US20130315221A1 - Method and apparatus for transferring antenna capability information - Google Patents

Method and apparatus for transferring antenna capability information Download PDF

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Publication number
US20130315221A1
US20130315221A1 US13/957,534 US201313957534A US2013315221A1 US 20130315221 A1 US20130315221 A1 US 20130315221A1 US 201313957534 A US201313957534 A US 201313957534A US 2013315221 A1 US2013315221 A1 US 2013315221A1
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Prior art keywords
sta
antenna
capability information
antenna capability
transmitting
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US13/957,534
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Arty Chandra
Inhyok Cha
Paul Marinier
Vincent Roy
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InterDigital Technology Corp
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InterDigital Technology Corp
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Priority to US60913204P priority Critical
Priority to US11/066,915 priority patent/US8504110B2/en
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Priority to US13/957,534 priority patent/US20130315221A1/en
Publication of US20130315221A1 publication Critical patent/US20130315221A1/en
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    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04WWIRELESS COMMUNICATION NETWORKS
    • H04W24/00Supervisory, monitoring or testing arrangements
    • H04W24/02Arrangements for optimising operational condition
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04BTRANSMISSION
    • H04B7/00Radio transmission systems, i.e. using radiation field
    • H04B7/02Diversity systems; Multi-antenna system, i.e. transmission or reception using multiple antennas
    • H04B7/04Diversity systems; Multi-antenna system, i.e. transmission or reception using multiple antennas using two or more spaced independent antennas
    • H04B7/06Diversity systems; Multi-antenna system, i.e. transmission or reception using multiple antennas using two or more spaced independent antennas at the transmitting station
    • H04B7/0686Hybrid systems, i.e. switching and simultaneous transmission
    • H04B7/0689Hybrid systems, i.e. switching and simultaneous transmission using different transmission schemes, at least one of them being a diversity transmission scheme
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04WWIRELESS COMMUNICATION NETWORKS
    • H04W28/00Network traffic or resource management
    • H04W28/16Central resource management; Negotiation of resources or communication parameters, e.g. negotiating bandwidth or QoS [Quality of Service]
    • H04W28/18Negotiating wireless communication parameters
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04BTRANSMISSION
    • H04B7/00Radio transmission systems, i.e. using radiation field
    • H04B7/02Diversity systems; Multi-antenna system, i.e. transmission or reception using multiple antennas
    • H04B7/04Diversity systems; Multi-antenna system, i.e. transmission or reception using multiple antennas using two or more spaced independent antennas
    • H04B7/06Diversity systems; Multi-antenna system, i.e. transmission or reception using multiple antennas using two or more spaced independent antennas at the transmitting station
    • H04B7/0613Diversity systems; Multi-antenna system, i.e. transmission or reception using multiple antennas using two or more spaced independent antennas at the transmitting station using simultaneous transmission
    • H04B7/0615Diversity systems; Multi-antenna system, i.e. transmission or reception using multiple antennas using two or more spaced independent antennas at the transmitting station using simultaneous transmission of weighted versions of same signal
    • H04B7/0619Diversity systems; Multi-antenna system, i.e. transmission or reception using multiple antennas using two or more spaced independent antennas at the transmitting station using simultaneous transmission of weighted versions of same signal using feedback from receiving side
    • H04B7/0621Feedback content
    • H04B7/0628Diversity capabilities
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04WWIRELESS COMMUNICATION NETWORKS
    • H04W84/00Network topologies
    • H04W84/02Hierarchically pre-organised networks, e.g. paging networks, cellular networks, WLAN [Wireless Local Area Network] or WLL [Wireless Local Loop]
    • H04W84/10Small scale networks; Flat hierarchical networks
    • H04W84/12WLAN [Wireless Local Area Networks]

Abstract

A method and apparatus for exchanging antenna capability information between a transmitting station (STA) and a receiving STA in a wireless communication system may include an antenna capability information element (IE) that includes information regarding the capability of the transmitting STA. The antenna capability IE may be transmitted from the transmitting STA to the receiving STA prior to data transmission between the transmitting STA and the receiving STA. When used in a wireless local area network, the antenna capability IE may be transmitted as part of a management frame, control frame, or data frame.

Description

  • CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
  • This application is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/066,915 filed on Feb. 25, 2005, and issued as U.S. Pat. No. 8,504,110 on Aug. 6, 2013, which claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/609,132, filed on Sep. 10, 2004, the contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference.
  • FIELD OF INVENTION
  • The present invention generally relates to a wireless local area network (WLAN) and, more particularly, to a method and apparatus for transferring smart antenna capability. The present invention can be implemented in an access point (AP) and a station (STA) to allow exchange of antenna capability information.
  • BACKGROUND
  • In a WLAN, smart antenna capabilities may exist at the AP, at the STA, or both. Without a prior exchange of antenna capability information, the AP does not know how to coordinate its smart antenna features with that of a STA and vice versa.
  • The potentially adverse effect on a WLAN by not exchanging smart antenna capability information can be illustrated in the following example. Suppose that switched-beam smart antennas are employed at both an AP and a STA and yet each end's smart antenna capabilities (for example, the number of beam modes that are available and need to be scanned, as well as time duration needed to test each of the available beams) are not known to the other end. Since neither the AP nor the STA know about the smart antenna capabilities of its receiving end, each will have to either: (1) make guesses as to the smart antenna capabilities of the other end; or (2) try to test its own transmit antenna beams without knowing that the receiving end might, at the same time, employ a beam search of its own.
  • If the smart antenna capabilities at both ends were known to each other, both devices could follow simple, pre-agreed rules to avoid service degradations due to beam searching at the same time on both ends. For example, if the “beam search time” (Tsearch) is known for both the AP and the STA, then a simple rule that could be useful might be that the device (the AP or the STA) that first receives a packet after association should wait for the duration of Tsearch before it starts its own beam search, in an attempt to give the other end (which had initiated transmission) enough time to do its own beam search.
  • Current antenna technologies enhance reception by using receive and/or transmit diversity. These techniques either take longer to obtain any gain or provide less gain than otherwise would have been possible. Additionally, current antenna technologies often need to use proprietary messages to know the antenna capability of a STA. In the absence of this information, the APs and STAs cannot take advantage of antenna capabilities to increase the data rate or range.
  • For smart antenna features to work effectively, the information on the capabilities of the STA and the AP should be exchanged. Exchanging antenna information also allows possible coordination during optimization of smart antenna features such as beam selection, beam scanning, beam forming, multiple input multiple output (MIMO), and any other capability that allows changing the beam pattern and/or gain of the antennas.
  • SUMMARY
  • A method and apparatus for exchanging antenna capability information between a transmitting STA and a receiving STA in a wireless communication system that may include an antenna capability information element (IE). The antenna capability IE may be transmitted from the transmitting STA to the receiving STA prior to data transmission between the transmitting STA and the receiving STA. When used in a WLAN, the antenna capability IE may be transmitted as part of a management frame.
  • A method for exchanging smart antenna capability information between a transmitting STA and a receiving STA in a wireless communication system includes the steps of: sending antenna capability information from the transmitting STA to the receiving STA, determining whether the receiving STA can support the antenna capabilities of the transmitting STA, adjusting settings at the receiving STA if the receiving STA can support the antenna capabilities of the transmitting STA, and transmitting data from the transmitting STA to the receiving STA using the antenna capabilities if the receiving STA can support the antenna capabilities of the transmitting STA.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • A more detailed understanding of the invention may be had from the following description of a preferred embodiment, given by way of example, and to be understood in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:
  • FIG. 1 is a diagram of an existing capability information field;
  • FIG. 2 is a diagram of a portion of a frame including an antenna capability information element (IE) in accordance with the present invention;
  • FIG. 3 is a diagram of the antenna capability IE shown in FIG. 2;
  • FIG. 4 is a flowchart of a method in accordance with the present invention;
  • FIG. 5 is a flow diagram of an alternate method in accordance with the present invention; and
  • FIG. 6 is a block diagram of a system constructed in accordance with the present invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • Hereafter, the term “station” (STA) includes, but is not limited to, a wireless transmit/receive unit, a user equipment, a fixed or mobile subscriber unit, a pager, or any other type of device capable of operating in a wireless environment. When referred to hereafter, the term “access point” (AP) includes, but is not limited to, a base station, a Node B, a site controller, or any other type of interfacing device in a wireless environment.
  • The present invention addresses antenna capability information exchange between an AP and STA and builds upon the current messages provided by the 802.11 standards and is fully backward compatible.
  • A capability information field 100, as used in a beacon frame, an association request frame, an association response frame, and a probe response frame, has some reserved bits, as shown in FIG. 1. The capacity information field 100 includes an extended service set (ESS) subfield 102, an independent basic service set (IBSS) subfield 104, a contention free (CF) pollable subfield 106, a CF poll request subfield 108, a privacy subfield 110, and a number of reserved bits 112. In the 802.11 standards, the subfields 102-110 are each one bit long and there are 11 reserved bits 112.
  • The present invention utilizes one of the reserved bits 112 for transferring antenna capability information by using one of the reserved bits as a flag to indicate whether antenna capability information will be transmitted. The details of an antenna's capabilities are part of an additional information element (IE), which is attached to the end of the packet if the antenna capability information flag is set.
  • The antenna capability information IE can be included as part of an association request frame, an association response frame, a probe request frame, and a probe response frame. An example of a portion of an association request frame 200 including this new IE is shown in FIG. 2. The frame 200 includes a capability information field 202, a listen interval field 204, a service set identifier (SSID) IE 206, a supported rates IE 208, and an antenna capability IE 210. Alternatively, the antenna capability IE 210 can be added to any management frame, such as a reassociation request, a reassociation response, or a beacon; to any control frame; or to data packets. In a preferred embodiment, the antenna capability IE 210 is sent in a management frame. If the antenna capability IE 210 is added to the probe request frame and the probe response frame, a STA can use this information before initiating an association procedure with an AP.
  • The antenna capability IE 210 is shown in detail in FIG. 3 and includes, but is not limited to, an antenna technology field 302, a number of supported beams field 304, a field to indicate support of transmit antenna information after physical (PHY) layer convergence protocol (PLCP) header 306, a diversity technique field 308, a field to indicate support of antenna measurement signaling 310, and a field to indicate support for multiple inputs 312. Additional antenna capability information may also be included in the IE 210.
  • In one embodiment, the minimum amount of information to be exchanged includes the antenna technology field 302, and the rest of the fields may be optional. It may be possible to derive the remaining fields (i.e., fields 304-312) once the antenna technology type is known.
  • After one side (either AP or STA) receives the antenna capability information from the transmitting side, the receiving side adjusts local settings for transmission and/or reception such as number of antennas used, diversity method, smart antenna technologies used for transmission/reception, and extra antenna measurements.
  • In the event that the receiving side cannot support the antenna capabilities of the transmitting side, the transmitting side will not be able to use the particular antenna features. Certain antenna technologies will operate properly only if both the transmitting side and the receiving side are capable of utilizing the technology. One example is MIMO technology, which only works if supported on both sides.
  • FIG. 4 shows a method 400 for exchanging antenna capability information in accordance with the present invention. For purposes of discussion of the method 400, the terms “transmitting STA” and “receiving STA” are used. It is noted that both the transmitting STA and the receiving STA can be an AP or a STA, such that an exchange of antenna capability information can occur between an AP and a STA or between two STAs, in either direction.
  • The method 400 begins with the transmitting STA sending its antenna capability information to the receiving STA in an antenna capability IE (step 402). The receiving STA receives the antenna capability IE (step 404) and determines whether it can support the requested antenna capabilities. If the receiving STA can support the antenna capabilities of the transmitting STA (step 406), then the receiving STA adjusts its settings to handle the transmitting STA's antenna capabilities (step 408). The receiving STA sends an acknowledgement of its antenna capabilities to the transmitting STA (step 410).
  • In an alternate embodiment of the method 400, the acknowledgement is sent to the transmitting STA before the receiving STA adjusts its settings (i.e., steps 408 and 410 are switched). While this message is an acknowledgement of the receiving STA's antenna capabilities, it is not necessarily an ACK signal. If the receiving STA has some, but not all, of the capabilities of the transmitting STA, negotiation of capabilities can occur to achieve a common set of capabilities to be used. If a preferred embodiment, the capabilities used will be the smaller capability set belonging to both STAs.
  • The transmitting STA begins transmitting using the communicated antenna capabilities (step 412) and the method terminates (step 414).
  • If the receiving STA does not support the transmitting STA's antenna capabilities (step 406), then the receiving STA notifies the transmitting STA that it does not have the requested antenna capabilities (step 416). The transmitting STA begins transmitting without using the requested antenna capabilities (step 418) and the method terminates (step 414).
  • FIG. 5 is a flow diagram of an alternate method 500 for exchanging antenna capability information between a transmitting STA 502 and a receiving STA 504. The transmitting STA 502 sends its antenna capability information to the receiving STA 504 (step 510). The receiving STA 504 sends its antenna capability information to the transmitting STA 502 (step 512). It is noted that steps 510 and 512 can be performed in reverse order. The ordering of steps 510 and 512 is not critical, as long as the antenna capability information is exchanged between the transmitting STA 502 and the receiving STA 504. Optionally, the transmitting STA 502 and the receiving STA 504 can negotiate antenna capabilities to find a common antenna capability set or can exchange measurement information (step 514). This optional step can be used to refine the set of antenna features to be used.
  • After the exchange of antenna information (steps 510, 512) and any additional information exchange (step 514), both the transmitting STA 502 and the receiving STA 504 decide locally which antenna features to use based on the antenna capabilities that are supported locally (steps 516, 518).
  • FIG. 6 is a block diagram of a system 600 constructed in accordance with the present invention. The system 600 includes a transmitting STA 602 and a receiving STA 604. The transmitting STA 602 includes an antenna capability determining device 610 which determines the antenna capabilities of the transmitting STA 602 by examining stored antenna capability information 612. The antenna capabilities of the transmitting STA 602 are sent out by a transmitted 614 and an antenna 616.
  • The receiving STA 604 receives the antenna capability information of the transmitting STA 602 via an antenna 620 and a receiver 622. An antenna capability determining device 624 compares the antenna capabilities of the transmitting station 602 with the antenna capability information 626 of the receiving STA 604. The antenna capability determining device 624 communicates with a STA setting adjustment device 628, which adjusts the settings of the receiving STA 604 in order to utilize the smart antenna capabilities.
  • It is noted that a negotiation of antenna capabilities between the transmitting STA 602 and the receiving STA 604 can occur via the respective antenna capability determining devices 610, 624.
  • While the present invention has been described in terms of a WLAN, the principles of the present invention are equally applicable to any type of wireless communication system. Although the features and elements of the present invention are described in the preferred embodiments in particular combinations, each feature or element can be used alone (without the other features and elements of the preferred embodiments) or in various combinations with or without other features and elements of the present invention.

Claims (24)

What is claimed is:
1. A first 802.11 station (STA) for exchanging antenna capability information in wireless communications, the first 802.11 STA comprising:
a receiver configured to receive a probe request frame that contains an antenna capability information element that indicates a number of supported beams of a second 802.11 STA; and
a transmitter configured to transmit a probe response frame that contains a second antenna capability information element that indicates a number of supported beams of the first 802.11 STA.
2. The first 802.11 STA of claim 1, wherein the first or the second antenna capability information element further includes at least one field selected from the group consisting of an indicator of support of transmit antenna information after physical layer convergence protocol header, an indicator of diversity technique, an indicator of antenna measurement signaling support, and an indicator of multiple input support.
3. The first 802.11 STA of claim 1, wherein the first 802.11 STA is a wireless local area network (WLAN) access point.
4. The first 802.11 STA of claim 1, wherein the first 802.11 STA is a STA in an 802.11 wireless local area network (WLAN).
5. The first 802.11 STA of claim 1, wherein the first or the second antenna capability information element includes an antenna technology field.
6. The first 802.11 STA of claim 5, wherein each of the at least one fields is derived by the second STA from the antenna technology field.
7. The first 802.11 STA of claim 1, wherein the probe response frame is transmitted at any time after association between the first 802.11 STA and the second 802.11 STA.
8. The first 802.11 STA of claim 1, wherein the probe response frame is transmitted at any time after a data transfer between the first 802.11 STA and the second 802.11 STA.
9. The first 802.11 STA of claim 1, wherein the processor is further configured to adjust antenna settings of the first 802.11 STA to use a set of antenna capabilities belonging to both the first and second 802.11 STAs on a condition that the first 802.11 STA supports at least one of the indicated plurality of antenna capabilities.
10. A method for exchanging antenna capability information at a first 802.11 station (STA) in wireless communications, the method comprising:
receiving a probe request frame that contains an antenna capability information element that indicates a number of supported beams of a second 802.11 STA; and
transmitting a probe response frame that contains a second antenna capability information element that indicates a number of supported beams of the first 802.11 STA.
11. The method of claim 10, further comprising:
adjusting settings at the first STA to use a number of supported beams belonging to both the first and second STAs.
12. The method of claim 11, wherein the adjusting includes adjusting at least one setting selected from the group consisting of a number of antennas used, a diversity method, a smart antenna technology used, and additional antenna measurements.
13. The method of claim 11, wherein the transmitting is performed prior to the adjusting.
14. The method of claim 11, wherein the transmitting is performed after the adjusting.
15. The method of claim 10, wherein the transmitting includes notifying the second 802.11 STA that the first 802.11 STA does not support the requested number of beams.
16. The method of claim 10, wherein the receiving includes receiving data from the second 802.11 STA using a different number of supported beams than the indicated number of supported beams.
17. A method for exchanging antenna capability information at a first 802.11 station (STA) in wireless communications, the method comprising:
transmitting a probe request frame containing an antenna capability information element relating to an antenna capability of the first 802.11 STA, prior to data transmission with a second 802.11 STA, wherein the antenna capability information element indicates a number of supported beams;
receiving a probe response frame containing an antenna capability information element relating to an antenna capability of the second 802.11 STA; and
determining which antenna capabilities to use for future transmission and reception.
18. The method of claim 17, wherein the determining is performed without any additional communication.
19. The method of claim 17, further comprising:
exchanging measurement information with the second 802.11 STA, wherein the exchanging is performed prior to the determining.
20. The method of claim 17, further comprising:
negotiating antenna capability information with the second 802.11 STA, wherein the negotiating is performed prior to the determining.
21. A first 802.11 station (STA) for exchanging antenna capability information in wireless communications, the first 802.11 STA comprising:
a transmitter configured to transmit a probe request frame that contains an antenna capability information element relating to an antenna capability of the first 802.11 STA, prior to data transmission with a second 802.11 STA, wherein the antenna capability information element indicates a number of supported beams;
a receiver configured to receive a probe response frame that contains an antenna capability information element relating to an antenna capability of the second 802.11 STA; and
a processor configured to determine which antenna capabilities to use for future transmission and reception.
22. The first 802.11 STA of claim 21, wherein the processor is configured to determine which antenna capabilities to use for future transmission and reception without any additional communication.
23. The first 802.11 STA of claim 21, wherein the processor is configured to exchange measurement information with the second 802.11 STA before it determines which antenna capabilities to use for future transmission and reception.
24. The first 802.11 STA of claim 21, wherein the processor is configured to negotiate antenna capability information with the second 802.11 STA before it determines which antenna capabilities to use for future transmission and reception.
US13/957,534 2004-09-10 2013-08-02 Method and apparatus for transferring antenna capability information Pending US20130315221A1 (en)

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US60913204P true 2004-09-10 2004-09-10
US11/066,915 US8504110B2 (en) 2004-09-10 2005-02-25 Method and apparatus for transferring smart antenna capability information
US13/957,534 US20130315221A1 (en) 2004-09-10 2013-08-02 Method and apparatus for transferring antenna capability information

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US11/066,915 Continuation US8504110B2 (en) 2004-09-10 2005-02-25 Method and apparatus for transferring smart antenna capability information

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