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WO2012167111A2 - Antenna control - Google Patents

Antenna control

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Publication number
WO2012167111A2
WO2012167111A2 PCT/US2012/040500 US2012040500W WO2012167111A2 WO 2012167111 A2 WO2012167111 A2 WO 2012167111A2 US 2012040500 W US2012040500 W US 2012040500W WO 2012167111 A2 WO2012167111 A2 WO 2012167111A2
Authority
WO
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
antenna
control
phase
signal
element
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/US2012/040500
Other languages
French (fr)
Other versions
WO2012167111A3 (en )
Inventor
David F. Sorrells
Gregory S. RAWLINGS
Original Assignee
Parkervision, Inc.
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

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Classifications

    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04BTRANSMISSION
    • H04B7/00Radio transmission systems, i.e. using radiation field
    • H04B7/02Diversity systems; Multi-antenna systems, i.e. transmission or reception using multiple antennas
    • H04B7/10Polarisation diversity; Directional diversity
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01QAERIALS
    • H01Q21/00Aerial arrays or systems
    • H01Q21/06Arrays of individually energised active aerial units similarly polarised and spaced apart
    • H01Q21/061Two dimensional planar arrays
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01QAERIALS
    • H01Q3/00Arrangements for changing or varying the orientation or the shape of the directional pattern of the waves radiated from an aerial or aerial system
    • H01Q3/26Arrangements for changing or varying the orientation or the shape of the directional pattern of the waves radiated from an aerial or aerial system varying the relative phase or relative amplitude of energisation between two or more active radiating elements; varying the distribution of energy across a radiating aperture
    • H01Q3/267Phased-array testing or checking devices
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04BTRANSMISSION
    • H04B1/00Details of transmission systems, not covered by a single one of groups H04B3/00 - H04B13/00; Details of transmission systems not characterised by the medium used for transmission
    • H04B1/02Transmitters
    • H04B1/04Circuits
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04BTRANSMISSION
    • H04B1/00Details of transmission systems, not covered by a single one of groups H04B3/00 - H04B13/00; Details of transmission systems not characterised by the medium used for transmission
    • H04B1/02Transmitters
    • H04B1/04Circuits
    • H04B1/0483Transmitters with multiple parallel paths
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04BTRANSMISSION
    • H04B17/00Monitoring; Testing
    • H04B17/10Monitoring; Testing of transmitters
    • H04B17/11Monitoring; Testing of transmitters for calibration
    • H04B17/12Monitoring; Testing of transmitters for calibration of transmit antennas, e.g. of the amplitude or phase
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04BTRANSMISSION
    • H04B7/00Radio transmission systems, i.e. using radiation field
    • H04B7/02Diversity systems; Multi-antenna systems, i.e. transmission or reception using multiple antennas
    • H04B7/04Diversity systems; Multi-antenna systems, i.e. transmission or reception using multiple antennas using two or more spaced independent antennas
    • H04B7/0413MIMO systems
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04BTRANSMISSION
    • H04B7/00Radio transmission systems, i.e. using radiation field
    • H04B7/02Diversity systems; Multi-antenna systems, i.e. transmission or reception using multiple antennas
    • H04B7/04Diversity systems; Multi-antenna systems, i.e. transmission or reception using multiple antennas using two or more spaced independent antennas
    • H04B7/06Diversity systems; Multi-antenna systems, i.e. transmission or reception using multiple antennas using two or more spaced independent antennas at the transmitting station
    • H04B7/0613Diversity systems; Multi-antenna systems, 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 systems, 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 systems, 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
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04WWIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS NETWORKS
    • H04W52/00Power management, e.g. TPC [Transmission Power Control], power saving or power classes
    • H04W52/04TPC [Transmission power control]
    • H04W52/38TPC being performed in particular situations
    • H04W52/42TPC being performed in particular situations in systems with time, space, frequency or polarisation diversity

Abstract

An energy converter based transmitter, a method, a multi-element antenna array are provided for a radio frequency (RP) transmission. For example, the energy converter based transmitter can include a control circuit, a multiple input single output (MISO) operator, and an antenna. The control circuit is configured to receive input information and generate amplitude control signals and phase control signals. The MISO operator is configured to receive the amplitude control signals and the phase control signals and to generate an RF output signal. Further, the antenna is configured to receive and transmit the RF output signal.

Description

ANTENNA CONTROL

BACKGROUND

Field

[0001] Embodiments of the present invention generally relate to electronically configurable and controllable antenna elements. More particularly, embodiments of the present invention relate to the control and configuration of amplitude and/or phase parameters of individual antenna elements such as, for example and without limitation, antenna elements of multi-element antenna arrays, multi-element electronically steerable antennas (MESAs), and the combination of MESAs with multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) antenna technology.

Background

[0002] Generally, antennas can be classified into three categories: omni-directional, semi- directional, and highly-directional antennas. These three general antenna categories have different electromagnetic signal directional and gain characteristics (often referred to as "directivity"). Antenna directivity can be defined as the ratio of radiation intensity in the direction of the antenna's peak intensity or the desired direction of operation to the average radiation intensity in all other directions (e.g., total integrated power in all directions captured by the denominator of the ratio which includes the direction of interest). In addition to directivity, antennas are characterized by a radiation pattern, which can be either a two-dimensional or three-dimensional graphical plot of the antenna's signal intensity versus a reference angle.

[0003] Omni-directional antennas can have a broad radiation pattern and transmit and receive electromagnetic signals nearly uniformly in all directions. Examples of omnidirectional antennas include dipoles, discones, masks, and loops. Semi-directional antennas are capable of focusing desired energy and signals in a desired direction. Examples of semi-directional antennas include patch antennas, panel antennas (both patch and panel antennas are also referred to as "planar antennas"), and Yagi antennas (e.g., a directional antenna having a horizontal conductor with several insulated dipoles parallel to and in the plane of the conductor). [0004] Semi-directional antennas offer improved gain over omni-directional antennas in the desired direction of operation while reducing the gain of and/or potential interference from signals in other directions. As noted above, these characteristics of semi-directional antennas are referred to as directivity. Highly-directional antennas provide a smaller angle of radiation in the desired direction of operation, a more focused beam, and a narrower beam width compared to the above-described general antenna types. Examples of highly-directional antennas include parabolic dish, fixed arrays, and grid antennas (a grid antenna resembles, for example, a rectangular grill of a barbecue with edges slightly curved inward. The spacing of the wires on a grid antenna is determined by the designed operational wavelength of the antenna.).

[0005] All three of the above-described general antenna types (i.e., omni-directional, semi-directional, and highly-directional antennas) can also be classified as fixed antenna designs. A fixed antenna design is one that has a fixed gain, a fixed radiation pattern (e.g., fixed directionality), and a fixed direction of operation. An example of a fixed, highly-directional antenna is the parabolic dish antenna, which is commonly used in satellite communications. The parabolic dish antenna includes a reflector that is sized to produce the desired antenna gain and beam width for a specific radiation pattern and can be oriented in the desired direction of operation.

[0006] While particularly suitable for fixed gain, fixed location, fixed distance, and fixed direction communication systems, fixed antenna designs are not particularly suitable for applications requiring variable direction and/or variable gain. For example, the gain and radiation pattern of a parabolic dish antenna are fixed based on the size and design of the dish's reflector, and the direction of operation can only be changed by changing the dish's physical orientation. These disadvantages and limitations of static parabolic dish antennas apply to most fixed antenna designs.

[0007] An antenna design that offers advantages over the aforementioned limitations of fixed antenna designs is a multi-element electronically steerable antenna (MESA). This type of antenna can be utilized either in a fixed location or in a portable (or mobile) environment. A single MESA can be designed to produce omni-directional, semi- directional, and highly-directional antenna radiation patterns or directivity. The directivity and gain of the MESA are determined by the number of antenna arra elements and the ability to determine and control the relative phase shifts and/or amplitudes between antenna array elements.

[0008] A MESA can electronically change its gain and radiation pattern (e.g., directivity), as well as its direction of operation, by varying the relative phase shift and/or amplitude of its antenna array elements. Furthermore, a MESA does not require any mechanical components, such as a motor or a servometer, to change its direction of operation, its gain, or its radiation pattern. This allows both its size and weight to be reduced, making the MESA an ideal candidate for portable (or mobile) communication systems. Additionally, because the MESA operational parameters can be modified electronically, the direction of operation of the MESA can be changed more rapidly than a fixed antenna design, making the MESA a good antenna technology to locate, acquire, and track fast moving signals.

[0009] Conventional MESA arrays use variable phase shifters (e.g., time delay phase shifters, vector modulators, and digital phase shifters) to control directivity. The input dynamic range and resolution of such phase shifters, however, is limited, which limits the accuracy at which a determined configuration of relative phase shifts can be set. In turn, this limits the accuracy of the resulting beam steering angle of the antenna array and the suitability of the antenna array for certain applications (e.g., high mobility applications). Increasing the number of antenna elements of the array typically allows greater accuracy of beam steering angle but comes with an increased footprint and cost.

SUMMARY

[0010] Therefore, an antenna design is needed for variable directivity and variable gain, while minimizing the footprint, cost, and power consumption associated with the antenna design. Embodiments of the present invention generally relate to electronically configurable and controllable antenna elements.

[0011] An embodiment of the present invention includes an energy converter transmitter.

The transmitter can include the following: a control circuit configured to receive input information and generate amplitude control signals and phase control signals; a multiple input single output (MISO) operator configured to receive the amplitude control signals and the phase control signals and to generate a radio frequency (RF) output signal; and, an antenna element configured to receive and transmit the RE output signal. The transmitter can also include digital and mixed-signal circuitry configured to provide phase control information and output power control information to the control circuit and a power supply configured to control an amount of power provided to the MISO operator. In an embodiment, mixed-signal circuitry can be defined as circuitry that contains both analog and digital circuitry. Examples of mixed-signal circuitry include, but are not limited to, digital-to-analog converter (DAC) circuitry, analog-to-digital converter (ADC) circuitry, pulse width modulators, and phase locked loop (PLL) circuitry.

[0012] Another embodiment of the present invention includes a method for a radio frequency (RF) signal transmission. The method includes the following: generating, with a control circuit, amplitude control signals and phase control signals derived from input information; generating, with a multiple input single output (MISO) operator, the RF output signal based on the amplitude control signals and the phase control signals; and, transmitting, with an antenna, the RF output signal. The method can also include providing phase control information and output power control information to the control circuit and controlling, with a power supply, an amount of power provided to the MISO operator. In an embodiment, the MISO operator is an energy converter that can be controlled by the amplitude and phase control signals.

[0013] A further embodiment of the present invention includes a multi-element antenna array. The array can include a plurality of signal paths, in which each of the signal paths includes the following: a control circuit configured to receive input information and generate amplitude control signals and phase control signals; a multiple input single output (MISO) operator configured to receive the amplitude control signals and the phase control signals and to generate a radio frequency (RF) output signal; and, an antenna element configured to receive and transmit the RF output signal. The array can also include digital and mixed-signal circuitry configured to provide phase control information and output power control information to the control circuit and a calibration path configured to calibrate the amplitude and phase of the antenna element for each of the signal paths. In an embodiment, the MISO operator for each signal path is an energy converter that can be controlled by the amplitude and phase control signals.

[0014] Further embodiments, features, and advantages of the present invention, as well as the structure and operation of the various embodiments of the present invention, are described in detail below with reference to the accompanying drawings. It is noted that the invention is not limited to the specific embodiments described herein. Such embodiments are presented herein for illustrative purposes only. Additional embodiments will be apparent to a person skilled in the relevant art based on the teachings contained herein.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0015] The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated herein and form a part of the specification, illustrate embodiments of the present invention and, together with the description, further serve to explain the principles of the invention and to enable a person skilled in the relevant art to make and use the invention.

[0016] FIGs. 1 A and IB illustrate a two-element antenna array beam steering example.

[0017] FIGs. 2A and 2B illustrate a six-element antenna array beam steering example.

[0018] FIGs. 3A-3C illustrate exemplary beams of a 20-element antenna array for different main beam steering angle values.

[0019] FIG. 4 illustrates a conventional multi-element transmit antenna array.

[0020] FIG. 5 illustrates an energy converter based multi-element antenna array, according to an embodiment of the present invention.

[0021] FIG. 6 illustrates an example energy converter based RF transmitter.

[0022] FIG. 7 illustrates an example multiple input multiple output (MIMO) antenna configuration.

[0023] FIG. 8 illustrates an example wireless device having an energy converter based multi-element transmit antenna array and an energy sampling based multi-element receive antenna array, according to an embodiment of the present invention.

[0024] FIG. 9 illustrates an example implementation of a calibration feature of an energy converter based multi-element transmit antenna array, according to an embodiment of the present invention.

[0025] FIG. 10 is a process flowchart of a method for calibrating transmit antenna elements in a multi-element transmit antenna array, according to an embodiment of the present invention.

[0026] FIGs. 11 A-l ID illustrate example configurations of a multi-element electronically steerable antenna (MESA), according to embodiments of the present invention. [0027] FIG. 12 illustrates an example mobile device communication system in which embodiments of the present invention can be implemented.

[0028] Embodiments of the present invention will be described with reference to the accompanying drawings. Generally, the drawing in which an element first appears is typically indicated by the leftmost digit(s) in the corresponding reference number.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

1. Energy Converter

[0029] The term "energy converter" is used throughout the specification. In an embodiment, an energy converter is an apparatus configured to convert energy from a potential energy (e.g., AC or DC power source) to a radio frequency (RF) signal by controlling a dynamic impedance at a trans-impedance node, thus resulting in a variable dynamic loadline. Examples of energy converters are described in the U.S. patents cross- referenced above, which are incorporated by reference herein in their entireties. For example, as described in at least one of the U.S. patents cross-referenced above, an energy converter based transmitter enables highly linear and efficient generation of desired waveforms over a wide range of output power. This highly linear and efficient energy converter is aided by amplitude and/or phase control mechanisms which can be applied at various stages of an energy converter based transmitter. For example, amplitude and/or phase control can be generated by digital control circuitry (in some embodiments, also referred to herein as a "Vector Synthesis Engine" (VSE)) and applied to multiple input multiple output (MISO) operator circuitry of the energy converter based transmitter. Amplitude and/or phase control signals may in turn be aided by various circuit and system characterization, circuit and/or system calibration and/or feedback (e.g., measurement and correction) mechanisms to ensure high amplitude/phase accuracy at the output of the energy converter.

[0030] In an embodiment, the MISO operator may be configured to control the impedance between a potential energy source and RF output circuitry to create a desired RF signal at a desired output power. In an embodiment, the multiple control inputs to the MISO operator may be control paths partitioned to control upper branch and lower branch circuitry. Alternatively, the multiple inputs to the MISO operator may control a single branch with multiple control paths. The control paths that serve as inputs to the MISO operator may be directly or indirectly utilized by the MISO operator to control a complex impedance of a trans-impedance node. Each baseband information input sample to the MISO operator may have a corresponding complex impedance value at the trans- impedance node, according to an embodiment of the present invention. The MISO operator and corresponding MISO circuitry may be considered as applying a mathematical "function" or "operation" such that the impedance at the trans-impedance node can be varied based on the amplitude and phase control signals (e.g., inputs to the MISO operator).

[0031] In an embodiment, an energy converter can convert electrical energy of one type to electrical energy of another type. The statistics of an input potential energy to the energy converter can be different from the statistics of output energy from the energy converter, accordin to an embodiment of the present invention. Accordingly, multiple forms of electrical energy (e.g., AC or DC energy) can be consumed at the input of the energy converter and modulated to produce a desired modulated RF carrier at the output of the energy converter.

[0032] The above description of "energy converter" contrasts characteristics of a traditional amplifier. For example, as would be understood by a person skilled in the relevant art, a traditional amplifier is not designed to accept an input that possesses an arbitrary statistic with respect to an output of the amplifier. Rather, traditional amplifiers are typically designed to reproduce the essential statistic of the input including voltage, current, and frequency— at its output with additional power increase due to a power supply of the amplifier that is consumed during the amplification process.

[0033] Further, for traditional amplifier designs, the input to the amplifier must possess a carrier frequency consistent with the output of the amplifier and the cross-correlation of the input and output should be as close to 1 as possible or meet minimum output waveform requirements of the amplifier. For example, a traditional amplifier requires a modulated RF carrier signal to be coupled to its input and an amplified version of the input modulated RF carrier signal at the output. This requirement is in addition to accounting for noise and non-linearities in the amplifier design. 2. Beam Steering in a Multi-Element Antenna Array

[0034] In this section, beam steering in a multi-element antenna array is described. As an example, FIGs. 1A and IB conceptually illustrate beam steering in an example two- element antenna array 100. Antenna array 100 may be a transmit or receive antenna. As shown in FIG. 1 A, antenna array 100 includes first and second variable phase shifters 102 and 104 that respectively control the phases of the first and second antenna elements (not shown in FIG. 1 A) of antenna array 100.

[0035] The main beam steering angle (measured relative to a reference Y-axis) of antenna array 100 (which determines the direction of operation of the antenna) is a function of the relative phase shift (which will be denoted as "ΔΦ" herein) between the first and second antenna elements. In FIG. 1A, the main beam steering angle is denoted by the symbol

"Os."

[0036] It can be shown that the main beam steering angle of antenna array 100 and the relative phase shift between the first and second antenna elements of antenna array 100 are related by the following equation:

360 _ λ

ΑΦ ~ x (1) where x is the distance labeled "x" in FIG. 1A, and λ is the wavelength of the transmitted/received beam.

[0037] From FIG. 1A, the distance between the first and second antenna elements of antenna array 100 (denoted as "d" in FIG. 1 A) is related to "x" according to:

x = * sin(05) . (2)

[0038] Thus, by substitution, the relative phase shift between the first and second antenna elements of antenna array 100 can be written as a function of the main beam steering angle of the array as:

36(W * sin(Os)

Δ = . (3)

[0039] As a numerical example, assume that the RF output frequency of antenna array

100 is 3 GHz (which corresponds to a wavelength (λ) = 9.993 cm), that the distance between the first and second antenna elements (d) is 2.5 cm, and that the desired beam steering angle (Os) is 45 degrees. Substituting these numerical values into equation (3) above results in a relative phase shift between the first and second antenna elements (ΔΦ) of approximately 63.684 degrees. An antenna array beam 106 that results from this example is illustrated in FIG. IB.

[0040] FIG. 2A conceptually illustrates beam steering in an example six-element antenna array 200. FIG. 2B illustrates an example beam 210 produced by antenna array 200 for a beam steering angle (Os) of 45 degrees. Like example two-element antenna array 100, the beam steering angle (Os) of antenna array 200 is a function of the relative phase shifts between successive antenna elements of the array.

[0041] FIGs. 3A-3C illustrate example beam patterns of a 20-element antenna array for different main beam steering angle values. Specifically, FIGs. 3A, 3B, and 3C respectively show example antenna array beam patterns 300A, 300B, and 300C produced using the 20-element antenna array for beam steering angles (Os) of 45 degrees, 60 degrees, and 90 degrees, respectively. As shown in FIGs. 3A-3C, the directivity of the 20-element antenna array (e.g., gain in the desired direction and/or attenuation of potential interference from signals in other directions) is at a maximum at the selected beam steering angle (Os).

3. Conventional Multi-Element Antenna Array

[0042] FIG. 4 illustrates a conventional multi-element transmit antenna array 400. As shown in FIG. 4, conventional multi-element array 400 includes a plurality (N) of signal paths, each including a transmitter 402!-402N, a power amplifier (PA) 404i-404N, a variable phase shifter 4061-406N, and an antenna element 408I-408N- Transmit (TX) information 410 is input simultaneously into each of the plurality of signal paths via its respective transmitter 4021-402N. Transmitter 402 may be any known conventional transmitter. Transmitters 4021-402N modulate and/or frequency up-convert, for example, input TX information 410 using a reference signal 416 from a local oscillator (LO) 414. The outputs of transmitters 402I-402N are power amplified by PA 404i-404N, respectively, and then respectively acted upon by variable phase shifters 406Ι-406Ν· In particular, each variable phase shifter 406I-406N applies a respective phase shift to a respective PA output based on a respective phase shift control signal 4I21-412N.

[0043] To achieve a desired beam steering angle via multi-element antenna array 400, the relative phase shifts between successive antenna elements 408I-408N must be set appropriately. This includes determining a configuration of relative phase shifts between successive antenna elements 408I-408N, which results in the desired beam steering angle and controlling variable phase shifters 406I-406N for each signal path, as necessary, to achieve the determined configuration.

[0044] Conventional multi-element antenna arrays, including conventional MESA arrays, implement variable phase shifters 406I-406 using time delay phase shifters, vector modulators, and digital phase shifters, for example. The dynamic range and resolution of such phase shifters, however, is limited, which limits the accuracy at which a determined configuration of relative phase shifts can be set. In turn, this limits the accuracy of the resulting beam steering angle of the antenna array and the suitability of the antenna array for certain applications (e.g., high mobility applications). Increasing the number of antenna elements of the array typically allows greater accuracy of beam steering angle but comes with an increased footprint, cost, and power consumption.

4. Energy Converter Based Multi-Element Antenna Array

[0045] Embodiments of the present invention provide an energy converter based multielement antenna array, which will be described below. In an embodiment, the multielement antenna array is electronically steerable.

[0046] FIG. 5 illustrates an energy converter based multi-element antenna array 500, according to an embodiment of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 5, energy converter based multi-element transmit antenna array 500 includes a plurality (N) of signal paths, each including an energy converter based transmitter 502!-502N and an antenna element 5041-504N- Energy converter based transmitter 502i-502N in each path is provided a reference signal 416 from LO 414 as well as transmit (TX) information, antenna element phase control information, and output power control information, according to an embodiment of the present invention. In an embodiment, the TX information, antenna element phase control information, and the output power control information are provided to each energy converter based transmitter 502i-502N from digital circuitry and/or mixed-signal circuitry that may include, for example, a microprocessor, FPGA, digital signal processor, state machine, or a combination thereof (not shown in FIG. 5). [0047] Accordingly, energy converter based multi-element antenna array embodiments replace, in each signal path, the conventional transmitter, power amplifier, and variable phase shifter (e.g., as used in conventional multi-element transmit antenna array 400 of FIG. 4) with a single energy converter based transmitter. Advantages of an energy converter based multi-element antenna include, among others, significant savings in terms of size, reduction in power consumption, the ability to transmit multiple RF signals, waveforms, and wireless standards with the same energy converter based transmitter circuitry, and enhanced phase and amplitude accuracy for each antenna element.

[0048] In addition, embodiments of the present invention leverage various levels of amplitude and/or phase control mechanisms of the energy converter based transmitter to enable both highly-controllable and highly-accurate beam steering in the multi-element antenna array. Indeed, as described above, amplitude and/or phase in an energy converter based transmitter can be controlled at any given time using one or more of multiple stages of the energy converter based transmitter, according to an embodiment of the present invention.

[0049] FIG. 6 illustrates an example energy converter based transmitter implementation

600, according to an embodiment of the present invention. Embodiments based on example implementation 600 can be used in an energy converter based multi-element antenna array, such as multi-element antenna array 500 of FIG. 5. As shown in FIG. 6, energy converter based transmitter implementation 600 includes a Vector Synthesis Engine (VSE) circuitry 602, a Interpolation/ Anti-Alias Filter circuitry 608, a multiple input single output (MISO) operator 620, and a Digitally Controlled Power Supply (DCPS) circuitry 616.

[0050] VSE circuitry 602 receives command and control, information via a command and control, interface 506. in an embodiment, the command and control information is provided by digital and/or mixed-signal circuitry thai may include, for example, a microprocessor, FPGA, state machine, or a combination thereof (not shown in FIG. 6) and includes transmit (TX) information, antenna element phase control information, and. output power control information. In addition, VSE circuitry 602 receives I and Q information over a data interface, from a baseband processor, for example.

[0051] VSE circuitry 602 uses the received I and Q information, element phase, and element power control information to generate amplitude control signals 610, phase control signals 612 (which are filtered by Interpolation/ Anti -Alias Filter circuitry 608) and DCPS control signals 606. VSE circuitry 602 and Interpolation/Anti-Alias Filter circuitry 608 provide amplitude control signals 610 and phase control signals 612 to MISO operator 620, and VSE circuitry provides DCPS control signals 606 to DCPS circuitry 616 to generate the desired RP output waveform at the desired amplitude and phase.

] Each of amplitude control signals 610, phase control signals 612, filter signal and control interface signals 604, and DCPS control signals 606 can be used, alone or in various combinations, to control the amplitude and/or phase of the output signal of MISO operator 620. In particular, amplitude control signals 610 and phase control signals 612 control the output of MISO operator 620 by controlling various stages of MISO operator 620. Similarly, filter signal and control interface 604 and DCPS control signals 606 control the amplitude and/or phase of the output signal of MISO operator 620 by, respectively, altering the response of Interpolation/ Anti-Alias Filter circuitry 608 and controlling the amount of power provided to MISO operator and output storage networks 620.

] Further detailed implementations of the energy converter based transmitter are described in U.S. Patent Application No. 1 1/256,172, filed October 24, 2005, now U.S. Patent 7,184,723 (Atty. Docket No. 1744.1900006), U.S. Patent Application No. 11/508,989, filed August 24, 2006, now U.S. Patent 7,355,470 (Atty. Docket No. 1744.2160001), and U.S. Patent Application No. 12/236,079, filed September 23, 2008, now U.S. Patent 7,911,272 (Atty. Docket No. 1744.2260000), all of which are incorporated herein by reference in their entireties. As detailed in these U.S. patents, amplitude and/or phase control in the energy converter based transmitter can be applied at any given time using at least one of VSE circuitry 602 (also known as the digital control or transfer function module), Interpolation/ Anti-Alias Filter circuitry 608, MISO operator 620 (including the vector modulation and output stage), and DCPS circuitry 616 of the energy converter based transmitter. The accuracy of amplitude and/or phase control may further be aided by various circuit and system characterization, circuit and/or system calibration, and/or feed-forward (e.g., pre-compensation) and/or feedback (e.g., measurement and correction) mechanisms, as described in the above-mentioned U.S. patents. [0054] Together, the various levels of amplitude and/or phase control mechanisms of an energy converter based transmitter can be used, according to embodiments of the present invention, to enable various resolution levels (e.g., accuracy levels) to set the amplitude and/or phase of the energy converter based transmitter. In turn, when the energy converter based transmitter is used in an energy converter based multi-element antenna array, various beam steering (e.g., directivity) accuracy levels can be enabled. For example, depending on the desired beam steering accuracy, one or more of the amplitude/phase control mechanisms in one or more (or in each) energy converter based transmitter of the multi-element antenna array can be used. In addition, by combining multiple control mechanisms, each with a respective control dynamic range, the resulting beam steering accuracy levels include higher accuracy with greater repeatability levels than allowed by using conventional variable phase shifters.

5. MESA-Based Multiple-Input Multiple Output (MIMO) Antenna

[0055] Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) antenna operation is often referred to as

"spatial multiplexing." Spatial multiplexing refers to a technique that separates one or more high data rate signals into multiple (and sometimes lower) data rate signals, which are then transmitted over different transmit antennas on the same frequency or channel. If the transmit antennas have reasonably different spatial signatures (e.g., the antennas have different polarizations or exist in different planes), a receiver with the same number of receive antennas can process the multiple data rate signals as parallel channels. As such, spatial multiplexing can greatly increase channel capacity. MIMO operation requires at least two antennas but can employ as many antennas as practice allows can be spatially separated.

[0056] FIG. 7 illustrates an example MIMO communication system 700. As shown in

FIG. 7, example MIMO communication system 700 includes a MIMO transmit antenna 702 having three transmit (TX) antennas A, B, and C, and a MIMO receive antenna 704 having three receive (RX) antennas A, B, and C. TX antennas A, B, and C have orthogonal polarizations relative to one another (e.g., X-Polarization, Y-Polarization, and Z-Polarization). RX antennas A, B, and C also have orthogonal polarizations relative to one another (e.g., X-Polarization, Y-Polarization, and Z-polarization). In addition, TX antennas A, B, and C and RX antennas A, B, and C are configured so as to have matching polarizations (e.g., TX antenna A and RX antenna A both have X-polarization).

[0057] As a result of the above described MIMO antenna configuration, desired spatial signal paths can be created between MIMO transmit antenna 702 and MIMO receive antenna 704. For example, three spatially independent signal paths 706A, 706B, and 706C can be created as shown in FIG. 7. The spatially independent signal paths 706A, 706B, and 706C allow for multiple simultaneous transmissions to occur between MIMO transmit antenna 702 and MIMO receive antenna 704.

[0058] As described above, embodiments of the present invention enable a multi-element electronically steerable antenna (MESA) array. The MESA array can be controlled electronically to change its gain, radiation pattern, and/or direction of operation by varying the relative phase shifts and/or amplitudes of the antenna elements of the array. In an embodiment, the MESA array includes at least two antenna elements.

[0059] According to an embodiment of the present invention, the MESA array can further be used in a MIMO communication system. As such, in an embodiment, each TX antenna of a MIMO transmit antenna is implemented as one or more MESAs. As a result, each TX antenna can be electronically configured or re-configured for increased and/or optimum performance, according to (or changes in) the environment. For example, the beam width and/or direction of each TX antenna can be electronically changed based on feedback from the MIMO receiver. This can be done, for example, in order to achieve a desired spatial multiplexing, increase the number of MIMO spatial paths, improve the signal to noise ratio of MIMO signals at the receiver, and/or increase spatial isolation between the MIMO spatial paths (e.g., to increase the information data rate or compensate for channel interference).

[0060] Thus, embodiments of the present invention enable a MESA-based MIMO transmit antenna configurable to optimize spatial multiplexing system parameters, as desired. Further, according to embodiments of the present invention, a single MESA array can be configured to operate as a MIMO transmit/receive antenna. For example, in an embodiment, the individual elements of a MESA array can be individually configured so as to create therefrom multiple antennas, in which the multiple antennas are configured to form a MIMO antenna. 6. Example Implementations

[0061] Example implementations according to embodiments of the present invention will now be provided. These example implementations are provided for the purpose of illustration only, and thus are not limiting. As further described, these example implementations use an energy converter based transmitter and/or an energy sampling based receiver in their designs to enable a RF power transceiver engine for highly accurate, highly efficient multimode wireless applications. Examples of energy converter based transmitters and energy sampling receivers are described the U.S. patents cross- references above, which are incorporated by reference herein in their entireties. For example, as described in at least one of the U.S. patents cross-referenced above, the energy sampling receiver provides an efficient and highly linear solution for demodulating RF waveforms. An energy sampling based receiver provides high sensitivity, high dynamic range, wide instantaneous bandwidth, and a broad tuning range in a compact implementation.

[0062] FIG. 8 illustrates an example wireless device 800 having an energy converter based multi-element transmit antenna array and an energy sampling based multi-element receive antenna array. Wireless device 800 can support communication in the IEEE L- band (1 to 2 GHz), for example. As shown in FIG. 8, wireless device 800 includes a baseband processor 802, a multi-path transmit section 804, a multi-path receive section 806, a microprocessor or FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) processor 808, transmit and receive local oscillators (LOs) 810 and 812, respectively, and a phase and amplitude alignment/calibration receiver path 814.

[0063] Baseband processor 802 provides transmit (TX) information to transmit section

804, according to an embodiment of the present invention. The TX information may be in the form of real time in-phase (I) and quadrature (Q) TX waveform data. Additionally, in an embodiment, baseband processor 802 receives receive (RX) information from receive section 806. The RX information may be in the form of real time I and Q waveform data. Additionally, baseband processor 802 may embody the control circuitry, software and/or firmware, and interface(s) found in microprocessor of FPGA processor 808.

[0064] Transmit section 804 includes one or more TX signal paths (four in the example of FIG. 8), each including an energy converter based transmitter and an optional TX antenna element. Transmit section 804 receives TX waveform data from baseband processor 802. In an embodiment, transmit section 804 includes a TX waveform memory, which is used for testing purposes. The TX waveform memory can be used to load a desired test waveform and to test the performance of wireless device 800 for the desired test waveform. In an embodiment, the TX waveform memory can be used to test waveforms that are not supported by baseband processor 802. The TX waveform data is provided to the VSE module of each TX signal path, according to an embodiment of the present invention. At the same time, transmit section 804 receives command and control information via a TX SPI (System Packet Interface) bus from microprocessor/FPGA processor 808. TX local oscillator (LO) 810 provides a transmit LO signal to the MISO operator of each TX signal path.

[0065] Receive section 806 includes one or more RX signal paths (four in the example of

FIG. 8), each including a RX antenna element, a RX front end module, an Interpolation/ Anti-Alias Filter stage, and a RX controller. The RX front end module includes an energy sampling based receiver. Receive section 806 provides RX waveform data to baseband processor 802. Like transmit section 804, receive section 806 receives command and control information via a RX SPI bus from microprocessor/FPGA processor 808. RX local oscillator (LO) 812 provides a receive LO to the RX front end module of each RX signal path.

[0066] Microprocessor/FPGA processor 808 is programmable via a user computer interface 816, for example, in order to control TX and/or RX sections 804 and 806, respectively, of wireless device 800. According to embodiments of the present invention, microprocessor/FPGA processor 808 can be used to setup, control, calibrate, and test the antenna elements. Microprocessor/FPGA processor 808 may support a graphical user interface, which can be used to download and upload test waveforms and to control individual antenna elements.

[0067] Furthermore, microprocessor/FPGA processor 808 receives feedback information from phase and amplitude alignment/calibration receive path 814. In an embodiment, the received feedback information includes information regarding phase alignment and the amplitude or power output of the TX antenna elements.

[0068] Phase and amplitude alignment/calibration receive path 814 is used to calibrate the TX antenna elements (e.g., to ensure that the TX antenna elements are operating at a desired phase and power output). In an embodiment, phase and amplitude alignment/calibration receive path 814 includes an antenna (or antenna coupler) 818 and calibration receiver circuitry. The calibration receiver circuitry includes an RF amplifier 820, a frequency down-converter 822, a baseband amplifier 824, interpolation/anti-alias filters 826, and an analog-to-digital (ADC) converter 828. In an embodiment, gain control signal provided by microprocessor/FPGA processor 808 controls the gain of RP amplifier 820.

[0069] According to embodiments of the present invention, phase and amplitude alignment/calibration receiver path 814 may include more or less components than shown in FIG. 8. For example, as would be understood by a person of skilled in the relevant art based on the teachings herein, the calibration receiver circuitry may be implemented in different ways than shown in FIG. 8. These different implementations of the calibration receiver circuitry are within the spirit and scope of the embodiments disclosed herein.

[0070] FIG. 9 illustrates an example implementation 900 of a phase calibration receive path according to an embodiment of the present invention.

[0071] As shown in FIG. 9, the phase and amplitude calibration receive path includes a calibration receiver antenna (or antenna coupler) 908, calibration receiver circuitry 910, and a calibration controller 912. In an embodiment, the calibration receive path serves to calibrate an energy converter based multi-element transmit antenna array. The multielement transmit antenna array includes a plurality of signal paths, each including a VSE 902i-9024, a MISO operator 904 9044, and a TX antenna element 906 9064.

[0072] A TX LO 914 provides a local oscillator (LO) signal to each MISO operator 904!-

9044 as well as to calibration receiver circuitry 910. As a result, a DC signal is generated when a signal transmitted by TX antenna element 906i-9064 is received and down- converted by calibration receiver circuitry 910 using the provided LO signal. When TX antennas 906i-9064 are substantially equidistant to calibration receiver antenna 908, a substantially equal DC signal value is generated for all TX antennas 906!-9064 when TX antennas 906]-9064 are phase calibrated. In other words, TX antennas 906i-9064 can be phase calibrated by ensuring that the substantially same DC signal value (e.g., a predetermined value) is generated for all TX antennas (in the case that TX antennas 906 9064 are substantially equidistant to calibration receiver antenna 908 and the same signal is transmitted by TX antennas 906r9064). In addition to phase calibration, calibration controller 912 and calibration receiver circuitry 910 can be used to calibrate the amplitude or power output of each antenna element.

[0073] As would be understood by a person skilled in the relevant art, when TX antennas

906!-9064 are not substantially equidistant to calibration receiver antenna 908, different DC signal values may result for TX antennas 906i-9064. In an embodiment, the generated DC signal value for each TX antenna 906i-9064 is normalized using a respective normalization factor (e.g., determined for each TX antenna 906j-9064 based on its relative location to calibration receiver antenna 908), and the normalized DC signal values are then used to calibrate TX antennas 906!-9064 (e.g., the normalized DC signal values are fixed to the same pre-determined value). Alternatively, in an embodiment, the generated DC signal values are compared against different respective pre-determined DC signal values, where each pre-determined DC signal value is computed a priori for a respective TX antenna 9061 -9604 using testing and experimentation. This technique can be used to calibrate both amplitude or power output and phase of each antenna element.

[0074] An example of the operation of the phase and amplitude calibration receive path of FIG. 9 is described with reference to FIG. 10, which illustrates a process flowchart 1000 of a method for calibrating transmit antenna elements in a multi-element transmit antenna array, according to an embodiment of the present invention. Process 1000 is performed with respect to one antenna element at a time— i.e., the antenna element being calibrated.

[0075] Process 1000 begins in step 1002, which includes setting the phase of an antenna element being calibrated to a selected value. In an embodiment, step 1002 is performed using one or more of calibration controller 912, VSE 902, and MISO operator 904 of FIG. 9. For example, the phase of the antenna element may be set to a value corresponding to 0 degrees relative to a reference.

[0076] Step 1004 includes setting the power output of the antenna element being calibrated to a selected value. In an embodiment, step 1004 is performed using one or more of calibration controller 912, VSE 902, and MISO operator 904 of FIG. 9. The selected power output value is selected, in an embodiment, based on the distance of the antenna element being calibrated to the calibration receiver antenna.

[0077] Step 1006 includes transmitting an RP carrier signal from the antenna element.

The RF carrier signal is transmitted at the selected phase value and the selected power output value. The RF carrier signal can be any RF signal. In an embodiment, step 1006 is performed using one or more of VSE 902, MISO operator 904, and TX antenna element 906 of FIG. 9.

[0078] Step 1008 includes receiving the transmitted RF carrier signal using the calibration receiver circuitry. Step 1008 is performed by calibration receiver circuitry 910 of FIG. 9, according to an embodiment of the present invention. In an embodiment, step 1008 includes down-converting the transmitted RF carrier signal using the same LO signal used to generate the transmitted RF carrier signal. As a result, as described above, a DC signal is generated in step 1008.

[0079] Step 1010 includes comparing an output of the calibration receiver circuitry to a desired value or range of values. In an embodiment, step 1010 is performed by calibration controller 912 of FIG. 9. In an embodiment, step 1010 includes comparing the DC signal generated in step 1008 with a desired pre-determined DC signal value. As described above, the desired DC signal value may be the same value for all antennas, or can be computed for each antenna a priori using testing and experimentation. In an embodiment, the output of the calibration receiver circuitry may be an analog or a digital signal.

[0080] Step 1012 includes determining whether or not the output of the calibration receiver circuitry is equal to the desired value or within a defined tolerance error from the desired value. If the result of step 1012 is "Yes," then calibration process 1000 proceeds to step 1014, which ends the calibration process for the antenna element being calibrated. Process 1000 can be repeated for another antenna element, if any. Otherwise, process 1000 proceeds to step 1016, which includes adjusting the phase and/or amplitude of the antenna element. In an embodiment, step 1016 includes adjusting the phase and/or amplitude of the antenna element based on a comparison of the output of the calibration receiver circuitry and the desired value or range of values. The phase and/or amplitude of the antenna element is adjusted so as to bring the output of the calibration receiver circuitry closer to the desired value and within the defined tolerance error from the desired value.

[0081] As described above, when all TX antenna elements are substantially equidistant to the calibration receiver antenna or antenna coupling circuitry, the TX antenna elements are all calibrated to a substantially similar desired value. However., in the case that the TX antennas are placed in a non-symmetrical layout relative to the calibration receiver antenna, then the TX antenna elements may have to be calibrated to different desired values.

[0082] The phase and amplitude calibration techniques described herein can be performed prior to the example implementation operation and/or during the example implementation operation. In an embodiment, the phase and amplitude calibration can occur during a set-up process or procedure, at regular time intervals, or in the event of a measured or observed error (e.g., at a time which does not interfere with normal operation of the transceiver).

[0083] FIGs. 1 1 A-l ID illustrate example configurations of a multi-element electronically steerable antenna (MESA) according to embodiments of the present invention. In particular, FIGs. 11 A and B illustrate example layouts of TX antenna elements relative to the calibration receiver antenna or antenna coupler in MESA embodiments of the present invention.

[0084] FIG. 11 A illustrates an example four-element MESA configuration 1 100A, according to an embodiment of the present invention. Example configuration 1100A has a symmetrical layout, in which TX antenna elements 906i, 9062, 9063, and 9064 are placed symmetrically relative to calibration receiver antenna/coupler 908. Thus, TX antenna elements 906!-9064 are pairwise equidistant to calibration receiver antenna/coupler 908, and can be calibrated to the same desired value.

[0085] FIG. 1 IB illustrates another example four-element MESA configuration 1100B, according to an embodiment of the present invention. Example configuration 1100B has a layout whereby the calibration receiver antenna or antenna coupler 908 is not substantially equidistant relative to each antenna element. In particular, TX antenna elements 9061-9064 are not pairwise equidistant to calibration receiver antenna/coupler 908. Instead, TX antenna elements 906i and 9064 are equidistant to calibration receiver antenna/coupler 908 (but not equidistant with TX antenna elements 9062 and 9063). Similarly, TX antenna elements 9062 and 9063 are equidistant to calibration receiver antenna/coupler 908 (but not equidistant with TX antenna elements 906 j and 9064). As such, TX antenna elements 9061 and 9064 can be calibrated to a first desired value, and TX antenna elements 9062 and 9063 can be calibrated to a second desired value or, alternatively, all antenna elements can be calibrated to different, predetermined values. [0086] FIG. l lC illustrates another example MESA configuration 1 lOOC, according to an embodiment of the present invention. Example configuration 1100C may include any number of TX antenna elements 906, placed around calibration receiver antenna/coupler 908. Accordingly, depending on its location and distance from calibration receiver antenna/coupler 908, a TX antenna element 906 may be equidistant and/or symmetric to one or more other TX antenna elements of the configuration.

[0087] FIG. 1 ID illustrates another example MESA configuration HOOD according to an embodiment of the present invention. Example configuration HOOD may include any number of TX antenna elements 906, placed around or near one or more calibration receiver antenna/couplers 908. In an embodiment, calibration of MESA configuration HOOD is performed by dividing the set of antenna elements 906 into sub-sets, calibrating the antennas in each sub-set using the additional calibration receiver antenna/couplers 908 co-located near the sub-set, and then calibrating the sub-sets relative to each other using calibration receiver and calibration control circuitry configured to accept one or more calibration receiver antenna/coupler inputs.

[0088] In an embodiment, calibrating the sub-sets relative to each other can be done by selecting a single representative TX antenna element from each sub-set, calibrating the selected TX antenna elements using calibration receiver antenna/coupler 908, and then applying the calibration result of each representative TX antenna element to all other antenna elements of its respective sub-set. In an embodiment, this calibration technique may require predictably- characterized offset parameters.

[0089] Based on the description herein, a person skilled in the relevant art will recognise that similar phase and amplitude calibration techniques (as described above) can be used to calibrate one or more elements in a receive signal path.

7. Example Systems

[0090] Embodiments of the present invention, as described above, are suitable for use in various communication applications including, but not limited to, military communication applications, wireless local area networks (WLAN) applications, cellular phone applications (e.g., in base stations, handsets, etc.), picocell applications, femtocell applications, and automobile applications. In particular, MESA based MIMO antenna embodiments are suitable for use in a Long Term Evolution (LTE) based communication system (which is part of the 4G Enhanced Packet System (EPS) standard), and can be used to optimize the system's data throughput, user capacity, and performance (e.g., signal to noise ratios) in any static or dynamic environment.

[0091] FIG. 12 illustrates an example mobile device communication system 1200 in which embodiments of the present invention can be implemented. System 1200 can be, for example, a cellular phone system (e.g., 3G, 4G, or any other type of wireless communication system) and satellite phone system. Cellular phones 1204, 1208, 1212, and 1216 each include a transceiver 1206, 1210, 1214, and 1218, respectively. Transceivers 1206, 1210, 1214, and 1218 enable their respective cellular phones to communicate via a wireless communication medium (e.g., 3G, 4G, or any other type of wireless communication system) with base stations 1220 and 1224. Base stations 1220 and 1224 are in communication with one another via a telephone network 1222 and include transceivers 1221 and 1225, respectively. According to an embodiment of the present invention, transceivers 1206, 1210, 1214, 1218, 1221, and 1225 are implemented using one or more energy converter based transmitters (e.g., as described above with respect to FIG. 6), one or more MIMO antennas (e.g., as described above with respect to FIG. 7), one or more transceivers with an energy converter based multi-element transmit antenna array and an energy sampling based multi-element receive antenna array (e.g., as described above with respect to FIG. 8), or a combination thereof.

[0092] Based on the description herein, a person skilled in the relevant art will recognize that other types of base stations can include the transceivers discussed above. The other types of base stations include, but are not limited to, macro base stations (operating in networks that are relatively large), micro base stations (operating in networks that are relatively small), satellite base stations (operating with satellites), cellular base stations (operating in a cellular telephone networks), and data communication base stations (operating as gateways to computer networks).

[0093] FIG. 12 also illustrates a satellite telephone 1290 that communicates via satellites, such as satellite 1226. Satellite telephone 1290 includes a transceiver 1292, which can be implemented using one or more energy converter based transmitters (e.g., as described above with respect to FIG. 6), one or more MIMO antennas (e.g., as described above with respect to FIG. 7), one or more transceivers with an energy converter based multi-element transmit antenna array and an energy sampling based multi-element receive antenna array (e.g., as described above with respect to FIG. 8), or a combination thereof.

[0094] FIG. 12 also illustrates a cordless phone 1290 having a handset 1293 and a base station 1296. Handset 1293 and base station 1296 include transceivers 1294 and 1298, respectively, for communicating with each other preferably over a wireless link. Transceivers 1294 and 1298 are preferably implemented using one or more energy converter based transmitters (e.g., as described above with respect to FIG. 6), one or more MIMO antennas (e.g., as described above with respect to FIG. 7), one or more transceivers with an energy converter based multi-element transmit antenna array and an energy sampling based multi-element receive antenna array (e.g., as described above with respect to FIG. 8), or a combination thereof.

[0095] Advantages of implementing embodiments of the present invention into, for example, the above-noted systems include but are not limited to signal range and quality improvement, increased communication bandwidth, increased capacity, rapid antenna directionality without the use of mechanical movement, and reduction in power consumption. Additional advantages include smaller form factors, enhanced reliability, enhanced repeatability, electronically-controlled antenna gain, beam width, beam shape, beam steering, electronic calibration, and electronic signal acquisition and tracking.

8. Conclusion

[0096] It is to be appreciated that the Detailed Description section, and not the Summary and Abstract sections, is intended to be used to interpret the claims. The Summary and Abstract sections may set forth one or more but not all exemplary embodiments of the present invention as contemplated by the inventors, and thus, are not intended to limit the present invention and the appended claims in any way.

[0097] Embodiments of the present invention have been described above with the aid of functional building blocks illustrating the implementation of specified functions and relationships thereof. The boundaries of these functional building blocks have been arbitrarily defined herein for the convenience of the description. Alternate boundaries can be defined so long as the specified functions and relationships thereof are appropriately performed. [0098] The foregoing description of the specific embodiments will so fully reveal the general nature of the invention such that others can, by applying knowledge within the skill of the relevant art, readily modify and/or adapt for various applications such specific embodiments, without undue experimentation, without departing from the general concept of the present invention. Therefore, such adaptations and modifications are intended to be within the meaning and range of equivalents of the disclosed embodiments, based on the teaching and guidance presented herein. It is to be understood that the phraseology or terminology herein is for the purpose of description and not of limitation, such that the terminology or phraseology of the present specification is to be interpreted by the skilled artisan in light of the teachings and guidance.

[0099J The breadth and scope of the present invention should not be limited by any of the above-described exemplary embodiments, but should be defined only in accordance with the following claims and their equivalents.

Claims

WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:
1. An energy converter based transmitter comprising:
a control circuit configured to receive input information and generate amplitude control signals and phase control signals;
a multiple input single output (MISO) operator configured to receive the amplitude control signals and the phase control signals and to generate a radio frequency (RF) output signal; and
an antenna element configured to receive and transmit the RF output signal.
2. The transmitter of claim 1 , further comprising:
a digital and mixed-signal circuitry configured to provide phase control information and output power control information to the control circuit.
3. The transmitter of claim 2, wherein the control circuit is configured to generate the amplitude control signals and the phase control signals based on the phase control information and the output power control information provided by the digital and mixed-signal circuitry.
4. The transmitter of claim 3, wherein the phase control information and output power control information determine a phase and an output power of the RF output signal.
5. The transmitter of claim 1, further comprising:
a power supply configured to control an amount of power provided to the MISO operator.
6. A method comprising:
generating, with a control circuit, amplitude control signals and phase control signals based on input information;
generating, with a multiple input single output (MISO) operator, a radio frequency (RF) output signal based on the amplitude control signals and the phase control signals; and
transmitting, with an antenna, the RF output signal.
7. The method of claim 6, further comprising:
providing phase control information and output power control information to the control circuit.
8. The method of claim 7, wherein the providing comprises generating the amplitude control signals and the phase control signals based on the phase control information and the output power control information.
9. The method of claim 8, wherein the generating the amplitude control signals and the phase control signals based on the phase control information and the output power control information comprises determining a phase and an output power of the RF output signal.
10. The method of claim 6, further comprising:
controlling, with a power supply, an amount of power provided to the MISO operator.
11. A multi-element antenna array comprising:
a plurality of signal paths, each of the signal paths comprising:
a control circuit configured to receive input information and generate amplitude control signals and phase control signals;
a multiple input single output (MISO) operator configured to receive the amplitude control signals and the phase control signals and to generate a radio frequency (RF) output signal; and
an antenna element configured to receive and transmit the RF output signal.
12. The array of claim 11, further comprising:
digital and mixed-signal circuitry configured to provide phase control information and output power control information to the control circuit.
13. The array of claim 12, wherein the control circuit is configured to generate the amplitude control signals and the phase control signals based on the phase control information and the output power control information provided by the digital and mixed-signal circuitry.
14. The array of claim 13, wherein the phase control information and output power control information determine a phase and an output power of the RF output signal.
15. The array of claim 1 1, wherein the plurality of signal paths forms a multi-element electronically steerable antenna (MESA) array.
16. The array of claim 11 , wherein the plurality of signals paths forms a multiple input multiple output (MIMO) antenna.
17. The array of claim 1 1, wherein the plurality of signal paths forms a plurality of multiple input multiple output (MIMO) antennas.
18. The array of claim 1 1, wherein the plurality of signal paths forms a plurality of antenna elements for use in at least one of a cellular phone, a satellite phone, a handset device, or a combination thereof.
19. The array of claim 11 , farther comprising:
a calibration path configured to phase calibrate the antenna element of each of the signal paths.
20. The array of claim 11, wherein at least one of a gain, a radiation pattern, a direction of operation of each of the plurality of signals paths, or a combination thereof is adjustable by adjusting at least one of relative phase shifts between output signals of the plurality of signal paths, amplitudes of the output signals of the plurality of signal paths, or a combination thereof.
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US20150288431A1 (en) 2015-10-08 application
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US8755454B2 (en) 2014-06-17 grant
US9419692B2 (en) 2016-08-16 grant
US20130077708A1 (en) 2013-03-28 application
JP2017212741A (en) 2017-11-30 application
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KR20140034895A (en) 2014-03-20 application

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