(19)
(11)EP 2 587 689 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
02.10.2019 Bulletin 2019/40

(21)Application number: 12007184.0

(22)Date of filing:  17.10.2012
(51)Int. Cl.: 
H04B 7/06  (2006.01)

(54)

RF transceiver with beamforming antenna and methods for use therewith

HF-Sender-Empfänger mit Strahlenbildungsantenne und Verfahren zur Verwendung damit

Émetteur-récepteur RF avec antenne de formation de faisceau et procédés d'utilisation associés


(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: 28.10.2011 US 201161552835 P
18.12.2011 US 201113329302

(43)Date of publication of application:
01.05.2013 Bulletin 2013/18

(73)Proprietor: Avago Technologies International Sales Pte. Limited
Singapore 768923 (SG)

(72)Inventors:
  • Garrett, David
    Tustin, 92782 (US)
  • Eslami, Hamid
    Newport Beach, 92660 (US)
  • Zheng, Jun
    San Diego, 92127 (US)

(74)Representative: Bosch Jehle Patentanwaltsgesellschaft mbH 
Flüggenstraße 13
80639 München
80639 München (DE)


(56)References cited: : 
US-A1- 2005 285 803
US-A1- 2011 205 969
US-A1- 2006 057 964
  
      
    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 OF THE INVENTION


    TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE INVENTION



    [0001] This invention relates generally to wireless communication and more particularly to antennas used to support wireless communications.

    DESCRIPTION OF RELATED ART



    [0002] Communication systems are known to support wireless and wireline communications between wireless and/or wireline communication devices. Such communication systems range from national and/or international cellular telephone systems to the Internet to point-to-point in-home wireless networks to radio frequency identification (RFID) systems. Each type of communication system is constructed, and hence operates, in accordance with one or more communication standards. For instance, wireless communication systems may operate in accordance with one or more standards including, but not limited to, RFID, IEEE 802.11, Bluetooth, advanced mobile phone services (AMPS), digital AMPS, global system for mobile communications (GSM), code division multiple access (CDMA), local multi-point distribution systems (LMDS), multi-channel-multi-point distribution systems (MMDS), and/or variations thereof.

    [0003] Depending on the type of wireless communication system, a wireless communication device, such as a cellular telephone, two-way radio, personal digital assistant (PDA), personal computer (PC), laptop computer, home entertainment equipment, RFID reader, RFID tag, et cetera communicates directly or indirectly with other wireless communication devices. For direct communications (also known as point-to-point communications), the participating wireless communication devices tune their receivers and transmitters to the same channel or channels (e.g., one of the plurality of radio frequency (RF) carriers of the wireless communication system) and communicate over that channel(s). For indirect wireless communications, each wireless communication device communicates directly with an associated base station (e.g., for cellular services) and/or an associated access point (e.g., for an in-home or in-building wireless network) via an assigned channel. To complete a communication connection between the wireless communication devices, the associated base stations and/or associated access points communicate with each other directly, via a system controller, via the public switch telephone network, via the Internet, and/or via some other wide area network.

    [0004] For each wireless communication device to participate in wireless communications, it includes a built-in radio transceiver (i.e., a receiver and transmitter or multiple receivers and transmitters) or is coupled to an associated radio transceiver (e.g., a station for in-home and/or in-building wireless communication networks, RF modem, etc.). As is known, the receiver is coupled to the antenna and includes a low noise amplifier, one or more intermediate frequency stages, a filtering stage, and a data recovery stage. The low noise amplifier receives inbound RF signals via the antenna and amplifies then. The one or more intermediate frequency stages mix the amplified RF signals with one or more local oscillations to convert the amplified RF signal into baseband signals or intermediate frequency (IF) signals. The filtering stage filters the baseband signals or the IF signals to attenuate unwanted out of band signals to produce filtered signals. The data recovery stage recovers raw data from the filtered signals in accordance with the particular wireless communication standard.

    [0005] As is also known, the transmitter includes a data modulation stage, one or more intermediate frequency stages, and a power amplifier(s). The data modulation stage converts raw data into baseband signals in accordance with a particular wireless communication standard. The one or more intermediate frequency stages mix the baseband signals with one or more local oscillations to produce RF signals. The power amplifier amplifies the RF signals prior to transmission via an antenna.

    [0006] Currently, wireless communications occur within licensed or unlicensed frequency spectrums. For example, wireless local area network (WLAN) communications occur within the unlicensed Industrial, Scientific, and Medical (ISM) frequency spectrum of 900 MHz, 2.4 GHz, and 5 GHz. While the ISM frequency spectrum is unlicensed there are restrictions on power, modulation techniques, and antenna gain. Another unlicensed frequency spectrum is the V-band of 55-64 GHz.

    [0007] United States Patent Application US 2011/0205 9 69 A1 relates to a method and apparatus having a beamforming antenna for generating a plurality of directional antenna beams. A discovery beacon is generated for use in associating with a wireless transmit/receive unit (WTRU). The discovery beacon is transmitted to a plurality of sectors using coarsely focused directional antenna beams. A WTRU may receive one of the coarsely focused directional antenna beams, and may then transmit a response message.

    [0008] Other disadvantages of conventional approaches will be evident to one skilled in the art when presented the disclosure that follows.

    BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION



    [0009] The invention is set out in the independent claims whereas preferred embodiments are outlined in the dependent claims.

    [0010] Other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description of the invention made with reference to the accompanying drawings.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING(S)



    [0011] 

    Figure 1 is a schematic block diagram of an embodiment of a wireless communication system in accordance with the present invention;

    Figure 2 is a schematic block diagram of another embodiment of a wireless communication system in accordance with the present invention;

    Figure 3 is a schematic block diagram of an embodiment of a wireless transceiver 125 in accordance with the present invention;

    Figure 4 is a schematic block diagram of an embodiment of a RF transceiver 112 in accordance with the present invention;

    Figure 5 is a schematic block diagram of various radiation patterns produced by wireless transceiver 112 in accordance an embodiment of the present invention;

    Figure 6 is a schematic block diagram of an embodiment of a RF transceiver section 111 in accordance with the present invention;

    Figure 7 is a flow diagram of an embodiment of a method in accordance with the present invention; and

    Figure 8 is a flow diagram of an embodiment of a method in accordance with the present invention.


    DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION



    [0012] The invention is defined by the appended claims. In the following, embodiments not falling within the scope of the claims should be understood as examples useful to understand the invention.

    [0013] Figure 1 is a schematic block diagram of an embodiment of a communication system in accordance with the present invention. In particular a communication system is shown that includes a communication device 10 that communicates real-time data 24 and/or non-real-time data 26 wirelessly with one or more other devices such as base station 18, non-real-time device 20, real-time device 22, and non-real-time and/or real-time device 25. In addition, communication device 10 can also optionally communicate over a wireline connection with network 15, non-real-time device 12, real-time device 14, non-real-time and/or real-time device 16.

    [0014] In an embodiment of the present invention the wireline connection 28 can be a wired connection that operates in accordance with one or more standard protocols, such as a universal serial bus (USB), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 488, IEEE 1394 (Firewire), Ethernet, small computer system interface (SCSI), serial or parallel advanced technology attachment (SATA or PATA), or other wired communication protocol, either standard or proprietary. The wireless connection can communicate in accordance with a wireless network protocol such as WiHD, NGMS, IEEE 802.1 la, ac, b, g, n, or other 802.11 standard protocol, Bluetooth, Ultra-Wideband (UWB), WIMAX, or other wireless network protocol, a wireless telephony data/voice protocol such as Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM), General Packet Radio Service (GPRS), Enhanced Data Rates for Global Evolution (EDGE), Long term Evolution (LTE), Personal Communication Services (PCS), or other mobile wireless protocol or other wireless communication protocol, either standard or proprietary. Further, the wireless communication path can include multiple transmit and receive antennas, as well as separate transmit and receive paths that use separate carrier frequencies and/or separate frequency channels. Alternatively, a single frequency or frequency channel can be used to bi-directionally communicate data to and from the communication device 10.

    [0015] Communication device 10 can be a mobile phone such as a cellular telephone, a local area network device, personal area network device or other wireless network device, a personal digital assistant, game console, personal computer, laptop computer, or other device that performs one or more functions that include communication of voice and/or data via wireline connection 28 and/or the wireless communication path. Further communication device 10 can be an access point, base station or other network access device that is coupled to a network 15 such at the Internet or other wide area network, either public or private, via wireline connection 28. In an embodiment of the present invention, the real-time and non-real-time devices 12, 14 16, 18, 20, 22 and 25 can be personal computers, laptops, PDAs, mobile phones, such as cellular telephones, devices equipped with wireless local area network or Bluetooth transceivers, FM tuners, TV tuners, digital cameras, digital camcorders, or other devices that either produce, process or use audio, video signals or other data or communications.

    [0016] In operation, the communication device includes one or more applications that include voice communications such as standard telephony applications, voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) applications, local gaming, Internet gaming, email, instant messaging, multimedia messaging, web browsing, audio/video recording, audio/video playback, audio/video downloading, playing of streaming audio/video, office applications such as databases, spreadsheets, word processing, presentation creation and processing and other voice and data applications. In conjunction with these applications, the real-time data 26 includes voice, audio, video and multimedia applications including Internet gaming, etc. The non-real-time data 24 includes text messaging, email, web browsing, file uploading and downloading, etc.

    [0017] In an embodiment of the present invention, the communication device 10 includes a wireless transceiver that includes one or more features or functions of the present invention. Such wireless transceivers shall be described in greater detail in association with FIGs. 3-8 that follow.

    [0018] Figure 2 is a schematic block diagram of an embodiment of another communication system in accordance with the present invention. In particular, FIG. 2 presents a communication system that includes many common elements of FIG. 1 that are referred to by common reference numerals. Communication device 30 is similar to communication device 10 and is capable of any of the applications, functions and features attributed to communication device 10, as discussed in conjunction with FIG. 1. However, communication device 30 includes two or more separate wireless transceivers for communicating, contemporaneously, via two or more wireless communication protocols with data device 32 and/or data base station 34 via RF data 40 and voice base station 36 and/or voice device 38 via RF voice signals 42.

    [0019] Figure 3 is a schematic block diagram of an embodiment of a wireless transceiver 125 in accordance with the present invention. The RF transceiver 125 represents a wireless transceiver for use in conjunction with communication devices 10 or 30, base station 18, non-real-time device 20, real-time device 22, and non-real-time, real-time device 25, data device 32 and/or data base station 34, and voice base station 36 and/or voice device 38. RF transceiver 125 includes an RF transmitter 129, and an RF receiver 127. The RF receiver 127 includes a RF front end 140, a down conversion module 142 and a receiver processing module 144. The RF transmitter 129 includes a transmitter processing module 146, an up conversion module 148, and a radio transmitter front-end 150.

    [0020] As shown, the receiver and transmitter are each coupled to an antenna through an antenna interface 171 and a diplexer (duplexer) 177, that couples the transmit signal 155 to the antenna to produce outbound RF signal 170 and couples inbound signal 152 to produce received signal 153. Alternatively, a transmit/receive switch can be used in place of diplexer 177. While a single antenna is represented, the receiver and transmitter may share a multiple antenna structure that includes two or more antennas. In another embodiment, the receiver and transmitter may share a multiple input multiple output (MIMO) antenna structure, diversity antenna structure, phased array or other controllable antenna structure that includes a plurality of antennas and other RF transceivers similar to RF transceiver 125. Each of these antennas may be fixed, programmable, and antenna array or other antenna configuration. Also, the antenna structure of the wireless transceiver may depend on the particular standard(s) to which the wireless transceiver is compliant and the applications thereof.

    [0021] In operation, the RF transmitter 129 receives outbound data 162. The transmitter processing module 146 packetizes outbound data 162 in accordance with a millimeter wave protocol or wireless telephony protocol, either standard or proprietary, to produce baseband or low intermediate frequency (IF) transmit (TX) signals 164 that includes an outbound symbol stream that contains outbound data 162. The baseband or low IF TX signals 164 may be digital baseband signals (e.g., have a zero IF) or digital low IF signals, where the low IF typically will be in a frequency range of one hundred kilohertz to a few megahertz. Note that the processing performed by the transmitter processing module 146 can include, but is not limited to, scrambling, encoding, puncturing, mapping, modulation, and/or digital baseband to IF conversion.

    [0022] The up conversion module 148 includes a digital-to-analog conversion (DAC) module, a filtering and/or gain module, and a mixing section. The DAC module converts the baseband or low IF TX signals 164 from the digital domain to the analog domain. The filtering and/or gain module filters and/or adjusts the gain of the analog signals prior to providing it to the mixing section. The mixing section converts the analog baseband or low IF signals into up-converted signals 166 based on a transmitter local oscillation.

    [0023] The radio transmitter front end 150 includes a power amplifier and may also include a transmit filter module. The power amplifier amplifies the up-converted signals 166 to produce outbound RF signals 170, which may be filtered by the transmitter filter module, if included. The antenna structure transmits the outbound RF signals 170 via an antenna interface 171 coupled to an antenna that provides impedance matching and optional bandpass filtration.

    [0024] The RF receiver 127 receives inbound RF signals 152 via the antenna and antenna interface 171 that operates to process the inbound RF signal 152 into received signal 153 for the receiver front-end 140. In general, antenna interface 171 provides impedance matching of antenna to the RF front-end 140, optional bandpass filtration of the inbound RF signal 152.

    [0025] The down conversion module 142 includes a mixing section, an analog to digital conversion (ADC) module, and may also include a filtering and/or gain module. The mixing section converts the desired RF signal 154 into a down converted signal 156 that is based on a receiver local oscillation 158, such as an analog baseband or low IF signal. The ADC module converts the analog baseband or low IF signal into a digital baseband or low IF signal. The filtering and/or gain module high pass and/or low pass filters the digital baseband or low IF signal to produce a baseband or low IF signal 156 that includes a inbound symbol stream. Note that the ordering of the ADC module and filtering and/or gain module may be switched, such that the filtering and/or gain module is an analog module.

    [0026] The receiver processing module 144 processes the baseband or low IF signal 156 in accordance with a millimeter wave protocol, either standard or proprietary to produce inbound data 160 such as probe data received from probe device 105 or devices 100 or 101. The processing performed by the receiver processing module 144 can include, but is not limited to, digital intermediate frequency to baseband conversion, demodulation, demapping, depuncturing, decoding, and/or descrambling.

    [0027] In an embodiment of the present invention, receiver processing module 144 and transmitter processing module 146 can be implemented via use of a microprocessor, micro-controller, digital signal processor, microcomputer, central processing unit, field programmable gate array, programmable logic device, state machine, logic circuitry, analog circuitry, digital circuitry, and/or any device that manipulates signals (analog and/or digital) based on operational instructions. The associated memory may be a single memory device or a plurality of memory devices that are either on-chip or off-chip. Such a memory device may be a read-only memory, random access memory, volatile memory, non-volatile memory, static memory, dynamic memory, flash memory, and/or any device that stores digital information. Note that when the processing devices implement one or more of their functions via a state machine, analog circuitry, digital circuitry, and/or logic circuitry, the associated memory storing the corresponding operational instructions for this circuitry is embedded with the circuitry comprising the state machine, analog circuitry, digital circuitry, and/or logic circuitry. As shown there is a feedback path between the receiver processing module 144 and transmitter processing module 146 for the purposes of beamforming calibration as will be described in greater detail in conjunction with FIGs. 4-8 that follow.

    [0028] While the processing module 144 and transmitter processing module 146 are shown separately, it should be understood that these elements could be implemented separately, together through the operation of one or more shared processing devices used for baseband processing of multiple RF sections or in any other combination of separate and shared processing.

    [0029] Further details including optional functions and features of the RF transceiver are discussed in conjunction with FIGs. 4-8 that follow.

    [0030] Figure 4 is a schematic block diagram of an embodiment of a RF transceiver 112 in accordance with the present invention. In particular, a wireless transceiver 112 is shown that can be used in place of RF transceiver 125. Wireless transceiver 112 includes an RF transceiver section 111 that includes one or more RF transmitters such as RF transmitter 129 and one or more RF receivers, such as RF receiver 127 as well as an array antenna 100. RF transceiver 112 transmits an outbound RF signal 170 via array antenna 100 containing outbound data 162 to one or more remote transceivers such as a wireless transceiver 110. In addition, array antenna 100 receives an inbound RF signal 152 containing inbound data 160 from the wireless transceiver 110. The array antenna 100 is configurable based on control signals 106 from configuration controller 104 to a plurality of different radiation patterns.

    [0031] The array antenna 100 includes multiple individual antenna elements. Examples of such individual antenna elements include monopole or dipole antennas, three-dimensional in-air helix antenna, aperture antennas of a rectangular shape, horn shaped, etc.; dipole antennas having a conical shape, a cylinder shape, an elliptical shape, etc.; and reflector antennas having a plane reflector, a corner reflector, or a parabolic reflector; meandering pattern or a micro strip configuration. In addition, RF transceiver section 111 includes a control matrix that controls the phase and amplitude of the signals to and from each individual antenna element in order to adjust the transmit and/or receive radiation pattern of the array based on steering weights wi. The steering weights, wi, control the gains and phases of the transmitted signals before reaching the antenna array 100. Each set of steering weights may include frequency dependent gains and phases in order to shape the beamformed transmission over the signal bandwidth. An example would a unique gain and phase for each OFDM frequency bin in the case of 802.11n/802.11ac transmissions. The steering weights can be selected to represent a particular radiation pattern, or can be generated from a mathematical set of equations that does not represent a physical radiation pattern. The antenna array 100 can be tuned for operation in the V-band of 55-64 GHz or other millimeter wave frequency band or other portion of the RF spectrum such as a 900 MHz band, 2.4 GHz band or 5 GHz band.

    [0032] Configuration controller 104 can be implemented using a shared processing device, individual processing devices, or a plurality of processing devices and may further include memory. Such a processing device may be a microprocessor, micro-controller, digital signal processor, microcomputer, central processing unit, field programmable gate array, programmable logic device, state machine, logic circuitry, analog circuitry, digital circuitry, and/or any device that manipulates signals (analog and/or digital) based on operational instructions. The memory may be a single memory device or a plurality of memory devices. Such a memory device may be a read-only memory, random access memory, volatile memory, non-volatile memory, static memory, dynamic memory, flash memory, and/or any device that stores digital information. Note that when the configuration controller 104 implements one or more of its functions via a state machine, analog circuitry, digital circuitry, and/or logic circuitry, the memory storing the corresponding operational instructions is embedded with the circuitry comprising the state machine, analog circuitry, digital circuitry, and/or logic circuitry.

    [0033] In an embodiment of the present invention, the configuration controller 104 contains a table of control signals 106 that correspond to a plurality of steering weights. In operation, a particular set of steering weights are generated for the array antenna 100 by the configuration controller 104 generating the corresponding control signals 106 and the RF transceiver section adjusting gains and phases of signals to and from each antenna in the array in response thereto. In an embodiment of the present invention, the control signals 106 include a particular value of the steering weights wi corresponding to the desired radiation pattern. Alternatively, the control signals 106 can include any other signal that indicates the desired radiation pattern. Configuration controller 104 can radiation patterns based on feedback signals 108 from RF transceiver section 111. In the system, the RF transceiver 112 is defined as the beamformer, and the RF transceiver 110 is defined as the beamformee, since it is receiving the transmit beamforming frame.

    [0034] In an embodiment of the present invention, the RF transceiver 112 implements transparent TX beamforming, in effect TX beamforming without any involvement from the beamformee - in this case transceiver 110. In operation, the RF transceiver 112 obtains channel state information (CSI) from reverse link channel estimation (i.e. ACK frames and/or received frames) and applies self-reciprocity calibration to the measured reverse link channel generated by configuration controller 104. This allows RF transceiver 112 to beamform to TXBF-incapable devices such as legacy 802.11a/g devices, or to 802.11n/11ac devices that do not support TX beamforming. It improves the quality of the CSI information since it can be applied directly after the receipt of the previous frame of information. Without the immediate turn-around, the CSI becomes less relevant because of the latency of when it was measured, and when it is applied on the beamformer transmission. It also generates improved CSI quality by reducing latency (benefitting both SU-MIMO and MU-MIMO configurations) and enables transparent DL-MU-MIMO TX beamforming without STA's realization. The configuration also saves feedback overhead when communicating to an Explicit-TXBF-capable device, and does not involved over-the-air communication of steering weights.

    [0035] In operation, the RF transceiver 112 takes advantage of channel reciprocity in order to improve channel state information (CSI) quality at the transmitter. In particular, the RF transceiver 112 performs implicit beamforming, by obtaining CSI through reverse-link channel estimation. Considering RF transceiver 112 to be Station "A" and transceiver 110 to be Station "B", configuration controller 104 operates based on feedback signals 108 to obtain channel state information at the "A" side through reverse link channel estimation H_BA. Based on channel reciprocity, the forward link channel response can be obtained by: H_AB = (H_BA) T. There is a difference in the forward and reverse link paths based on the transfer functions of the beamformer and beamformee radio transceivers. The forward path includes the transfer function of station A transmit, G_TA, the channel, H, and the station B receive transfer function, G_RB. The reverse path includes the transfer function of station B transmit, G_TB, the reverse channel, HT, and the station A receive transfer function, G_RA. The goal is to measure the baseband-to-baseband reverse link path, H_BA = (G_TB)(HT)(G_RA), and then estimate the forward link channel, H_AB = (G_TA)(H)(G_RB). Solving for the measure reverse path link, the forward link estimate is compute with H_AB = (G_TA/G_RA) (H_BAT)(G_RB/G_TB). The beamformer can compensate for its own transmit receive mismatch (G_TA/G_RA), and can also compensate for the beamformee side mismatch if known. In general, the estimate of the forward link is less sensitive to the beamformee mismatch, (G_TA/G_RA), and in practice can be ignored, i.e. H_AB = (G_TA/G_RA) (H_BAT).

    [0036] RF transceiver 111 generates a transmit precoding matrix to generate the desired steering weights wi based on H_AB. Beamformed (steered) packets from station A can be formed without the notice or involvement of beamformee (station B). However, link budget between station A and B are improved in terms of both range and rate.

    [0037] As discussed above, the use of this transparent beamforming methodology enables MIMO TX beamforming to Legacy devices (802.11a/g) or TXBF-incapable devices and avoids the use of an over-the-air two-station channel calibration process. In practice, only the beamformer-side on-chip self-calibration is required for good performance. This further serves to reduce channel mismatch due to Doppler and/or feedback latency, reduce the feedback overhead. In addition, it benefits MU-MIMO TXBF algorithm because of its increased sensitivity to CSI quality compared to SU-MIMO.

    [0038] Figure 5 is a schematic block diagram of various radiation patterns produced by wireless transceiver 112 in accordance an embodiment of the present invention. In particular, in addition to, or in an alternative to the transparent beamforming described in conjunction with FIG 4, RF transceiver 112 is capable of beamforming beacon transmissions to locate and associate with remote transceivers, such as transceiver 110 that may be out of range of omnidirectionally transmitted beacon signals.

    [0039] In the 802.11 protocol, a beacon frame is periodically transmitted by an access point (AP) in order to broadcast all of the information about the network. It includes key pieces of information including the timestamp, and beacon interval, capability information, and the service set identifier (SSID) among others. This is the key frame that gives a station (STA) the ability to know about the network, and start the process of connecting the AP and establishing a data connection.

    [0040] One of the key problems with the transmit beamforming (TxBF) protocol in the 802.11 standard is that it only proceeds once an initial connection is made. Once the connection between AP and STA has been established, TxBF can improve the effective signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), thereby improving the system capacity. Unfortunately, it does not improve the effective range of the AP since reception of the beacon is a limiting factor. This means that a STA outside the initial range of the AP (without beamforming) cannot connect to the network, even if it was reachable through TxBF.

    [0041] RF transceiver 112 is implemented in an access point to improves its' effectively range by using TxBF on the beacon frames, thereby enabling STAs to receive the beacon and start the connection with the AP (typically through the authentication and then associate steps). The AP broadcasts the beacon with a known set of TxBF steering weights, and then periodically transmits the beacon with different sets of TxBF weights in order to cover the entire region of interest. This can be TxBF weights can be optimized spatially for the room, and can be optimized in the frequency domain (no particular antenna geometry implied with the steering weights). In addition, the AP can also include non-steered beacon frames as well so as to not impact the normal coverage range of the AP. The particular AP can decide between the number of TxBF beacons, and there frequency of transmission in to balance the ability for an out-of-range STA to enter the network, and also allow in-range STA to connect. The beam-formed beacon may not be received by all available STAs that are in close proximity to the AP because of the directional nature of the wireless signals.

    [0042] In the example shown in Figure 5, transceiver 110 is out of the nominal range of the standard omnidirectional beacon frame transmission 82. In the example, if they AP used the proper steering weights wi, the wireless signal be strengthened in the direction of STA-2, and then successfully receive the beacon, and start the authentication and association frame exchange. In operation, the RF transceiver 112 generates a plurality of candidate radiation patterns 80 having corresponding steering weights wi. For example, candidate radiation patterns can be sequentially scanned, generated randomly, etc.

    [0043] Once a candidate the beacon has been sent with a candidate radiation pattern, the AP must then track all the new STAs that enter the network using this beacon. The tracking is very important because successive packets to be transmitted specifically to the STA should use the same TxBF weights in order to reach the STA. Once the full connection has been established, the AP can further refine the TxBF weights to the STA by measuring the reverse-link channel, as described in conjunction with FIG. 4. The AP can associate the STA with the TxBF beacon in a number of ways, first by the time-based element. Any STA that responds immediately after a beacon, the AP can use the TxBF weights to continue the communication with that STA. There are alternate methods where the AP could use an unique SSID for each of the TxBF steering beacons, and thereby identify the appropriate TxBF steering weights based on the SSID in the next packet from the STA.

    [0044] In an embodiment of the present invention, the AP starts by sending a beacon with a set of weights, wi. If the AP receives a response from a STA, it records the weights, wi, with that particular STA and initiates the further packet exchanges using those weights. After the beacon interval has been reached, the AP updates the TxBF weights for the beacon to a new candidate radiation pattern 80, and resumes looking for STA response.

    [0045] Figure 6 is a schematic block diagram of an embodiment of a RF transceiver section 111 in accordance with the present invention. In particular, RF transceiver section includes multiple RF sections 137 corresponding, for example, to each of the antennas in antenna array 100. Each RF section can include, for example, RF front-end 140, down conversion module 142, up conversion module 148 and radio transmitter front-end 150. The functionality of receiver processing module 144 and transmitter processing module 146, for each RF section 137, can be implemented by a baseband section 139.

    [0046] As discussed in conjunction with FIG. 4, the configuration controller 104 can contains a table of control signals 106 that correspond to a plurality of different steering weights, wi. In operation, a particular set of steering weights is generated for the array antenna 100 by the configuration controller 104 generating the corresponding control signals 106 and the RF transceiver section adjusting gains and phases of signals to and from each antenna in the array in response thereto. In an embodiment of the present invention, the feedback signals 108 can include reverse link channel estimation H_BA, a forward channel link estimate H_AB, CSI or other feedback used to generate the control signals 106. The control signals 106 can include a particular value of the steering weights wi corresponding to the desired radiation pattern generated based on feedback signal 108 or based on an updated candidate radiation pattern or based on other input. Alternatively, the control signals 106 can include any other signal that indicates the desired radiation pattern. Configuration controller 104 can radiation patterns based on feedback signals 108 from RF transceiver section 111.

    [0047] The operation of RF transceiver 111 can be described in conjunction with the following example. The configuration controller 104 generates a control signal 106 to select a first candidate radiation pattern for the beamforming antenna array 100 based on a first plurality of steering weights. The RF transceiver section 111 broadcasts a first beacon transmission with the first candidate radiation pattern, to generate feedback signals 108 to indicate if a remote station has responded to the first beacon transmission during some predetermined interval. When a remote station, such as transceiver 110, has responded to the first beacon transmission, the configuration controller 104 is further operable to store the first plurality of steering weights used in association with the first beacon transmission. The configuration controller 104 generates control signals 106 to the RF transceiver section 111 to use the first candidate radiation pattern when communicating with this remote station in packet transmission addressed to the remote station.

    [0048] Whether or not a station has not responded to the first beacon transmission during the predetermined interval, the configuration controller 104 is further operable to generate the control signal 106 to select a second candidate radiation pattern for the beamforming antenna 100 based on a second plurality of steering weights. The RF transceiver section 111 is further operable to broadcast a second beacon transmission with the second candidate radiation pattern, and generates the feedback signals 108 to indicate if any remote station has responded to the second beacon transmission.

    [0049] In this fashion, the configuration controller 104 generates the control signals 106 to select a plurality of candidate radiation patterns 90 and the RF transceiver section 111 periodically broadcasts beacon transmissions via the plurality of candidate radiation patterns. The plurality of candidate radiation patterns can include an omnidirectional radiation pattern and a plurality of different narrow beam radiation patterns. In particular, the configuration controller 104 can generate control signals 106 to alternate between an omnidirectional radiation pattern and a selected one of a plurality of different narrow beam radiation patterns.

    [0050] As discussed above, when a remote station has responded to a beacon transmission, the configuration controller 104 is further operable to determine a reverse channel estimation to that remote station based on the communication with the remote station using the corresponding candidate radiation pattern, and to adjust the steering weights and the radiation pattern based on the reverse channel estimation. It should be noted that, while the above description focuses on communication with a single remote station, associations with multiple remote stations can be accomplished in a similar fashion, with each remote station having either the same or different steering weights, depending on the responses of those stations to the beacon transmissions.

    [0051] It should also be noted that while the candidate steering weights discussed above are shown to generate narrow beam radiation patterns, the control of amplitude, phase and frequency used in adjusting the candidate steering weights may or may not generate such narrowband or directed radiation patterns.

    [0052] Figure 7 is a flow diagram of an embodiment of a method in accordance with the present invention. In particular, a method is presented for use in conjunction with one or more functions and features described in conjunction with FIGs. 1-6. In step 400, a control signal is generated to select a candidate radiation pattern for the beamforming antenna based on a plurality of steering weights. In step 402, a beacon transmission is broadcast via the RF transceiver with the candidate radiation pattern. In step 404, the feedback signals from the RF transceiver are evaluated to determine if a one or more remote stations have responded to the first beacon transmission. If a remote station has not responded to the beacon transmission during a response interval, the method returns to step 400 to select a new candidate radiation pattern. If a remote station has responded during the evaluation interval, the method proceeds to step 406 to store the plurality of steering weights used in association with the beacon transmission and to step 408 to communicate with the first remote station using the first candidate radiation pattern. At the predetermined time, the RF transceiver returns to 400 and restarts a new beacon transmission.

    [0053] In an embodiment of the present invention steps 400 and 402 are part of process to periodically broadcast beacon transmissions via a plurality of candidate radiation patterns. The plurality of candidate radiation patterns may include an omnidirectional radiation pattern and a plurality of different narrow beam radiation patterns. In particular, the plurality of candidate radiation patterns can alternate between an omnidirectional radiation pattern and a selected one of a plurality of different narrow beam radiation patterns. As discussed above however, the control of amplitude, phase and frequency used in adjusting the candidate steering weights may or may not generate such narrowband or directed radiation patterns.

    [0054] In one example, when a station has not responded to a beacon transmission during a predetermined interval, the control signal is generated to select a new candidate radiation pattern for the beamforming antenna based on another plurality of steering weights. A new beacon transmission can be broadcast via the RF transceiver with the new candidate radiation pattern. Feedback signals from the RF transceiver can be evaluated to determine when a remote station has responded to the new beacon transmission.

    [0055] In another example, when a first station has responded to a beacon transmission during a predetermined interval, the control signal is generated to select a new candidate radiation pattern for the beamforming antenna based on another plurality of steering weights. A new beacon transmission can be broadcast via the RF transceiver with the new candidate radiation pattern. It should be noted that, while the above description focuses on communication with a single remote station, associations with multiple remote stations can be accomplished in a similar fashion, with each remote station having either the same or different steering weights, depending on the responses of those stations to the beacon transmissions. Feedback signals from the RF transceiver can be evaluated to determine when one or more other remote stations have responded to any particular beacon transmission and used to assign steering weights for communication with these stations.

    [0056] Step 408 can include addressing packet transmissions to the remote in accordance with an 802.11n/ac standard.

    [0057] Figure 8 is a flow diagram of an embodiment of a method in accordance with the present invention. In particular, a method is presented for use in conjunction with one or more functions and features described in conjunction with FIGs. 1-7. In step 410, an RF transceiver performs a reverse channel estimation to a remote station based on a received packet transmission, and then determines a set of steering weights to optimize the connection back to the remote station. In step 412, the steering weights determined from the reverse-linked are used to communicate with the remote station, and the steering weights are calculated to optimize the communication link back to the remote station.

    [0058] As may be used herein, the terms "substantially" and "approximately" provides an industry-accepted tolerance for its corresponding term and/or relativity between items. Such an industry-accepted tolerance ranges from less than one percent to fifty percent and corresponds to, but is not limited to, component values, integrated circuit process variations, temperature variations, rise and fall times, and/or thermal noise. Such relativity between items ranges from a difference of a few percent to magnitude differences. As may also be used herein, the term(s) "operably coupled to", "coupled to", and/or "coupling" includes direct coupling between items and/or indirect coupling between items via an intervening item (e.g., an item includes, but is not limited to, a component, an element, a circuit, and/or a module) where, for indirect coupling, the intervening item does not modify the information of a signal but may adjust its current level, voltage level, and/or power level. As may further be used herein, inferred coupling (i.e., where one element is coupled to another element by inference) includes direct and indirect coupling between two items in the same manner as "coupled to". As may even further be used herein, the term "operable to" or "operably coupled to" indicates that an item includes one or more of power connections, input(s), output(s), etc., to perform, when activated, one or more its corresponding functions and may further include inferred coupling to one or more other items. As may still further be used herein, the term "associated with", includes direct and/or indirect coupling of separate items and/or one item being embedded within another item. As may be used herein, the term "compares favorably", indicates that a comparison between two or more items, signals, etc., provides a desired relationship. For example, when the desired relationship is that signal 1 has a greater magnitude than signal 2, a favorable comparison may be achieved when the magnitude of signal 1 is greater than that of signal 2 or when the magnitude of signal 2 is less than that of signal 1.

    [0059] As may also be used herein, the terms "processing module", "processing circuit", and/or "processing unit" may be a single processing device or a plurality of processing devices. Such a processing device may be a microprocessor, micro-controller, digital signal processor, microcomputer, central processing unit, field programmable gate array, programmable logic device, state machine, logic circuitry, analog circuitry, digital circuitry, and/or any device that manipulates signals (analog and/or digital) based on hard coding of the circuitry and/or operational instructions. The processing module, module, processing circuit, and/or processing unit may be, or further include, memory and/or an integrated memory element, which may be a single memory device, a plurality of memory devices, and/or embedded circuitry of another processing module, module, processing circuit, and/or processing unit. Such a memory device may be a read-only memory, random access memory, volatile memory, non-volatile memory, static memory, dynamic memory, flash memory, cache memory, and/or any device that stores digital information. Note that if the processing module, module, processing circuit, and/or processing unit includes more than one processing device, the processing devices may be centrally located (e.g., directly coupled together via a wired and/or wireless bus structure) or may be distributedly located (e.g., cloud computing via indirect coupling via a local area network and/or a wide area network). Further note that if the processing module, module, processing circuit, and/or processing unit implements one or more of its functions via a state machine, analog circuitry, digital circuitry, and/or logic circuitry, the memory and/or memory element storing the corresponding operational instructions may be embedded within, or external to, the circuitry comprising the state machine, analog circuitry, digital circuitry, and/or logic circuitry. Still further note that, the memory element may store, and the processing module, module, processing circuit, and/or processing unit executes, hard coded and/or operational instructions corresponding to at least some of the steps and/or functions illustrated in one or more of the Figures. Such a memory device or memory element can be included in an article of manufacture.

    [0060] The present invention has been described above with the aid of method steps illustrating the performance of specified functions and relationships thereof. The boundaries and sequence of these functional building blocks and method steps have been arbitrarily defined herein for convenience of description. Alternate boundaries and sequences can be defined so long as the specified functions and relationships are appropriately performed. Any such alternate boundaries or sequences are thus within the scope of the claims. Further, the boundaries of these functional building blocks have been arbitrarily defined for convenience of description. Alternate boundaries could be defined as long as the certain significant functions are appropriately performed. Similarly, flow diagram blocks may also have been arbitrarily defined herein to illustrate certain significant functionality. To the extent used, the flow diagram block boundaries and sequence could have been defined otherwise and still perform the certain significant functionality. Such alternate definitions of both functional building blocks and flow diagram blocks and sequences are thus within the scope of the claims. One of average skill in the art will also recognize that the functional building blocks, and other illustrative blocks, modules and components herein, can be implemented as illustrated or by discrete components, application specific integrated circuits, processors executing appropriate software and the like or any combination thereof.

    [0061] The present invention may have also been described, at least in part, in terms of one or more embodiments. An embodiment of the present invention is used herein to illustrate the present invention, an aspect thereof, a feature thereof, a concept thereof, and/or an example thereof. A physical embodiment of an apparatus, an article of manufacture, a machine, and/or of a process that embodies the present invention may include one or more of the aspects, features, concepts, examples, etc. described with reference to one or more of the embodiments discussed herein. Further, from figure to figure, the embodiments may incorporate the same or similarly named functions, steps, modules, etc. that may use the same or different reference numbers and, as such, the functions, steps, modules, etc. may be the same or similar functions, steps, modules, etc. or different ones.

    [0062] While the transistors in the above described figure(s) is/are shown as field effect transistors (FETs), as one of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate, the transistors may be implemented using any type of transistor structure including, but not limited to, bipolar, metal oxide semiconductor field effect transistors (MOSFET), N-well transistors, P-well transistors, enhancement mode, depletion mode, and zero voltage threshold (VT) transistors.

    [0063] Unless specifically stated to the contra, signals to, from, and/or between elements in a figure of any of the figures presented herein may be analog or digital, continuous time or discrete time, and single-ended or differential. For instance, if a signal path is shown as a single-ended path, it also represents a differential signal path. Similarly, if a signal path is shown as a differential path, it also represents a single-ended signal path. While one or more particular architectures are described herein, other architectures can likewise be implemented that use one or more data buses not expressly shown, direct connectivity between elements, and/or indirect coupling between other elements as recognized by one of average skill in the art.

    [0064] The term "module" is used in the description of the various embodiments of the present invention. A module includes a processing module, a functional block, hardware, and/or software stored on memory for performing one or more functions as may be described herein. Note that, if the module is implemented via hardware, the hardware may operate independently and/or in conjunction software and/or firmware. As used herein, a module may contain one or more sub-modules, each of which may be one or more modules.

    [0065] While particular combinations of various functions and features of the present invention have been expressly described herein, other combinations of these features and functions are likewise possible. The present invention is not limited by the particular examples disclosed herein and expressly incorporates these other combinations.


    Claims

    1. A radio frequency "RF" transceiver "A" (112) having a plurality of antennas (100), the RF transceiver (112) comprising:

    a configuration controller (104) configured to generate a control signal (106) to select a first candidate radiation pattern for the plurality of antennas (100) based on a first plurality of steering weights; and

    an RF transceiver section (111), coupled to the configuration controller (104), configured to broadcast a first beacon transmission with the first candidate radiation pattern, and to generate feedback signals (108) to indicate if a first remote station "B" (110) has responded to the first beacon transmission;

    wherein, when the first remote station "B" (110) has responded to the first beacon transmission, the configuration controller (104) is further configured to store the first plurality of steering weights "wi" used in association with the beacon transmission and to generate the control signals (106) to the RF transceiver section (111) to use the first candidate radiation pattern when communicating with the first remote station "B" (110);

    characterized in that

    when the first remote station "B" (110) has responded to the first beacon transmission, the configuration controller (104) is further configured to:

    determine a reverse channel estimation "H_BA" to the first remote station "B" (110) based on a packet received from the remote station "B" (110) in response to the first candidate radiation pattern,

    obtain a forward channel estimation "H_AB" based on channel reciprocity; and

    generate adjusted first steering weights "wi" based on the forward channel estimation "H_AB".


     
    2. The RF transceiver (112) of claim 1 wherein, when the first station has not responded to the first beacon transmission, the configuration controller (104) is further configured to generate the control signal (106) to select a second candidate radiation pattern for the beamforming antenna based on a second plurality of steering weights; and
    wherein the RF transceiver section (111) is further configured to broadcast a second beacon transmission with the first candidate radiation pattern, and to generate the feedback signals (108) from the RF transceiver (112) to indicate if the first remote station (110) has responded to the second beacon transmission.
     
    3. The RF transceiver (112) of claim 1, wherein the RF transceiver (112) is configured to perform a one-sided channel calibration based on a transmit path and receive path of the RF transceiver (112) as an estimate of characteristics of the first remote station (110).
     
    4. The RF transceiver (112) of claim 1, wherein the configuration controller (104) is configured to generate the control signals (106) to select a plurality of candidate radiation patterns and the RF transceiver section (111) periodically broadcasts beacon transmissions via the plurality of candidate radiation patterns.
     
    5. The RF transceiver (112) of claim 4, wherein the plurality of candidate radiation patterns include an omnidirectional radiation pattern.
     
    6. The RF transceiver (112) of claim 4, wherein the plurality of candidate radiation patterns include a plurality of different narrow beam radiation patterns.
     
    7. The RF transceiver (112) of claim 1 wherein the configuration controller (104) is configured to generate the control signals (106) to alternate between an omnidirectional radiation pattern and a selected one of a plurality of different narrow beam radiation patterns.
     
    8. The RF transceiver (112) of claim 1 wherein the RF transceiver section (111) is configured to operate in accordance with an 802.11ac standard.
     
    9. A method for use in conjunction with a radio frequency, RF, transceiver "A" (112) having a plurality of antenna, the method comprising:

    generating (400) a control signal (106) to select a first candidate radiation pattern for the plurality of antennas (100) based on a first plurality of steering weights "wi";

    broadcasting (402) a first beacon transmission via the RF transceiver (112) with the first candidate radiation pattern;

    evaluating (404) feedback signals (108) from the RF transceiver (112) to determine when a first remote station "B" (110) has responded to the first beacon transmission;

    when the first remote station "B" (110) has responded to the first beacon transmission:

    storing (406) the first plurality of steering weights "wi" in association with the beacon transmission; and

    communicating (408) with the first remote station "B" (110) using the first candidate radiation pattern;

    characterized by the steps:
    when the first remote station "B" (110) has responded to the first beacon transmission:

    determining a reverse channel estimation "H_BA" to the first remote station "B" (110) based on a packet received from the remote station "B" (110) in response to the first candidate radiation pattern;

    obtaining a forward channel estimation "H_AB" to the remote station "B" based on channel reciprocity; and

    generating adjusted first steering weights "wi" for the first candidate radiation pattern based on the forward channel estimation "H_AB".


     
    10. The method of claim 9, further comprising:
    when the first station has not responded to the first beacon transmission:

    generating the control signal (106) to select a second candidate radiation pattern for the plurality of antennas (100) based on a second plurality of steering weights;

    broadcasting a second beacon transmission via the RF transceiver (112) with the second candidate radiation pattern; and

    evaluating feedback signals (108) from the RF transceiver (112) to determine when the first remote station (110) has responded to the second beacon transmission.


     
    11. The method of claim 9, further comprising:
    performing a one-sided channel calibration based on a transmit path and receive path of the RF transceiver (112) as an estimate of characteristics of the first remote station (110).
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Radiofrequenz "RF" -Transceiver "A" (112), der eine Vielzahl von Antennen (100) hat, wobei der RF-Transceiver (112) aufweist:

    einen Konfigurationscontroller (104), der dazu konfiguriert ist, ein Steuersignal (106) zu erzeugen, um ein erstes Kandidatenstrahlungsmuster für die Vielzahl von Antennen (100) basierend auf einer ersten Vielzahl von Steuerungsgewichten auszuwählen; und

    einen RF-Transceiverabschnitt (111), der mit dem Konfigurationscontroller (104) verbunden und dazu konfiguriert ist, eine erste Signal- bzw. Beacon-Übertragung mit dem ersten Kandidatenstrahlungsmuster rundzusenden und Rückkopplungssignale (108) zu erzeugen, um anzuzeigen, ob eine erste ferne Station "B" (110) auf die erste Beacon-Übertragung geantwortet hat;

    wobei, wenn die erste ferne Station "B" (110) auf die erste Beacon-Übertragung geantwortet hat, der Konfigurationscontroller (104) des Weiteren dazu konfiguriert ist, die erste Vielzahl von Steuerungsgewichten "wi", die in Zusammenhang mit der Beacon-Übertragung verwendet werden, zu speichern und die Steuersignale (106) für den RF-Transceiverabschnitt (111) zu erzeugen, um das erste Kandidatenstrahlungsmuster beim Kommunizieren mit der ersten fernen Station "B" (110) zu verwenden;

    dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass,

    wenn die erste ferne Station "B" (110) auf die erste Beacon-Übertragung geantwortet hat, der Konfigurationscontroller (104) des Weiteren konfiguriert ist zum:

    Bestimmen einer Rücklaufkanalschätzung "H_BA" für die erste ferne Station "B" (110) basierend auf einem Paket, das von der fernen Station "B" (110) empfangen wird, im Ansprechen auf das erste Kandidatenstrahlungsmuster,

    Erhalten einer Vorlaufkanalschätzung "H_AB" basierend auf Kanalreziprozität; und

    Erzeugen angepasster erster Steuerungsgewichte "wi" basierend auf der Vorlaufkanalschätzung "H_AB".


     
    2. RF-Transceiver (112) nach Anspruch 1, wobei, wenn die erste Station nicht auf die erste Beacon-Übertragung geantwortet hat, der Konfigurationscontroller (104) des Weiteren dazu konfiguriert ist, das Steuersignal (106) zu erzeugen, um ein zweites Kandidatenstrahlungsmuster für die Strahlformungsantenne basierend auf einer zweiten Vielzahl von Steuerungsgewichten zu erzeugen; und wobei der RF-Transceiverabschnitt (111) des Weiteren dazu konfiguriert ist, eine zweite Beacon-Übertragung mit dem ersten Kandidatenstrahlungsmuster rundzusenden und die Rückkopplungssignale (108) von dem RF-Transceiver (112) zu erzeugen, um anzuzeigen, ob die erste ferne Station (110) auf die zweite Beacon-Übertragung geantwortet hat.
     
    3. RF-Transceiver (112) nach Anspruch 1, wobei der RF-Transceiver (112) dazu konfiguriert ist, eine einseitige Kanalkalibrierung basierend auf einem Übertragungspfad und einem Empfangspfad des RF-Transceivers (112) als eine Schätzung von Eigenschaften der ersten fernen Station (110) durchzuführen.
     
    4. RF-Transceiver (112) nach Anspruch 1, wobei der Konfigurationscontroller (104) dazu konfiguriert ist, die Steuersignale (106) zu erzeugen, um eine Vielzahl von Kandidatenstrahlungsmustern auszuwählen, und der RF-Transceiverabschnitt (111) Beacon-Übertragungen periodisch über die Vielzahl von Kandidatenstrahlungsmustern rundsendet.
     
    5. RF-Transceiver (112) nach Anspruch 4, wobei die Vielzahl von Kandidatenstrahlungsmustern ein rundstrahlendes Strahlungsmuster aufweisen.
     
    6. RF-Transceiver (112) nach Anspruch 4, wobei die Vielzahl von Kandidatenstrahlungsmustern eine Vielzahl unterschiedlicher Schmalstrahlen-Strahlungsmuster aufweisen.
     
    7. RF-Transceiver (112) nach Anspruch 1, wobei der Konfigurationscontroller (104) dazu konfiguriert ist, die Steuersignale (106) zu erzeugen, um zwischen einem rundstrahlenden Strahlungsmuster und einem ausgewählten einer Vielzahl verschiedener Schmalstrahlen-Strahlungsmuster abzuwechseln.
     
    8. RF-Transceiver (112) nach Anspruch 1, wobei der RF-Transceiverabschnitt (111) dazu konfiguriert ist, gemäß einem 802.11ac Standard zu arbeiten.
     
    9. Verfahren zur Verwendung in Zusammenhang mit einem Radiofrequenz, RF, -Transceiver "A" (112), der eine Vielzahl von Antennen hat, wobei das Verfahren umfasst:

    Erzeugen (400) eines Steuersignals (106), um ein erstes Kandidatenstrahlungsmuster für die Vielzahl von Antennen (100) basierend auf einer ersten Vielzahl von Steuerungsgewichten "wi" auszuwählen;

    Rundsenden (402) einer ersten Beacon-Übertragung über den RF-Transceiver (112) mit dem ersten Kandidatenstrahlungsmuster;

    Auswerten (404) von Rückkopplungssignalen (108) von dem RF-Transceiver (112) um zu bestimmen, wenn eine erste ferne Station "B" (110) auf die erste Beacon-Übertragung geantwortet hat;

    wenn die erste ferne Station "B" (110) auf die erste Beacon-Übertragung geantwortet hat:

    Speichern (406) der ersten Vielzahl von Steuerungsgewichten "wi" in Zusammenhang mit der Beacon-Übertragung; und

    Kommunizieren (408) mit der ersten fernen Station "B" (110) unter Verwendung des ersten Kandidatenstrahlungsmusters;

    gekennzeichnet durch die Schritte:
    wenn die erste ferne Station "B" (110) auf die erste Beacon-Übertragung geantwortet hat:

    Bestimmen einer Rücklaufkanalschätzung "H_BA" für die erste ferne Station "B" (110) basierend auf einem Paket, das von der fernen Station "B" (110) empfangen wird, im Ansprechen auf das erste Kandidatenstrahlungsmuster,

    Erhalten einer Vorlaufkanalschätzung "H_AB" für die ferne Station "B" basierend auf Kanalreziprozität; und

    Erzeugen angepasster erster Steuerungsgewichte "wi" für das erste Kandidatenstrahlungsmuster basierend auf der Vorlaufkanalschätzung "H_AB".


     
    10. Verfahren nach Anspruch 9, das des Weiteren umfasst:

    wenn die erste Station nicht auf die erste Beacon-Übertragung geantwortet hat:
    Erzeugen des Steuersignals (106), um ein zweites Kandidatenstrahlungsmuster für die Vielzahl von Antennen (100) basierend auf einer zweiten Vielzahl von Steuerungsgewichten zu erzeugen;

    Rundsenden einer zweiten Beacon-Übertragung über den RF-Transceiver (112) mit dem zweiten Kandidatenstrahlungsmuster; und

    Auswerten von Rückkopplungssignalen (108) von dem RF-Transceiver (112) um zu bestimmen, wenn die erste ferne Station (110) auf die zweite Beacon-Übertragung geantwortet hat.


     
    11. Verfahren nach Anspruch 9, das des Weiteren umfasst:
    Durchführen einer einseitigen Kanalkalibrierung basierend auf einem Übertragungspfad und einem Empfangspfad des RF-Transceivers (112) als Schätzung von Eigenschaften der ersten fernen Station (110).
     


    Revendications

    1. Émetteur-récepteur « A » de radiofréquence « RF » (112) ayant une pluralité d'antennes (100), l'émetteur-récepteur RF (112) comprenant :

    une unité de commande de configuration (104) configurée pour générer un signal de commande (106) afin de sélectionner un premier diagramme de rayonnement candidat pour la pluralité d'antennes (100) sur la base d'une première pluralité de poids de direction ; et

    une section d'émetteur-récepteur RF (111), couplée à l'unité de commande de configuration (104), configurée pour diffuser une première transmission de balises avec le premier diagramme de rayonnement candidat, et pour générer des signaux de rétroaction (108) afin d'indiquer si une première station distante « B » (110) a répondu à la première transmission de balises ;

    dans lequel, lorsque la première station distante « B » (110) a répondu à la première transmission de balises, l'unité de commande de configuration (104) est configurée en outre pour stocker la première pluralité de poids de direction « wi » utilisés en association avec la transmission de balises et pour générer les signaux de commande (106) à la section d'émetteur-récepteur RF (111) afin d'utiliser le premier diagramme de rayonnement candidat lors d'une communication avec la première station distante « B » (110) ;

    caractérisé en ce que

    lorsque la première station distante « B » (110) a répondu à la première transmission de balises, l'unité de commande de configuration (104) est configurée en outre pour :

    déterminer une estimation de canal inverse « H_BA » à la première station distante « B » (110) sur la base d'un paquet reçu à partir de la station distante « B » (110) en réponse au premier diagramme de rayonnement candidat,

    obtenir une estimation de canal aller « H_BA » sur la base d'une réciprocité de canal ; et

    générer des premiers poids de direction réglés « wi » sur la base de l'estimation de canal aller « H_BA ».


     
    2. Émetteur-récepteur RF (112) selon la revendication 1, dans lequel, lorsque la première station n'a pas répondu à la première transmission de balises, l'unité de commande de configuration (104) est configurée en outre pour générer le signal de commande (106) afin de sélectionner un second diagramme de rayonnement candidat pour l'antenne de formation de faisceau sur la base d'une seconde pluralité de poids de direction ; et
    dans lequel la section d'émetteur-récepteur RF (111) est configurée en outre pour diffuser une seconde transmission de balises avec le premier diagramme de rayonnement candidat, et pour générer les signaux de rétroaction (108) à partir de l'émetteur-récepteur RF (112) afin d'indiquer si la première station distante (110) a répondu à la seconde transmission de balises.
     
    3. Émetteur-récepteur RF (112) selon la revendication 1, dans lequel l'émetteur-récepteur RF (112) est configuré pour exécuter un étalonnage de canal unilatéral sur la base d'une voie de transmission et d'une voie de réception de l'émetteur-récepteur RF (112) en tant qu'estimation de caractéristiques de la première station distante (110).
     
    4. Émetteur-récepteur RF (112) selon la revendication 1, dans lequel l'unité de commande de configuration (104) est configurée pour générer les signaux de commande (106) afin de sélectionner une pluralité de diagrammes de rayonnement candidats et la section d'émetteur-récepteur RF (111) diffuse périodiquement des transmissions de balises par le biais de la pluralité de diagrammes de rayonnement candidats.
     
    5. Émetteur-récepteur RF (112) selon la revendication 4, dans lequel la pluralité de diagrammes de rayonnement candidats comprend un diagramme de rayonnement omnidirectionnel.
     
    6. Émetteur-récepteur RF (112) selon la revendication 4, dans lequel la pluralité de diagrammes de rayonnement candidats comprend une pluralité de différents diagrammes de rayonnement à faisceau étroit.
     
    7. Émetteur-récepteur RF (112) selon la revendication 1, dans lequel l'unité de commande de configuration (104) est configurée pour générer les signaux de commande (106) afin d'alterner entre un diagramme de rayonnement omnidirectionnel et un diagramme sélectionné parmi une pluralité de différents diagrammes de rayonnement à faisceau étroit.
     
    8. Émetteur-récepteur RF (112) selon la revendication 1, dans lequel la section d'émetteur-récepteur RF (111) est configurée pour fonctionner en fonction d'une norme 802.11ac.
     
    9. Procédé d'utilisation conjointement avec un émetteur-récepteur « A » de radiofréquence, RF, (112) ayant une pluralité d'antennes, le procédé comprenant :

    la génération (400) d'un signal de commande (106) afin de sélectionner un premier diagramme de rayonnement candidat pour la pluralité d'antennes (100) sur la base d'une première pluralité de poids de direction « wi » ;

    la diffusion (402) d'une première transmission de balises par le biais de l'émetteur-récepteur RF (112) avec le premier diagramme de rayonnement candidat;

    l'évaluation (404) de signaux de rétroaction (108) à partir de l'émetteur-récepteur RF (112) afin de déterminer le moment où une première station distante « B » (110) a répondu à la première transmission de balises ;

    lorsque la première station distante « B » (110) a répondu à la première transmission de balises :

    le stockage (406) de la première pluralité de poids de direction « wi » en association avec la transmission de balises ; et

    la communication (408) avec la première station distante « B » (110) à l'aide du premier diagramme de rayonnement candidat ;

    caractérisé par les étapes suivantes :
    lorsque la première station distante « B » (110) a répondu à la première transmission de balises :

    déterminer une estimation de canal inverse « H_BA » à la première station distante « B » (110) sur la base d'un paquet reçu à partir de la station distante « B » (110) en réponse au premier diagramme de rayonnement candidat,

    obtenir une estimation de canal aller « H_BA » à la station distante « B » sur la base d'une réciprocité de canal ; et

    générer des premiers poids de direction réglés « wi » pour le premier diagramme de rayonnement candidat sur la base de l'estimation de canal aller « H_BA ».


     
    10. Procédé selon la revendication 9, comprenant en outre :
    lorsque la première station n'a pas répondu à la première transmission de balises :

    générer le signal de commande (106) afin de sélectionner un second diagramme de rayonnement candidat pour la pluralité d'antennes (100) sur la base d'une seconde pluralité de poids de direction ;

    diffuser une seconde transmission de balises par le biais de l'émetteur-récepteur RF (112) avec le second diagramme de rayonnement candidat ; et

    évaluer les signaux de rétroaction (108) à partir de l'émetteur-récepteur RF (112) pour déterminer le moment où la première station distante (110) a répondu à la seconde transmission de balises.


     
    11. Procédé selon la revendication 9, comprenant en outre :
    l'exécution d'un étalonnage de canal unilatéral sur la base d'une voie de transmission et d'une voie de réception de l'émetteur-récepteur RF (112) en tant qu'estimation de caractéristiques de la première station distante (110).
     




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    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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    Patent documents cited in the description