In mobile devices, the number of supported frequency bands continues to increase with increasing demands for new features and higher data throughput. Some examples of new features include multiple voice/data communication links--GSM, CDMA, WCDMA, LTE, EVDO--each in multiple frequency bands, short range communication links (Bluetooth, UWB), broadcast media reception (MediaFLO, DVB-H), high speed internet access (UMB, HSPA, 802.11, EVDO), and position location technologies (GPS, Galileo). Supporting multiple frequency bands results in increased complexity and design challenges. Often, tradeoffs are made to support multiple frequency bands, at the cost of performance.
 US 2012/0229347 A1
discloses a tunable antenna system comprising a peripheral conductive member which runs around the edges of a housing. Dielectric-filled gaps divide the peripheral conductive member into segments which form antennas. Tuning circuitry includes switchable inductor circuits and variable capacitor circuits for tuning the antennas to provide coverage in desired frequency ranges.
The invention provides a mobile device and a method as defined by the appended independent claims. The multiband monopole antenna of the mobile device can be dynamically switched between a quarter-wave monopole antenna and a half-wave folded monopole antenna.
Optional features are defined by the dependent claims.
Using the switch, the same radiator structure can be used for multiple antenna configurations, saving overall space for the mobile device.
The foregoing and other objects, features, and advantages of the invention will become more apparent from the following detailed description, which proceeds with reference to the accompanying figures.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 is system diagram of a mobile device including a multiband monopole antenna.
FIG. 2 is a three-dimensional view of a mobile phone with an outer casing removed to view hidden portions of the multiband monopole antenna.
FIG. 3 is a top-down view of a mobile phone according to another embodiment including a multiband monopole antenna with dynamically configurable impedance matching.
FIG. 4 is an embodiment of a circuit element that is a passive filter.
FIG. 5 includes graphs showing antenna efficiency versus frequency and a reflection coefficient of the antenna.
FIG. 6 is a flowchart of a method for operating a monopole antenna.
In one embodiment, a radiator is formed using a conductive rim extending around an outer perimeter of a mobile device. The rim can be considered a decorative trim of the phone due to its visibility by a user. This rim can be partially connected to a printed circuit board (PCB) ground along the edges and disconnected from the PCB ground near antenna portions of the device. By electrically disconnecting a portion of the rim, the structure acts as a relatively low frequency planar inverted F antenna (PIFA) with a total length near one quarter of the resonant wavelength. When the rim is electrically connected, the structure acts as a relatively high frequency folded monopole antenna with a total length near one half of the resonant wavelength. The operation at low frequency bands (e.g.700 MHz) can be accomplished with a broken rim.
The antenna can have multiple benefits: Antenna size reduction can be achieved given that the same resonator structure can act as radiating element for different frequencies; Antenna performance can improve due to the absence of tradeoffs between the multiple band (higher QoS, lower dropped calls, higher battery life); The antenna can be allocated in more "aggressive" volumes (e.g. closer to a PCB ground plane), which may have benefits from hand/head detuning effect and the regulated absorption of energy to the human tissue (specific absorption ratio, SAR).
FIG.1 is a system diagram depicting an exemplary mobile device 100 including a variety of optional hardware and software components, shown generally at 102. Any components 102 in the mobile device can communicate with any other component, although not all connections are shown, for ease of illustration. The mobile device can be any of a variety of computing devices (e.g., cell phone, smartphone, handheld computer, Personal Digital Assistant (PDA), tablet, etc.) and can allow wireless two-way communications with one or more mobile communications networks 104, such as a cellular or satellite network.
The illustrated mobile device 100 can include a controller or processor 110 (e.g., signal processor, microprocessor, ASIC, or other control and processing logic circuitry) for performing such tasks as signal coding, data processing, input/output processing, power control, and/or other functions. An operating system 112 can control the allocation and usage of the components 102 and support for one or more application programs 114. The application programs can include common mobile computing applications (e.g., email applications, calendars, contact managers, web browsers, messaging applications), or any other computing application.
The illustrated mobile device 100 can include memory 120. Memory 120 can include non-removable memory 122 and/or removable memory 124. The non-removable memory 122 can include RAM, ROM, flash memory, a hard disk, or other well-known memory storage technologies. The removable memory 124 can include flash memory or a Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card, which is well known in GSM communication systems, or other well-known memory storage technologies, such as "smart cards." The memory 120 can be used for storing data and/or code for running the operating system 112 and the applications 114. Example data can include web pages, text, images, sound files, video data, or other data sets to be sent to and/or received from one or more network servers or other devices via one or more wired or wireless networks. The memory 120 can be used to store a subscriber identifier, such as an International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI), and an equipment identifier, such as an International Mobile Equipment Identifier (IMEI). Such identifiers can be transmitted to a network server to identify users and equipment.
The mobile device 100 can support one or more input devices 130, such as a touchscreen 132, microphone 134, camera 136, physical keyboard 138, trackball 140, and/or a proximity sensor 142, and one or more output devices 150, such as a speaker 152 and a display 154. Other possible output devices (not shown) can include piezoelectric or other haptic output devices. Some devices can serve more than one input/output function. For example, touchscreen 132 and display 154 can be combined in a single input/output device. The input devices 130 can include a Natural User Interface (NUI). An NUI is any interface technology that enables a user to interact with a device in a "natural" manner, free from artificial constraints imposed by input devices such as mice, keyboards, remote controls, and the like. Examples of NUI methods include those relying on speech recognition, touch and stylus recognition, gesture recognition both on screen and adjacent to the screen, air gestures, head and eye tracking, voice and speech, vision, touch, gestures, and machine intelligence. Other examples of a NUI include motion gesture detection using accelerometers/gyroscopes, facial recognition, 3D displays, head, eye , and gaze tracking, immersive augmented reality and virtual reality systems, all of which provide a more natural interface, as well as technologies for sensing brain activity using electric field sensing electrodes (EEG and related methods). Thus, in one specific example, the operating system 112 or applications 114 can comprise speech-recognition software as part of a voice user interface that allows a user to operate the device 100 via voice commands. Further, the device 100 can comprise input devices and software that allows for user interaction via a user's spatial gestures, such as detecting and interpreting gestures to provide input to a gaming application.
A wireless modem 160 can be coupled to a reconfigurable monopole antenna 170 and can support two-way communications between the processor 110 and external devices, as is well understood in the art. The modem 160 is shown generically and can include a cellular modem for communicating with the mobile communication network 104 and/or other radio-based modems (e.g., Bluetooth 164 or Wi-Fi 162). The wireless modem 160 is typically configured for communication with one or more cellular networks, such as a GSM network for data and voice communications within a single cellular network, between cellular networks, or between the mobile device and a public switched telephone network (PSTN). The one or more modems can communicate (transmit and receive) with the antenna 170 through one or more switches 172 that are used to configure the antenna for multiple frequency bands of operation, as further described below. The switches 172 can be controlled automatically by the modems based on an optimal frequency band to be used, or input can be received through one of the input devices 130 to select the desired frequency band. In alternative embodiments, the switches 172 need not be used. Instead the reconfigurable monopole antenna 170 can include a passive circuit element to reconfigure the antenna 170 based on frequency of the input signal. Still further, the antenna 170 can include tunable elements. For example, the proximity sensor 142 can be used to detect that a user's head is adjacent to the phone, which can introduce excess reactance. In response, the tunable elements can be tuned to ensure impedance matching is maintained. In any event, the antenna 170 can be selectably and programmatically configurable.
The mobile device can further include at least one input/output port 180, a power supply 182, a satellite navigation system receiver 184, such as a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver, an accelerometer 186, and/or a physical connector 190, which can be a USB port, IEEE 1394 (FireWire) port, and/or RS-232 port. The illustrated components 102 are not required or all-inclusive, as any components can be deleted and other components can be added.
FIG. 2 is a three-dimensional view showing an example mobile device 200 with a majority of an outer casing removed to expose inner components. However, a decorative trim 210, which is part of the outer casing, (as it is visible to the user with the outer casing in place) is shown extending around an outer perimeter of the mobile device. The decorative trim can be made from any of a variety of conductive materials, such as metals, and can function as the side walls of the mobile phone, in some embodiments. A ground plane 220 can be coupled to the decorative trim 210 and sized to be coextensive with a large portion of the outer perimeter. A cable 230 can extend over the ground plane 220 and connect at a feed point 240 to a radiator element 250 of an antenna, shown generally at 260. An impedance matching portion 266 of the decorative trim can be coupled at one end to the feed point 240 and, at the other end, to the ground plane 220 (indicated with an arrow at "grounded point 1"). The impedance matching portion 266 is used for impedance matching so that 50 Ohms, for example, can be maintained at the feed point 240. It will be recognized that the radiator element 250 and the impedance matching portion 266 can be monolithically formed as part of the decorative trim 210. A circuit element 270 can be embedded into the radiator element 250 adjacent a radiator tip 280 and between the radiator tip and a grounded portion of the decorative trim 210 (indicated with arrow at "grounded point 2"). Thus, the radiator element 250 can extend from the feed point 240 to the radiator tip 280. The circuit element 270 can effectively electrically connect or disconnect the radiator tip 280 of the antenna 260 to and from the grounded portion of the decorative trim. As is understood in the art, the circuit element can be an active or passive circuit element. For example, the circuit element 270 can be a switch (e.g., single pole, single throw or multi-pole, multi-throw) that opens or closes in response to a control signal (not shown). Alternatively, the circuit element can be a filter circuit (e.g., inductor and capacitor circuit) that blocks transmission at different frequencies. Whether active or passive case, the circuit element effectively electrically connects or disconnects the radiator tip from the grounded decorative trim.
It will be understood that the cable 230 is coupled to a modem (not shown) at an end opposite the feed point 240. The cable 230 can be replaced with a trace on a PCB to connect the modem to the feed point. Additionally, in some embodiments, such as the one shown in FIG. 2, the feed point 240 can be positioned on a side of the mobile phone 200 that is a different side than the circuit element 270. Positioning the feed point and the circuit element on different sides allows the radiator element to be long enough for most applications.
Thus, an antenna can include an embedded circuit element that utilizes the device structure to act as the radiator. The antenna 260 can generate a high (e.g., 2 GHz) and low frequency (e.g., 700 MHz) band behavior where both frequency bands are capable of being adjusted independently through the embedded circuit elements. Where the circuit element is a tunable element, it can be made of inductors and capacitors, which allows the antenna to behave as two electrically distinct topologies supported by the same physical structure. Alternatively, an RF switch can be used to open or close the loop, to support multiple frequencies. The resonant circuit is designed to act as a high impedance in the low frequency bands and to act as a low impedance in the higher frequency bands. In this way, a behavior can be achieved that combines that of the broken and unbroken topology. Such a circuit is consistent with the combined performance of the two physically different radiating structures.
FIG. 3 is a top view of a mobile device 300, according to another embodiment. In this embodiment, a modem 310 is shown coupled to a feed point 340 using a trace 342 (positioned on a PCB below the ground plane) and to a circuit element 370 using a PCB trace 371. A ground plane 320 can be used to ground a perimeter rim 322. An antenna 360 is formed using the rim 322, but at a location disconnected from the ground plane 320. Specifically, a radiator element 350 is formed from the rim 322, and includes a radiator tip 380. The radiator tip 380 is coupled to the circuit element 370. A proximity sensor 372 is shown that can detect a user's head adjacent to the mobile device 300. In response to such a detection, the proximity sensor 372 can send a signal to the modem 310, which can correspondingly control a circuit element 382 to adjust an impedance of the antenna 360. The circuit element 382 is shown along the impedance matching portion 366 of the decorative trim, but can be positioned at any desired location according to the specific design. The circuit element 370 can be a tunable element so that capacitive effects of a user's head can be compensated for by having the antenna's impedance dynamically matched. In still other embodiments, the impedance can be dynamically detected by an element at the feed point that measures an incident and reflected power in order to determine an impedance. In response, the modem 310 can tune one or more of the circuit elements in order to have a desired matching impedance.
FIG. 4 shows an example of the circuit element 400 that can be used in the previous embodiments. In this embodiment, the circuit element is a passive filter including an inductor 410 and a capacitor 420 coupled in parallel between a radiator tip and a grounded decorative trim. Other capacitive/inductive/resistive circuits can be used, as is well-understood in the art.
FIG. 5 is an example graph generated by using 27nH inductance and 1.2pF capacitance in the circuit of FIG. 4. The top graph shows the antenna efficiency (in dB) versus frequency. The bottom graph shows a reflection coefficient of the antenna (in dB), which is a measure of power reflected by the antenna. Ideal values have a high efficiency of greater than 3dB and low reflection coefficients of less than 6dB. Line 510 has a physical and electrical configuration of an open rim. A line 512 has the physical and electrical configuration of a closed rim. And line 514 has the physical configuration of an open rim and with the electrical configuration of an open rim at low frequencies and a closed rim at high frequencies.
FIG. 6 is a flowchart of a method for operating a multiband monopole antenna. In process block 610, a radiator element can be provided that is built into a decorative outer casing, such as a rim around the perimeter of the mobile device. In process block 612, a radiator tip can be coupled or decoupled from a grounded portion of the decorative trim. In order to electrically couple or decouple the radiator tip, a modem can control a circuit element to selectively open or close a switch. Alternatively, the modem can selective tune a tunable filter circuit element in order to dynamically change an impedance. Still further, a proximity sensor can selectively detect a proximity of a user's head to the mobile device and dynamically change the impedance based on the proximity thereto. Still further, a circuit element can be used to detect an impedance by detecting an incident and reflected power. Based on the detected impedance, the impedance can be changed through a tunable circuit element inserted into the radiator element.
Any of the disclosed methods can have aspects that are implemented as computer-executable instructions stored on one or more computer-readable storage media (e.g., one or more optical media discs, volatile memory components (such as DRAM or SRAM), or nonvolatile memory components (such as flash memory or hard drives)) and executed on a computer (e.g., any commercially available computer, including smart phones or other mobile devices that include computing hardware). As should be readily understood, the term computer-readable storage media does not include communication connections, such as modulated data signals. Any of the computer-executable instructions for implementing the disclosed techniques as well as any data created and used during implementation of the disclosed embodiments can be stored on one or more computer-readable media. The computer-executable instructions can be part of, for example, a dedicated software application or a software application that is accessed or downloaded via a web browser or other software application (such as a remote computing application). Such software can be executed, for example, on a single local computer (e.g., any suitable commercially available computer) or in a network environment (e.g., via the Internet, a wide-area network, a local-area network, a client-server network (such as a cloud computing network), or other such network) using one or more network computers.
It should also be well understood that any functionality described herein can be performed, at least in part, by one or more hardware logic components, instead of software. For example, and without limitation, illustrative types of hardware logic components that can be used include Field-programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs), Program-specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs), Program-specific Standard Products (ASSPs), System-on-a-chip systems (SOCs), Complex Programmable Logic Devices (CPLDs), etc.
Furthermore, any of the software-based embodiments (comprising, for example, computer-executable instructions for causing a computer to perform any of the disclosed methods) can be uploaded, downloaded, or remotely accessed through a suitable communication means. Such suitable communication means include, for example, the Internet, the World Wide Web, an intranet, software applications, cable (including fiber optic cable), magnetic communications, electromagnetic communications (including RF, microwave, and infrared communications), electronic communications, or other such communication means.
The disclosed methods, apparatus, and systems should not be construed as limiting in any way. Instead, the present disclosure is directed toward all novel and nonobvious features and aspects of the various disclosed embodiments, alone and in various combinations and subcombinations with one another. The disclosed methods, apparatus, and systems are not limited to any specific aspect or feature or combination thereof, nor do the disclosed embodiments require that any one or more specific advantages be present or problems be solved.
In view of the many possible embodiments to which the principles of the disclosed invention may be applied, it should be recognized that the illustrated embodiments are only preferred examples of the invention and should not be taken as limiting the scope of the invention. Rather, the scope of the invention is defined by the following claims. We therefore claim as our invention all that comes within the scope of these claims.
A mobile device (300) comprising:
a decorative trim for an outer casing of the mobile device; and
a multiband monopole antenna (360) comprising:
a radiator element (350) formed from a first part of the decorative trim, the radiator element having a first end coupled to a feed point (340) and a second end which is a radiator tip (380) of the radiator element;
a switch (370) having a control line (371) and being positioned to effectively electrically connect or disconnect the radiator tip from a second part of the decorative trim used as ground;
an impedance matching portion (366) formed from a third part of the decorative trim and having a first end coupled to the feed point (340) and a second end coupled to ground; and
a circuit element (382) positioned along the impedance matching portion (366);
the mobile device further comprising:
a proximity sensor (372) for detecting proximity to a user; and
a modem (310) coupled to the control line of the switch, to the circuit element, and to the proximity sensor, wherein the modem is configured to selectively open or close the switch and to be responsive to the proximity sensor for controlling the circuit element to adjust the impedance of the multiband monopole antenna.
2. The multiband monopole antenna of claim 1, wherein the switch (370) is a multi-pole, multi-throw switch.
3. The multiband monopole antenna of claim 1, wherein the feed point (340) is coupled to the radiator element (350) on a first side of the mobile device, and the switch (370) is positioned on a second side of the mobile device, different than the first side.
4. The multiband monopole antenna of claim 1, wherein, based on the state of the switch (370), the multiband monopole antenna is switchable between a quarter wavelength and a half wavelength antenna.
A method of operating the multiband monopole antenna (360) of the mobile device (300) of any preceding claim, comprising:
electrically coupling or decoupling (612) the radiator tip (380) from the second part of the decorative trim used as ground by selectively opening or closing the switch using the modem (310); and
detecting proximity of the user using the proximity sensor and dynamically changing the impedance based on the proximity.
Mobile Vorrichtung (300), umfassend:
eine Zierverkleidung für ein äußeres Gehäuse der mobilen Vorrichtung; und
eine Multiband-Monopolantenne (360), umfassend:
ein Strahlungselement (350), das aus einem ersten Teil der Zierverkleidung gebildet ist, wobei das Strahlungselement ein erstes Ende aufweist, das mit einem Einspeisepunkt (340) gekoppelt ist, und ein zweites Ende, das eine Strahlungsspitze (380) des Strahlungselements ist;
einen Schalter (370), der eine Steuerlinie (371) aufweist und positioniert ist, um die Strahlungsspitze von einem zweiten Teil der Zierverkleidung, der als Masse verwendet wird, wirksam elektrisch zu verbinden oder zu trennen;
einen Impedanzanpassungsabschnitt (366), der aus einem dritten Teil der Zierverkleidung gebildet ist und ein erstes Ende aufweist, das mit dem Einspeisepunkt (340) gekoppelt ist, und ein zweites Ende, das mit Masse gekoppelt ist; und
ein Schaltungselement (382), das entlang des Impedanzanpassungsabschnitts (366) positioniert ist;
wobei die mobile Vorrichtung weiter umfasst:
einen Näherungssensor (372) zum Erfassen von Näherung an einen Benutzer; und
ein Modem (310), das mit der Steuerlinie des Schalters, dem Schaltungselement und dem Näherungssensor gekoppelt ist, wobei das Modem konfiguriert ist, um den Schalter selektiv zu öffnen oder zu schließen und um auf den Näherungssensor zum Steuern des Schaltungselements zu reagieren, um die Impedanz der Multiband-Monopolantenne einzustellen.
2. Multiband-Monopolantenne nach Anspruch 1, wobei der Schalter (370) ein mehrpoliger Mehrfachumschalter ist.
3. Multiband-Monopolantenne nach Anspruch 1, wobei der Einspeisepunkt (340) mit dem Strahlungselement (350) auf einer ersten Seite der mobilen Vorrichtung gekoppelt ist und der Schalter (370) auf einer zweiten Seite der mobilen Vorrichtung, die sich von der ersten Seite unterscheidet, positioniert ist.
4. Multiband-Monopolantenne nach Anspruch 1, wobei basierend auf dem Zustand des Schalters (370) die Multiband-Monopolantenne zwischen einer Viertelwellenlängen- und einer Halbwellenlängenantenne schaltbar ist.
Verfahren zum Betreiben der Multiband-Monopolantenne (360) der mobilen Vorrichtung (300) nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, umfassend:
elektrisches Koppeln oder Entkoppeln (612) der Strahlungsspitze (380) vom zweiten Teil der Zierverkleidung, der als Masse verwendet wird, durch selektives Öffnen oder Schließen des Schalters unter Verwendung des Modems (310); und
Erfassen von Näherung des Benutzers unter Verwendung des Näherungssensors und dynamisches Ändern der Impedanz basierend auf der Näherung.
Dispositif mobile (300) comprenant :
une bordure décorative pour un boîtier extérieur du dispositif mobile ; et
une antenne unipolaire multibande (360) comprenant :
un élément de radiateur (350) formé à partir d'une première partie de la bordure décorative, l'élément de radiateur ayant une première extrémité couplée à un point d'alimentation (340) et une seconde extrémité qui est une pointe de radiateur (380) de l'élément de radiateur ;
un commutateur (370) présentant une ligne de commande (371) et étant positionné pour connecter ou déconnecter électriquement de manière efficace la pointe de radiateur d'une seconde partie de la garniture décorative utilisée comme terre ;
une partie d'appariement d'impédance (366) formée à partir d'une troisième partie de la bordure décorative et ayant une première extrémité couplée au point d'alimentation (340) et une seconde extrémité couplée à la terre ; et
un élément de circuit (382) positionné le long de la partie d'appariement d'impédance (366) ;
le dispositif mobile comprenant en outre :
un capteur de proximité (372) pour détecter une proximité vis-à-vis d'un utilisateur ; et
un modem (310) couplé à la ligne de commande du commutateur, à l'élément de circuit et au capteur de proximité, dans lequel le modem est configuré pour ouvrir ou fermer sélectivement le commutateur et répondre au capteur de proximité pour commander l'élément de circuit afin d'ajuster l'impédance de l'antenne unipolaire multibande.
2. Antenne unipolaire multibande selon la revendication 1, dans laquelle le commutateur (370) est un commutateur multipolaire, multivoie.
3. Antenne unipolaire multibande selon la revendication 1, dans laquelle le point d'alimentation (340) est couplé à l'élément de radiateur (350) sur un premier côté du dispositif mobile, et le commutateur (370) est positionné sur un second côté du dispositif mobile, différent du premier côté.
4. Antenne unipolaire multibande selon la revendication 1, dans laquelle, sur la base de l'état du commutateur (370), l'antenne unipolaire multibande peut être commutée entre une antenne à quart de longueur d'onde et une antenne à demi-longueur d'onde.
Procédé de fonctionnement de l'antenne unipolaire multibande (360) du dispositif mobile (300) selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, comprenant :
le couplage ou le découplage électrique (612) de la pointe de radiateur (380) vis-à-vis de la deuxième partie de la garniture décorative utilisée comme terre en ouvrant ou fermant sélectivement le commutateur à l'aide du modem (310) ; et
la détection de la proximité de l'utilisateur à l'aide du capteur de proximité et le changement dynamique de l'impédance sur la base de la proximité.