das Verfahren nach einem der Ansprüche 11 bis 14 durchzuführen.
     


    Revendications

    1. Dispositif, comportant :

    une unité de communication sans fil (108) appelée à assigner une pluralité de dispositifs de communication sans fil à au moins un groupe à accès multiple par répartition dans l'espace, SDMA, (140) sur la base d'informations de spécification de trafic, TSPEC, correspondant à la pluralité de dispositifs de communication sans fil,

    les informations TSPEC correspondant à un dispositif de communication sans fil de la pluralité de dispositifs de communication sans fil comportant au moins une qualité de service d'un flux de trafic entre le dispositif de communication sans fil et l'unité de communication sans fil (108), l'unité de communication sans fil (108) étant configurée pour assigner le dispositif de communication sans fil au groupe sur la base au moins de la qualité de service du flux de trafic entre le dispositif de communication sans fil et l'unité de communication sans fil,

    l'unité de communication sans fil étant configurée pour transmettre simultanément une pluralité de transmissions de communication sans fil différentes à la pluralité de dispositifs de communication sans fil du groupe (140),

    et l'unité de communication sans fil (108) étant configurée pour transmettre des informations d'allocation de groupe à la pluralité de dispositifs de communication sans fil assignés au groupe (140), les informations d'allocation de groupe comportant une adresse de groupe assignée au groupe, l'unité de communication sans fil (108) étant configurée pour transmettre une transmission commune à la pluralité de dispositifs de communication sans fil assignés au groupe (140) en transmettant la transmission commune adressée à l'adresse de groupe.


     
    2. Dispositif selon la revendication 1, dans lequel les informations TSPEC correspondant au dispositif de communication sans fil comportent un profil de trafic du flux de trafic entre le dispositif de communication sans fil et l'unité de communication sans fil, et dans lequel l'unité de communication sans fil est appelée à assigner le dispositif de communication sans fil au groupe sur la base du profil de trafic.
     
    3. Dispositif selon la revendication 1 ou 2, dans lequel les informations TSPEC comportent un sens de transmission du flux de trafic, et dans lequel l'unité de communication sans fil est appelée à assigner le dispositif de communication sans fil au groupe sur la base du sens de transmission du flux de trafic.
     
    4. Dispositif selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 3, dans lequel la qualité de service du flux de trafic représente un type de priorité du flux de trafic, le type de priorité comportant une priorité de la voix, une priorité de la vidéo, une priorité du meilleur effort ou une priorité de l'arrière-plan.
     
    5. Dispositif selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 4, dans lequel les informations d'allocation de groupe comportent une indication d'un ordre dans lequel les dispositifs de communication sans fil du groupe doivent répondre à l'unité de communication sans fil.
     
    6. Dispositif selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 5, dans lequel l'unité de communication sans fil est appelée à assigner le dispositif de communication sans fil à un groupe isochrone si les informations TSPEC correspondant au dispositif de communication sans fil représentent un premier profil de trafic, et à assigner le dispositif de communication sans fil à un groupe asynchrone si les informations TSPEC correspondant au dispositif de communication sans fil représentent un deuxième profil de trafic, différent dudit premier profil de trafic.
     
    7. Dispositif selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 6, dans lequel l'unité de communication sans fil comprend un coordinateur d'un réseau de communication sans fil.
     
    8. Dispositif selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 7, dans lequel l'unité de communication sans fil est appelée à transmettre au moins une trame d'ordonnancement comportant une indication d'une période de liaison descendante, et dans lequel l'unité de communication sans fil est appelée à transmettre simultanément la pluralité de transmissions de communication sans fil différentes à la pluralité de dispositifs de communication sans fil du groupe au cours de la période de liaison descendante.
     
    9. Dispositif selon la revendication 8, dans lequel la trame d'ordonnancement comprend une indication d'une période de liaison montante, l'unité de communication sans fil étant configurée pour recevoir simultanément une pluralité de transmissions sur liaison montante différentes depuis la pluralité de dispositifs de communication sans fil du groupe au cours de la période de liaison montante.
     
    10. Système comportant au moins une station, la station comprenant le dispositif selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 9 et une ou plusieurs antennes.
     
    11. Procédé, comprenant :

    l'assignation (306, 312) d'une pluralité de dispositifs de communication sans fil à au moins un groupe à accès multiple par répartition dans l'espace, SDMA, sur la base d'informations de spécification de trafic, TSPEC, correspondant à la pluralité de dispositifs de communication sans fil, les informations TSPEC correspondant à un dispositif de communication sans fil de la pluralité de dispositifs de communication sans fil comportant au moins une qualité de service d'un flux de trafic correspondant au dispositif de communication sans fil, et l'assignation de la pluralité de dispositifs de communication sans fil comprenant l'assignation du dispositif de communication sans fil au groupe sur la base au moins de la qualité de service du flux de trafic du dispositif de communication sans fil ;

    la transmission (318) d'informations d'allocation de groupe à la pluralité de dispositifs de communication sans fil assignés au groupe, les informations d'allocation de groupe comportant une adresse de groupe assignée au groupe ;

    la transmission (308) d'une transmission commune à la pluralité de dispositifs de communication sans fil assignés au groupe par transmission de la transmission commune adressée à l'adresse de groupe ; et

    la transmission simultanée d'une pluralité de transmissions de communication sans fil différentes respectivement à la pluralité de dispositifs de communication sans fil du groupe.


     
    12. Procédé selon la revendication 11, dans lequel les informations TSPEC correspondant au dispositif de communication sans fil comportent un profil de trafic du flux de trafic correspondant au dispositif de communication sans fil, et dans lequel l'assignation de la pluralité de dispositifs de communication sans fil comporte l'assignation du dispositif de communication sans fil au groupe sur la base du profil de trafic.
     
    13. Procédé selon l'une quelconque des revendications 11 et 12, comportant la transmission d'au moins une trame d'ordonnancement comportant une indication d'une période de liaison descendante, et la transmission simultanée de la pluralité de transmissions de communication sans fil différentes à la pluralité de dispositifs de communication sans fil du groupe au cours de la période de liaison descendante.
     
    14. Procédé selon l'une quelconque des revendications 11 à 13, dans lequel la trame d'ordonnancement comprend une indication d'une période de liaison montante, le procédé comprenant la réception simultanée d'une pluralité de transmissions sur liaison montante différentes depuis la pluralité de dispositifs de communication sans fil du groupe au cours de la période de liaison montante.
     
    15. Produit comportant une unité de stockage sur laquelle sont enregistrées des instructions dont l'exécution, par une machine, amène la machine à mettre en oeuvre le procédé selon l'une quelconque des revendications 11 à 14.
     




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    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description