WO2010027332A1 - Communication device and method for communication resource allocation - Google Patents

Communication device and method for communication resource allocation Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2010027332A1
WO2010027332A1 PCT/SG2009/000308 SG2009000308W WO2010027332A1 WO 2010027332 A1 WO2010027332 A1 WO 2010027332A1 SG 2009000308 W SG2009000308 W SG 2009000308W WO 2010027332 A1 WO2010027332 A1 WO 2010027332A1
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WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
communication
communication network
communication device
network
secondary
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PCT/SG2009/000308
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Po Shin Francois Chin
Tung Chong David Wong
Gopa Sen
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Agency For Science, Technology And Research
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Priority to US9354408P priority Critical
Priority to US61/093,544 priority
Application filed by Agency For Science, Technology And Research filed Critical Agency For Science, Technology And Research
Publication of WO2010027332A1 publication Critical patent/WO2010027332A1/en

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Classifications

    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04WWIRELESS COMMUNICATION NETWORKS
    • H04W72/00Local resource management, e.g. wireless traffic scheduling or selection or allocation of wireless resources
    • H04W72/12Dynamic Wireless traffic scheduling ; Dynamically scheduled allocation on shared channel
    • H04W72/1205Schedule definition, set-up or creation
    • H04W72/1215Schedule definition, set-up or creation for collaboration of different radio technologies
    • 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]
    • H04W28/26Resource reservation
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04WWIRELESS COMMUNICATION NETWORKS
    • H04W72/00Local resource management, e.g. wireless traffic scheduling or selection or allocation of wireless resources
    • H04W72/04Wireless resource allocation
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04WWIRELESS COMMUNICATION NETWORKS
    • H04W88/00Devices specially adapted for wireless communication networks, e.g. terminals, base stations or access point devices
    • H04W88/02Terminal devices
    • H04W88/06Terminal devices adapted for operation in multiple networks or having at least two operational modes, e.g. multi-mode terminals

Abstract

A communication device configured to be coupled to a first communication network and configured to be coupled to a second communication network is described that comprises a reservation circuit configured to reserve communication resources in the first communication network and a signaling circuit configured to signal to at least one other communication device of the second communication network information representing a time period during which the communication resources may be used for communication in the second communication network.

Description

COMMUNICATION DEVICE AND METHOD FOR COMMUNICATION RESOURCE

ALLOCATION

Embodiments of the invention generally relate to a communication device and a method for communication resource allocation.

Currently, the WiMedia multi-band OFDM specification is the de-facto physical layer standard for high data rate (HDR) UWB devices, and it has been adopted in the industrial standard ECMA-368 in its version vl .1. There is no piconet coordinator (PNC) for these high rate piconets. Instead, piconet coordination is decentralized and relies on beaconing for neighbor discovery and information element (IE) exchange. A communication network according to this WiMedia specification will presumably operate in the 58-66 GHz frequency band with four subbands in the future. Such a communication network is referred to as WiMedia mmWave (ECMA) network in the following.

According to the WiMedia PHY (physical layer) specification version vl.2, the symbol rate is 3.2MSps and data rates between 53.3Mbps and 480Mbps are supported. Subband hopping in the frequency domain can be employed to increase the transmitted power, which in turn increases the supported range. Each subband is to occupy 528MHz, and all devices within the same piconet share the same hopping pattern. The hopping patterns can be over thee subbands (Time-Frequency Interleaving, TFI), two subbands (TFI2) and one subband

(Fixed-Frequency Interleaving, FFI) . In bandgroup 1 (BG#1) for instance, the occupied center frequencies for TFI mode reside at 3432MHz, 3960MHz and 4488MHz. Furthermore, the IEEE 802.15.4a specification is the current standard for low data rate (LDR) UWB devices. A communication system according to IEEE 802.15.4a is a pulse-based system and has a mandatory data rate of .0.8Mbps and optional data rates of up to 26Mbps. The 3dB bandwidth of the mandatory band is 494MHz, and two frequency bands have been defined. In the mandatory band for instance, the center frequency is at 3952MHz. There is a piconet coordinator (PNC) for centralized coordination. Typical IEEE 802.15.4a communication devices are low powered and are divided into two classes. Reduced- functional devices (RFDs) are relatively simple nodes which do not have to capability to act as piconet coordinator (PNC) , a role that can only be fulfilled by fully-functional devices (FRDs) . Devices compliant to this standard are preferably of low complexity and 'of low power consumption.

IEEE 802.15.3b specification is a current standard for high data rate devices. This standard is being modified according to the IEEE 802.15.3c standardization to operate in the 58-66 GHz band with four subbands . According to IEEE 802.15.3b/c, there is a piconet controller for centralized coordination.

There are application scenarios where a communication network according to WiMedia is operated in the vicinity of an IEEE 802.15.3b/c or IEEE 802.15.4a communication network. As explained above, such communication networks may operate in a similar frequency spectrum such that simultaneous operation of both types of networks may lead to interference and erroneous operation. Therefore, methods and devices allowing co-existence of such networks are desirable.

Embodiments may be seen to be based on the problem of allowing the simultaneous operation of communication networks that use at least partially the same communication resources (e.g. the same frequency range) in each others reception range.

In one embodiment, a communication device is provided that is configured to be coupled to a first communication network and configured to be coupled to a second communication network. The communication device includes a reservation circuit configured to reserve communication resources in the first communication network and a signaling circuit configured to signal to at least one other communication device of the second communication network information representing a time period during which the communication resources may be used for communication in the second communication network.

In another embodiment, a method for communication resource allocation according to the communication device described above is provided.

Illustrative embodiments of the invention are explained below with reference to the drawings. The drawings are not necessarily to scale, emphasis instead generally being placed upon illustrating the principles of the invention.

Figure 1 shows a communication system according to an embodiment .

Figure 2 shows a communication device according to an embodiment .

Figure 3 shows a frame diagram according to an embodiment.

Figure 4 shows a flow diagram according to an embodiment. Figure 5 shows a frame diagram according to an embodiment.

Figure 6 shows a flow diagram according to an embodiment.

The following detailed description refers to the accompanying drawings that show, by way of illustration, specific details and embodiments in which the invention may be practiced. These embodiments are described in sufficient detail to enable those skilled in the art to practice the invention. Other embodiments may be utilized and structural, logical, and electrical changes may be made without departing from the scope of the invention. The various embodiments are not necessarily mutually exclusive, as some embodiments can be combined with one or more other embodiments to form new embodiments .

In the future, it can be envisaged that both IEEE 802.15.3c transmission technology and WiMedia mmWAVE (ECMA) transmission technology are used concurrently.

For IEEE 802.15.3c transmission, direction antennas are used which have the advantages of longer range and smaller antenna arrays. Thus, in one embodiment, 'IEEE 802.15.3c transmission is used for wireless packet transmission and routing between access points (APs) or, in other words, wireless inter-AP packet transmission.

In case that mesh Wi-Fi APs are used, a bottleneck at the backhaul inter-AP packet transmission may arise. Wi-Fi currently supports up to 54 MBps and up to 600 Mbps in the future. Instead, in one embodiment, IEEE 802.15.3c transmission which is wireless and has a high data rate in the gigabits per second range which is in similar order to that in the wired backbone network is used. Furthermore, the APs may be fixed and can have a distance of only a few hops from the gateway. Thus it may be better to use a technology with centralized medium access control (MAC) like IEEE 802.15.3c for the wireless APs.

On the other hand, WiMedia mmWave (ECMA) transmission can be used for inter-device packet communications as well as for AP-to-device packet communication. WiMedia mmWave (ECMA) transmission uses a distributed MAC with no piconet coordinator (PNC) . In one embodiment, IEEE 802.15.3c transmission is used for multi-hop relaying among APs at the AP level, while WiMedia mmWave (ECMA) is used for device-to- device communication and AP-to-device communication at a lower level.

Similarly, in the near future, both WiMedia networks (according to WiMedia PHY specification vl.2) and IEEE 802.15.4a may be expected to be used in various application scenarios. For example, the functionalities for both transmission technologies may be co-located within the same device. For example, WiMedia transmission may be used for fast data transfer while IEEE 802.15.4a transmission may be used for a remote controller. When both transmission technologies operate in close proximity without any coordination, these two different transmission schemes are likely interfere with each other because they use the same spectrum, and erroneous operation may be the result.

A communication system including two communication networks is illustrated in figure 1. Figure 1 shows a communication system 100 according to an embodiment .

The communication system 100 includes a first communication network 101 (also referred to as "primary network) and a second communication network 102 (also referred to as secondary network) .

The first communication network 101 and/or the second communication network 102 are for example piconets.

In one embodiment, one of the communication networks 101, 102 uses a centralized Medium Access Control (MAC), e.g. is a communication network according to IEEE 802.15.3a/c or IEEE 802.15.4a, while the other communication network 101, 102 uses a distributed Medium Access Control, e.g. is a communication network according to WiMedia PHY specification vl.2 or according to WiMedia mmWAVE .

A first communication device 103 may communicate using the first communication network 101 and the second communication network 102. Thus, the first communication device 103 may be seen as a first communication device of the first communication network 101 and as a first communication device of the second communication network 102.

The first communication network 101 further includes at least one additional communication devices (e.g. an additional plurality of communication devices), for example a second communication device of the first communication network 104, a third communication device of the first communication network 105, and a fourth communication device of the first communication network 106. The second communication network 102 further includes a includes at least one additional communication device (e.g. an additional plurality of communication devices) , for example a second communication device of the second communication network 107, a thir-d communication device of the second communication network 108, and a fourth communication device of the first communication network 109.

In one embodiment, the frequency bands used by the communication networks 101, 102 overlap. Thus, when communication devices 103-109 of both communication networks 101, 102 operate in close proximity without coordination, the transmissions may interfere which may result in erroneous operations.

Therefore, according to one embodiment, a coexistence technique is provided that enables primary devices (i.e. communication devices of the primary communication network 101) and secondary devices (i.e. communication devices of the secondary communication network) to operate without interference wherein the communication networks may be piconets of different types. In an embodiment where one of the communication networks 101, 102 has centralized MAC, the first communication device 103 may act as a piconet controller for the communication network 101, 102 with centralized MAC.

According to one embodiment, the coexistence technique has no impact on the operation of the communication devices according to the communication standard used (e.g. WiMedia, IEEE 802.15.3a/c/4a) . The coordination of the communication in the two communication networks 101, 102 is for example implemented using a communication device as illustrated in figure 2.

Figure 2 shows a communication device 200 according to an embodiment .

The communication device 200 is configured to be coupled to a first communication network (e.g. the first communication network 101 of the communication system 100 shown in figure 1) and to be coupled to a second communication network (e.g. the second communication network 102 of the communication system 100 shown in figure 1) .

The communication device 200 includes a reservation circuit 201 configured to reserve communication resources in the first communication network.

Further, the communication device 200 includes a signaling circuit 202 configured to signal to at least one other communication device of the second communication network information representing a time period during which the communication resources may be used for communication in the second communication network.

In one embodiment, in other words, a communication device that may be part of the first communication network and the second communication network (e.g. the first communication device 103 in the example illustrated in figure 1) reserves communication resources in the first communication network to be used in the second communication network. The communication device may act as a communication resource controlling device for a centralized MAC architecture of the first communication or of the second communication network.

The communication device may for example signal the start of time periods during which the frequency resources may be used for communication in the second communication network to devices of the second communication network such as, in the example described above with reference to figure 1, the second communication device of the second communication network 107, the third communication device of the second communication network 108, and the fourth communication device of the second communication network 109.

The length of the time period may for example be pre- determined such that the information representing the time period may for example be the start time of the time period.

This means that the information representing the time period does not necessarily include both the specification of the start time and the end time of the time period but for example only the start time of the time period in case that the length of the time period is pre-defined and known to the other communication device.

In an embodiment, a "circuit" may be understood as any kind of a logic implementing entity, which may be special purpose circuitry or a processor executing software stored in a memory, firmware, or any combination thereof. Thus, in an embodiment, a "circuit" may be a hard-wired logic circuit or a programmable logic circuit such as a programmable processor, e.g. a microprocessor ' (e . g. a Complex Instruction Set Computer (CISC) processor or a Reduced Instruction Set Computer (RISC) processor) . A "circuit" may also be a processor executing software, e.g. any kind of computer program, e.g. a computer program using a virtual machine code such as e.g. Java. Any other kind of implementation of the respective functions which will be described in more detail below may also be understood as a "circuit" in accordance with an alternative embodiment.

In one embodiment, the communication resources are frequency communication resources (e.g. one or more communication channels corresponding to a certain frequency bandwidth) . The communication resources may also be other communication resources such as for example spreading codes (e.g. CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) codes) .

In one embodiment, the information representing the time period includes at least one of information representing the start time of the time period, the end time of the time period, and the duration of the time period.

In one embodiment, the reservation circuit is configured to reserve the communication resources for a further time period and the signaling circuit is configured to signal to the at least one other communication device of the second communication network that the communication resources may be used for communication in the second communication network during the further time period. For example, the signalling circuit may be configured to transmit information representing the further time period (which may for example be seen as the time period itself in this case) .

In one embodiment, the signaling circuit is configured to signal that the other communication device may request the allocation of the communication resources during the time period for the other communication device. In one embodiment, the signaling circuit is configured to signal to at least one other communication device of the first communication network information representing a time period during which the communication resources may not be used for communication in the first communication network.

The first communication network may have a centralized medium access control and the communication device may act as a medium access control (MAC) device for the first communication network. For example, the first communication network is a piconet and the communication device acts as a piconet controller for the first communication network. The first communication network may also be a piconet without centralized MAC.

In one embodiment, the second communication network has a centralized medium access control and the communication device acts as a medium access control device for the second communication network. For example, the second communication network is a piconet and the communication device acts as a piconet controller for the second communication network. The second communication network may also be a piconet without centralized MAC.

In one embodiment, the first communication network has a centralized medium access control and the second communication network has a distributed medium access control. In another embodiment, the first communication network has a distributed medium access control and the other commmunication network has a centralized medium access control . In one embodiment, the communicafion device acts a medium access control device for the communication network with centralized medium access control.

In one embodiment, the first communication network and the second communication network are ,,different, e.g. use different communication technologies such as communication technologies according to different communication standards or use a different modulation scheme.

The communication device is for example a communication terminal in the first communication network or in the second communication network, e.g. a user communication terminal, e.g. a handheld communication device such as a mobile phone or a laptop computer with communication capabilities. The communication networks for example use radio communication for data transmission.

Similarly, the other communication device may be a communication terminal, e.g. a user communication terminal, e.g. a handheld communication device such as a mobile phone or a laptop computer with communication capabilities.

The first communication network is for example an ad hoc communication network, e.g. according to a WiMedia communication specification or according to IEEE 802.15.3b/c/4a or another ad hoc communication standard such as Bluetooth.

Similarly, the second communication network may be an ad hoc communication network, e.g. according to a WiMedia communication specification or according to IEEE 802.15.3b/c/4a or another ad hoc communication Standard such as Bluetooth.

In one embodiment, the first communication network uses a plurality of primary superframes for data communication and the reservation circuit is configured to reserve the communication resources for at least a part of a reservation period of at least one of the first superframes for communication in the second communication network.

In one embodiment, the reservation circuit is configured to reserve the communication resources for at least a part at the end of a reservation period of at least one of the first superframes .

In one embodiment, each of the primary superframes includes at least one contention period and may have one or more reservation periods.

In one embodiment, each of the primary superframes includes a primary beacon period at the beginning of the primary superframe .

In one embodiment, the second communication network uses a plurality of secondary superframes for data communication and the communication device is configured to segment each secondary superframe into a plurality of segments and to assign each segment to a reserved part of a reservation period of a primary superframe.

For example, the signaling circuit is configured to signal to the at least one other communication device of the second communication network information representing at least one of the start time and the end time of the segments.

In one embodiment, each of the secondary superframes includes at least one secondary contention period and at least one secondary reservation period.

In one embodiment each of the secondary superframes includes a secondary beacon period at the beginning of the secondary superframe.

In one embodiment, the information representing the time period includes information representing the start time of the beacon period of at least one secondary superframe.

The communication device may further include a releasing circuit configured to release communication resources for usage in the first communication network if they are not used in the second communication network.

The reservation circuit may be configured to reserve communication resources in the first communication network depending on frequency communication resource demand in the second communication network.

The reservation circuit may for example be configured to reserve communication resources in the first communication network depending on the frame structure of the first communication network.

In the following, an embodiment will be described in which the primary communication network has a centralized MAC and the secondary communication network has a distributed MAC. In this embodiment, a method for managing medium access coexistence between primary devices of the first communication network and secondary devices of the second communication network is provided, wherein the primary devices use a centralized MAC while the secondary devices are using a distributed MAC.

In this embodiment, a superframe of a frame structure used in the second communication network is mapped into a primary channel time allocation (CTA) at the end of a primary reservation period of a frame structure used in the first communication network. This primary channel time allocation is in one embodiment solely used for the purpose of transmitting the secondary superframe.

A beacon start time for the second communication network 102 (i.e. a secondary beacon start time) is announced by the communication device by beaconing in the second communication network 102.

The mapping at the end of the primary reservation period is in one embodiment used to ensure that the relocating of the beacon period start time of the secondary network is kept at a minimum. Otherwise, if the primary channel time allocation is not at the end of primary network's superframe period for secondary transmission, the beacon period start time of the secondary network 102 may change frequently due to dynamic changes in the compaction of channel time allocations (CTAs) , which could be allocated as well as de-allocated depending on packet traffic conditions in the -primary network (i.e. the first communication network 101) . The secondary network is for example a network in accordance with the WiMedia Standard ECMA-368 "HIGH RATE ULTRA WIDEBAND PHY AND MAC STANDARD", 1st edition, December 2005, and the primary network is for example a communication network according to IEEE 802.15.3b "PART 15.3: WIRELESS MEDIUM

ACCESS CONTROL (MAC) AND PHYSICAL LAYER (PHY) SPECIFICATIONS FOR HIGH RATE WIRELESS PERSONAL AREA NETWORKS (WPANs)", 5 May 2006.

Other types of heterogeneous networks may be used in other embodiments, including future versions of the WiMedia and IEEE 802.15.3b standards.

One embodiment allows the co-existence of a primary communication network and a secondary communication network such that applications are made possible where a primary network and a secondary network should co-exist or simultaneous access to a primary network and a secondary network is desired, e.g. in a office network where a primary and a secondary network co-exists and the primary network is used for relaying purpose and the secondary network is used for multimedia/video streaming.

Embodiments may be implemented without impact on the operations of the primary devices (e.g. without impact on their operation according to the communication standard used) .

An example for the allocation of freguency communication resource usage time in the frame structure of the first communication network for the second communication network, wherein the first communication network uses centralized MAC and the secondary network uses distributed MAC is illustrated in figure 3.

Figure 3 shows a frame diagram 300 according to an embodiment .

According to the frame structure of the first communication network 100, communication resource usage is organized using a plurality of successive primary superframes (numbered E to E+M-l in figure 3) . The denotation as "primary" superframes is used to indicate that the superframes are defined in the context of the primary communication network. The words "primary" and analogously "secondary" are used similarly for other structures/components in the following.

Each primary superframe 301 includes a primary beacon period 302, a primary contention period 303 and a primary reservation period 304.

In this example, the primary reservation period 304 is subdivided into channel time allocation (CTA) intervals 305.

In each primary superframe 301, a CTA interval 305 is reserved for usage by the second communication network. In this example, the last CTA interval 305 of each primary reservation period 304 is reserved for this purpose.

According to the frame structure of the secondary communication network, communication is organized using a plurality of secondary superframe segments. A secondary superframe is divided into a plurality of segments 306 and each segment is mapped onto one CTA interval 305 reserved for usage by the secondary communication network. The secondary superframe includes a secondary beacon period 307, secondary contention periods 309 (numbered 1 to G) and secondary reservation periods 308 (numbered 1 to G) that may be used by the secondary communication devices for transmission in the secondary communication network. Depending on the segment 306 it is associated with, a secondary contention period 309 and a secondary reservation period 308 maps to the CTA interval 305 of the respective primary superframe 301.

In this embodiment, the primary contention periods 303 and the primary reservation periods 304 are alternating within a primary superframe 301 and the secondary contention periods 309 and the secondary reservation periods 308 are alternating within a secondary superframe 306. This is only an example and in other embodiments, the primary contention periods 303 and the primary reservation periods 304 and/or the secondary contention periods 309 and the secondary reservation periods 308 need not necessarily be alternating.

The announcement of the secondary beacon period start time and/or end time is carried out by the first communication device 103. For example, the first communication device 103 sends the beacon period start time and/or the beacon period end time and/or the beacon period length through a beacon information element (IE) in the secondary network.

A method for resource allocation that allows coexistence without interference of a primary communication network and a secondary communication network (such as the communication networks 101, 102 illustrated in figure 1) is explained in the following with reference to figure 4. Figure 4 shows a flow diagram 400 according to an embodiment.

In 401, a common device that can* operate in both the primary network 101 and the secondary network 102 is selected, for example the first communication device 103. The common device is assigned as the piconet controller in the primary network 101.

In 402, the common device reserves a primary channel time allocation at the end (as illustrated in figure 3) of the primary network superframe (e.g. regularly for each primary superframe as long as the two communication networks should co-exist, i.e. be operated concurrently in each others reception range) for secondary transmissions and informs other devices about this reserved channel time by beaconing in the primary network.

In 403, the common device separates the total period of the secondary networks superframe (e.g. regularly for each secondary superframe as long as the two communication networks should co-exist) , including the secondary beacon time, followed by multiple secondary contention periods and reservation periods, into a plurality of M segments. The first segment is chosen such that its duration is at least the duration of the secondary beacon period.

In 404, the common device allocates the M segments of the total period of the secondary superframe to the primary reservation periods that have been reserved across a plurality of M primary superframes. The common device initiates beaconing in the secondary network announcing the details (e.g. the start time, the end time, and/or the duration) of the allocated M segments in the secondary network.

In 405, if there is a change in demand in the secondary network for primary channel time«(i.e. for usage of communication resources of the first communication network) the common device accommodates this change in demand and notifies such a change by beaconing in the primary network and the secondary network.

In 406, it is checked whether there is a change in duration of the primary superframe.

If yes, the process continues in 407. If no, 407 is skipped.

In 407, the common device informs the devices of the secondary network (and in one embodiment also the devices of the primary network) about the new primary superframe duration and about the corresponding new alignment of primary channel allocation for usage by the secondary network by beaconing before finally changing the superframe duration in the primary communication network.

In 408, it is checked whether there is any shift in alignment due to ongoing device synchronization in the secondary communication network with respect to the allocated channel time of the primary network.

If yes, the process continues in 409. If no, 409 is skipped and the process returns to 405.

In 409, the common device realigns an alignment shift happening in the secondary network by adjusting the channel time allocated in the primary network for the secondary network and informing this realignment through beaconing in the primary network and the secondary network. The process then returns to 405.

In this embodiment, the common device may be a piconet controller of the primary network that is both primary and secondary network-enabled.

For example, the primary network is a primary wireless network with centralized MAC and the secondary network is a wireless network with distributed MAC and the primary network and the secondary network at least partially use the same frequency spectrum for data transmission. The secondary network's superframe for example includes, similar to the illustration in figure 3, a secondary beacon period for beacon transmissions by secondary devices, multiple secondary reservation periods for medium access by means of a secondary reservation MAC protocol, multiple secondary contention periods for medium access by means of a secondary contention access MAC protocol and the secondary contention periods occupy periods outside those of the secondary beacon period and secondary reservation periods. The primary network's superframe may include a primary beacon period (e.g. with a duration of at least a fraction of a certain time unit) for piconet controller beacon transmission, followed by a primary contention period (e.g. with a duration of at least a fraction of a certain time unit) for medium access by means of a primary contention access MAC protocol and in turn followed by a primary reservation period (e.g. with a duration of at least a fraction of a certain time unit) for medium access by means of a primary reservation MAC protocol. A common device is for example selected that can operate in the secondary network and in the .primary network and that acts as the piconet controller in the primary network.

The common device for example reserves a primary channel time allocation at the end of the primary network's superframe period for secondary transmissions, i.e. for transmission by the secondary communication network. The total period of the secondary network's superframe is separated into a plurality of M segments, such that the segments include the secondary beacon time, followed by the multiple secondary contention periods and the multiple secondary reservation periods. The first segment includes at least the secondary beacon period. The M segments of the secondary network's superframe are allocated to the reserved primary reservation periods across a plurality of M primary superframes of the primary network.

The common device may announce through beaconing in the secondary network information regarding the secondary beacon period start time and the primary channel time allocation.

The common device may also announce the primary channel time allocation by beaconing in the primary network so as to refrain primary devices from using the communication resources (e.g. the communication channel) during the allocated primary channel time.

The allocating of the M segments of the total period of the secondary network's superframe may for example be done in sequential order.

As mentioned above with reference to figure 4, the allocating may further be extended to accommodate change in demand for the primary channel time allocation for communication among the secondary network devices due to new devices joining in or new communications established between the devices in the secondary network. The common device may modify the channel time allocation in the primary network for communication of the secondary network while maintaining the time allocation at the end of the primary network's superframe period. The common device may notify devices of such a change in the primary channel time allocation for communication of secondary network by beaconing in the primary network as well as in the secondary network.

The announcing may further be extended to enable synchronization of the secondary network's communication segment with the channel time allocation in the primary network induced by any change in the superframe duration of the primary network.

When there is any change in the superframe duration of the primary network, information related to the new superframe duration, offset and remaining beacon count (with starting beacon count value being set to P * M where P is an integer) of the primary network (i.e. the remaining number of beacons) after which the primary network will change to the new superframe duration, may be signaled through the beacon sent by the common device within the primary network.

Such a change in the primary network affecting the superframe start time of the secondary network as well as the duration of the reserved primary channel allocation time for the secondary network's communication may also be indicated by the common device through beaconing in the primary network and the secondary network. By this, other devices in the secondary network are enabled to adjust their own superframe offset and channel access time (i.e. frequency communication resource access time) accordingly after P secondary superframes (corresponding to P x M primary superframes) .

As also mentioned above with reference to figure 4, the announcing may further be extended to enable alignment of secondary network's primary channel time allocation, as perceived by the devices of the distributed secondary network, with the primary channel time allocation actually allocated in the primary network. A shift in alignment may be induced by the secondary network due to ongoing synchronization taking place between devices in the distributed secondary network. Such a shift happening in the secondary network may be re-aligned by the common device by sending appropriate information while beaconing in the secondary network.

In the following, an embodiment will be described in which the primary network 101 is a communication network with distributed MAC and the secondary network is a communication network with centralized MAC.

In this embodiment, the superframe of the frame structure of the secondary communication network is mapped into primary reservation periods by separating it into segments and mapping each segment into a reserved primary reservation period of the frame structure of the first communication network. The reserved primary reservation periods are for example solely used for transmitting the secondary superframe segments. In one embodiment, the secondary network may thus for example use segmented channel time (or frequency communication resource time) from available channel time of the primary network such that flexibility of operation of the secondary network is provided.

Primary reservation periods reserved by the communication device that are not used for the superframe of the secondary network may be temporarily released for usage in the primary communication network. The secondary network may thus for example release unused channel time for primary network usage. This allows optimization of the channel usage by the secondary network.

The communication device may for -example announce the start time and the end time of each superframe segment through beaconing in the secondary network in a secondary beacon period.

In this embodiment the primary communication network is for example a communication network according to WiMedia Standard ECMA-368 "HIGH RATE ULTRA WIDEBAND PHY AND MAC STANDARD", 1st edition, December 2005, and the secondary communication network is for example a network according to IEEE 802.15.4b "PART 15.4: WIRELESS MEDIUM ACCESS CONTROL (MAC) AND PHYSICAL LAYER (PHY) SPECIFICATIONS FOR LOW-RATE WIRELESS PERSONAL AREA NETWORKS (WPANs)", 8 September 2006. In other embodiments, other types of heterogeneous networks, including future versions of the WiMedia and IEEE 802.15.4b standards, may be used.

Embodiments allow the coexistence of such networks without an impact on the operations of primary devices as defined by the WiMedia specification. One embodiment allows the co-existence of a low rate (LR) and a high rate (HR) communication network. This allows opening up a market where LR and HR networks should co-exist or simultaneous access to HR and LR networks is desired, e.g. in a home network a HR network and a LR network can co-exist where the LR network is used for control purpose and the HR network is used for multimedia/video streaming. Concurrent LR and HR access capability may also,, be desirable for a mobile phone using the HR network for fast data transfer and the LR network for control.

An illustration for the allocation of frequency communication resource usage time in the frame structure of the first (high rate) communication network (having distributed MAC) for the second (low rate) communication network (having centralized MAC) is given in figure 5.

Figure 5 shows a frame diagram 500 according to an embodiment .

According to the frame structure of the primary communication network, a plurality of primary superframes 501 follow in (timely) succession. Each primary superframe 501 includes a primary beacon period 502 and a plurality of primary contention periods 503 (numbered 1 to G per primary superframe 501) .

Each primary contention period 503 is followed by a primary reservation period 504, 505, a part 505, 506 of which (which may include the whole reservation period) being reserved for usage by the secondary communication network. Segments 507 of secondary superframes in which the secondary communication devices may transmit data are mapped to the reserved parts 505. This means that the segments 507 of the secondary superframes are those time periods that are reserved in the primary reservation period for usage by the second communication network.

In this embodiment, the primary contention periods 503 and the primary reservation periods 504 are alternating within a primary superframe 501 and the secondary contention periods and the secondary reservation periods are alternating within a secondary superframe. This is only an example and in other embodiments, the primary contention periods 503 and the primary reservation periods 504 and/or the secondary contention periods and the secondary reservation periods may follow a different order.

In this example, each secondary superframe is separated into M segments 507. These M segments 507 map to primary reservation periods of a number of S primary superframes, wherein in each primary superframe, N parts 505, 506 of primary reservation periods (one part for a segment 507) is reserved such that a total of N*S parts 505, 506 are reserved for secondary superframe segments 507. M segments 507 form a secondary superframe. Reserved parts 506 that are not used for a segment 507 (if M < N*S) may be released for usage by the primary communication network.

The announcement of the start time and/or the end time and/or the duration of a segment 507 may be done by the first communication device by beaconing- in the secondary communication network. A method for resource allocation that allows coexistence without interference of a primary (distributed MAC) communication network and a secondary (centralized MAC) communication network (such as the communication networks 101, 102 illustrated in figure 1) is explained in the following with reference to figure 6.

Figure 6 shows a flow diagram 600 according to an embodiment.

In 601, a common device that can operate in both the primary network 101 and the secondary network 102 is selected, for example the first communication device 103. The common device is assigned as the piconet controller in the secondary- network 102.

In 602, the common device reserves N (e.g. a plurality of) primary reservation periods in every primary superframe for usage by the secondary network. The common device informs the devices in the primary network about this reservation by beaconing.

In 603, the common device separates the total period of the secondary network superframe (e.g. regularly each secondary superframe as long as the two communication networks should co-exist) including of beacon time, contention period and reservation period, into a plurality of M segments. The first segment is chosen such that it has a longer duration than the beacon period of the secondary communication network.

In 604, the common device allocates the M segments across a plurality of S primary superframes, wherein S * N ≥ M. In 605, the common device informs other devices in the secondary network about details of the allocated M segments (e.g. the start time) by beaconing in the secondary network.

In 606, the common device checks if any reserved primary reservation period (or period parts) are not used for a secondary superframe segment. If P denotes the number of such unused reserved primary reservation periods, P < S*N - M.

If there are unused reserved primary reservation periods, the process continues with 607. Otherwise, 607 is skipped.

In 607, the common device temporarily releases the unused P reservation primary reservation periods for use by primary network devices.

In 608, the common device checks whether the secondary network needs to change the values N, M or S .

If yes, the process returns to 602. If no, the process returns to 604.

For example, a secondary wireless network with a centralized medium access control (MAC) is operated in the presence of a primary wireless network with a distributed MAC wherein the primary network and the secondary network at least partially use the same frequency spectrum. The networks may have a common device (such as the first communication device 103) that has both primary and secondary medium access functionalities, and that may for example act as a piconet controller for the secondary network. The secondary network's superframe may include, similarly to the example illustrated in figure 5, a secondary beacon period (e.g. with a duration of at least a fraction of a certain time unit) for PNC beacon transmission, followed by a secondary contention period (e.g. with a duration of at least a fraction of a certain time unit) for medium access by means of a secondary contention access MAC protocol and in turn followed by a secondary reservation period (e.g. with a duration of at least a fraction of a certain time unit) for medium access by means of a secondary reservation MAC protocol .

The secondary network's superframe may include a primary beacon period for beacon transmissions by primary devices, multiple primary reservation periods for medium access by means of a primary reservation MAC protocol, and multiple primary contention periods for medium access by means of a primary contention access MAC protocol. The primary contention periods may occupy periods outside the primary beacon period and the primary reservation periods.

In one embodiment, a common device that can operate in the secondary network and the primary network is selected to be the piconet controller in the secondary network.

The common device may reserve N primary reservation periods from available primary contention periods in every primary superframe (e.g. in every primary superframe for the duration of the desired co-existence of the two networks) , where N > 1, for secondary transmissions.

The total period of the secondary network's superframe may be separated into plurality of M segments including the secondary beacon time, followed by the secondary contention period, and followed by the secondary reservation period, wherein the first segment includes at least the secondary beacon period.

The M segments of the total period of the secondary network's superframe may be allocated to the primary reservation periods across a plurality of S primary superframes, where S * N > M.

The segment allocation arrangement of the secondary network's superframe may be announced using beacons of the secondary network.

The allocating of the M segments of the total period of the secondary network's superframe may be done in sequential order .

The common device may temporarily release unused primary reservation periods during the S primary superframes (used for the M secondary segments) , wherein P < S * N - M with P denoting the number of unused reservation periods during the S superframes. The releasing may for example involve the last P primary reservation periods during the S superframes.

The announcing may for example includes indicating the start time and end time of each of the M segments.

In one embodiment, the reserving is further extended to accommodate change in timing or transmission requirements of the secondary network. The common device may change the value of N, M and S when superframe duration, beacon interval or transmission requirements of the secondary network should be changed, subject to availability and limitation for reservation period imposed by the primary network. The devices in the primary network and the secondary network may be informed about these changes through respective beaconing in the networks.

While the invention has been particularly shown and described with reference to specific embodiments, it should be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes in form and detail may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims. The scope of the invention is thus indicated by the appended claims and all changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are therefore intended to be embraced.

Claims

Claims
1. A communication device configured to be coupled to a first communication network and configured to be coupled to a second communication network comprising a reservation circuit configured to reserve communication resources in the first communication network; and a signaling circuit configured to signal to at least one other communication device of the second communication network information representing a time period during which the communication resources may be used for communication in the second communication network.
2. The communication device according to claim 1, wherein the communication resources are frequency communication resources .
3. The communication device according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the information representing the time period includes at least one of information representing the start time of the time period, the end time of the time period, and the duration of the time period.
4. The communication device according to any one of claims 1 to 3, wherein the reservation circuit is configured to reserve the communication resources for a further time period and the signaling circuit is configured to signal to the at least one other communication device of the second communication network- that the communication resources may be used for communication in the second communication network during the further time period.
5. The communication device according to any one of claims 1 to 4, wherein the signaling circuit is configured to signal that the other communication device may request the allocation of the communication resources during the time period for the other communication device.
6. The communication device according to any one of claims 1 to 5, wherein the signaling circuit is configured to signal to at least one other communication device of the first communication network information representing a time period during which the communication resources may not be used for communication in the first communication network.
7. The communication device according to any one of claims 1 to 6, wherein the first communication network has a centralized medium access control and the communication device acts as a medium access control device for the first communication network.
8. The communication device according to claim 7, wherein the first communication network is a piconet and the communication device acts as a piconet controller for the first communication network.
9. The communication device according to any one of claims 1 to 6, wherein the second communication network has a centralized medium access control and the communication device acts as a medium access control device for the second communication network.
10. The communication device according to claim 9, wherein the second communication network is a piconet and the communication device acts as. a piconet controller for the second communication network.
11. The communication device according to any one of claims 1 to 10, wherein the first communication network has a centralized medium accesss control and the second communication network has a distributed medium access control or wherein the first communication network has a distributed medium access control and the second communication network has a centralized medium access control.
12. The communication device according to claim 11, wherein the communication device acts a medium access control device for the communication network with centralized medium access control.
13. The communication device according to any one of claims
1 to 12, wherein the first communication network and the second communication network are different.
14. The communication device according to any one of claims 1 to 13, wherein the communication device is a communication terminal in the first communication network.
15. The communication device according to any one of claims 1 to 14, wherein the communication device is a communication terminal in the second communication network.
16. The communication device according to any one of claims 1 to 15, wherein the first communication network is an ad hoc communication network.*
17. The communication device according to any one of claims 1 to 16, wherein the second communication network is an ad hoc communication network.
18. The communication device according to any one of claims 1 to 17, wherein the first communication network uses a plurality of primary superframes for data communication and the reservation circuit is configured to reserve the communication resources for at least a part of a reservation period of at least one of the first superframes for communication in the second communication network.
19. The communication device according to claim 18, wherein the reservation circuit is configured to reserve the communication resources for at least a part at the end of a reservation period of at least one of the first superframes .
20. The communication device according to claim 18 or 19, wherein each of the primary superframes comprises at least one contention period and the reservation period.
21. The communication device according to any one of claims 18 to 20, wherein each of the primary superframes comprises a primary beacon period at the beginning of the primary superframe.
22. The communication device according to any one of claims 18 to 21, wherein the second communication network uses a plurality of secondary superframes for data communication and the communication device is configured to segment each secondary superframe into a plurality of segments and to assign each segment to a reserved part of a reservation period of a primary superframe.
23. The communication device according to claim 22, wherein the signaling circuit is configured to signal to at least one other communication device of the second communication network information representing at least one of the start time and the end time of the segments.
24. The communication device according to claim 22 or 23, wherein each of the secondary superframes comprises at least one secondary contention period and at least one secondary reservation period.
25. The communication device according to any one of claims 22 to 24, wherein each of the secondary superframes comprises a secondary beacon period at the beginning of the secondary superframe.
26. The communication device according to claim 25, wherein the information representing the time period includes information representing the start time of the secondary beacon period of at least one secondary superframe.
27. The communication device according to any one of claims 1 to 26, further comprising a releasing circuit configured to release communication resources for usage in the first communication network if they are not used in the second communication network.
28. The communication device according to any one of claims 1 to 27, wherein the reservation circuit is configured to reserve communication resources in the first communication network depending on frequency communication resource demand in the second communication network.
29. The communication device according to any one of claims 1 to 28, wherein the reservation circuit is configured to reserve communication resources in the first communication network depending on the frame structure of the first communication network.
30. A method for communication resource allocation comprising: coupling a communication device to a first communication network and coupling the communication device to a second communication network; the communication device reserving communication resources in the first communication network; the communication device signaling to at least one other communication device of the second communication network information representing a time period during which the communication resources may be used for communication in the second communication network.
PCT/SG2009/000308 2008-09-02 2009-09-01 Communication device and method for communication resource allocation WO2010027332A1 (en)

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