REPLACEABLE CARD FOR ANTENNA FREQUENCY TUNING
1. A portable communication device, comprising:
- a housing; and
a primary antenna section permanently located in the housing, the housing and primary antenna section being configured to interchangeably accept a plurality of replaceable cards, each replaceable card having a secondary antenna section disposed thereon for electronically coupling to the primary antenna section thereby forming a complete antenna entirely within the housing, and wherein each completed antenna configuration provides optimized efficiency at one or more predetermined frequency ranges for multiband frequency operation of the portable communication device.
An improved antenna configuration for a communication device is provided that enables ultra wideband operation. The antenna may be formed of two sections, a primary section built into the communication device and a replaceable secondary section disposed on a data card. The primary section is common for all frequency bands of operation which the antenna is intended to cover. The replaceable secondary section is unique to predetermined frequency bands and provides tuning for the overall antenna. A data card tray antenna configuration is also provided which is suitable for a stand-alone antenna or as part of a sectional antenna.
- 1. A portable communication device, comprising:
a housing; and a primary antenna section permanently located in the housing, the housing and primary antenna section being configured to interchangeably accept a plurality of replaceable cards, each replaceable card having a secondary antenna section disposed thereon for electronically coupling to the primary antenna section thereby forming a complete antenna entirely within the housing, and wherein each completed antenna configuration provides optimized efficiency at one or more predetermined frequency ranges for multiband frequency operation of the portable communication device.
- View Dependent Claims (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17)
- 18. An antenna, comprising:
a data card tray; and an antenna disposed on the data card tray.
- View Dependent Claims (19, 20)
- 21. A method of providing multiband operation to a portable communication device, comprising:
providing a first antenna section within a housing of the portable communication device; inserting a replaceable card having a secondary antenna section disposed thereon into the housing, thereby electrically coupling the second antenna section to the first antenna section to form a complete antenna; operating the portable communication device over a first frequency range of operation; removing the replaceable card; inserting another replaceable card having a different secondary antenna section disposed thereon into the housing, thereby electrically coupling the second antenna section to the first antenna section to form a different complete antenna; and operating the portable communication device over a second frequency range of operation.
- View Dependent Claims (22)
The present invention relates to antennas for portable communication devices, and more particularly to antenna configurations that can support a plurality of wireless technology standards.
Communication devices which operate over different frequency bands are considered desirable, in private markets and enterprise, and particularly in the public-safety arena where such devices are used by such agencies as police departments, fire departments, emergency medical responders, and military to name a few. The use of separate antennas to cover different frequency bands is often not a practical option in view of the portability and size limitations of portable devices. There is need for multiband antenna structures that can cover multiple bands providing for an overall wideband operation. However, achieving multiband functionality can prove quite challenging in the portable communication device domain. The incorporation of separate antennas and matching networks may result in a prohibitively large structure, unsuitable for portable devices having limited size constraints. Efficiency of operation and co-existence interference issues are also major concerns in multiband antenna designs. The addition of frequency bands after product release can also be problematic, as designs are typically based on a limited, fixed predefined list of frequency bands.
Accordingly, there is a need for an improved antenna configuration providing improved multiband capability for a portable communication device.
The accompanying figures, where like reference numerals refer to identical or functionally similar elements throughout the separate views, together with the detailed description below, are incorporated in and form part of the specification, and serve to further illustrate embodiments of concepts that include the claimed invention, and explain various principles and advantages of those embodiments.
Skilled artisans will appreciate that elements in the figures are illustrated for simplicity and clarity and have not necessarily been drawn to scale. For example, the dimensions of some of the elements in the figures may be exaggerated relative to other elements to help to improve understanding of embodiments of the present invention.
The apparatus and method components have been represented where appropriate by conventional symbols in the drawings, showing only those specific details that are pertinent to understanding the embodiments of the present invention so as not to obscure the disclosure with details that will be readily apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art having the benefit of the description herein.
Briefly, there is provided herein an improved antenna configuration for a communication device that enables ultra wideband operation. In some embodiments, the antenna may be formed of two sections, a primary section built into the communication device and a replaceable secondary section formed on a card. The primary section is common for all frequency bands of operation which the antenna is intended to cover. The replaceable secondary section is unique to predetermined frequency bands and provides tuning for the overall antenna. The use of two sections allows the communication device to be configurable to a plurality of bands thereby providing for an ultra wideband frequency range. The predetermined frequency bands can be configured according to use cases and/or geographical regions and/or different carriers. The secondary section takes the form of a replaceable card which can be easily inserted and removed from the communication device. A data card tray antenna configuration is also provided which is suitable for a stand-alone antenna or as part of a sectional antenna. The antenna configurations provided herein is highly beneficial to portable communication devices, such as portable radios, remote speaker microphones and other wearable electronic devices.
As shown in
The primary antenna section 104 can combine with the different, secondary antenna section 116 to form another complete antenna 122. Complete antenna 122 may be optimized for efficient operation over a second set of predetermined frequency ranges. The second set of predetermined frequency ranges provide a second antenna option (Option 2) which may optimized for a second geographic region and/or different service carrier, indicated as Region B. Again, each region may have several carriers and each carrier operates using different frequency bands
The primary antenna section 104 may also combine with secondary antenna section 116 to form complete antenna 124. Complete antenna 124 may be optimized for efficient operation over a third set of predetermined frequency range. The third set of predetermined frequency ranges provide a third antenna option (Option 3) which may be optimized for a third geographic region and/or another service carrier, indicated as Region C. Again, each region may have several carriers and each carrier operates using different frequency bands.
While shown with three options, it is to be appreciated that additional or fewer options may be utilized. Indeed one of the additional advantages of the interchangeable secondary antenna approach is that the communication device 100 can be updated in accordance with customer/user requests, without having to replace the entire communication device. The replaceable card 106 with second antenna section disposed thereon is advantageously user-replaceable, factory replaceable, and service shop replaceable. Each replaceable card 106, once inserted into cavity 130, may also beneficially provide sealing against the housing 102 to prevent the intrusion of water, dust or debris. Such sealing may be formed, for example, as an over-molded rubber seal portion formed along the outer exposed edge of the card or provided by a rubber gasket mounted along the entire perimeter of the card.
The various predetermined frequency ranges are not required to be adjacent or consecutive frequency ranges. For example, first complete antenna 120 may be optimized to operate with maximum efficiency at 2000 MHz, 2500 MHz and 5000 MZ, while second complete antenna 122 may be optimized to operate with maximum efficiency at 1000 MHz, 3000 MHz and 5800 MHz. Some replaceable cards may cover a single frequency range, while other replaceable cards may cover more than one frequency range. For example, a 4G device may support multiple frequency ranges, and the plurality of secondary antenna sections disposed on the replaceable cards provide turning to the primary antenna section to improve efficiency over those 4G frequency ranges. Also, the frequency ranges may be optimized to accommodate one protocol or different protocols. For example, first complete antenna 120 may be optimized to operate over a 3G protocol, and second complete antenna 122 may be optimized to operate over a 2G protocol. The plurality of replaceable cards with secondary antenna section disposed thereon provide multiband coverage for at least one of: 5G, 4G, 3G, 2G, WiFi, BLUETOOTH, Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), ZigBee, Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA), Land Mobile Radio (LMR), Long Term Evolution (LTE) direct protocols, or any other wireless protocols.
The primary antenna section 104 may be configured in a variety of shapes suitable for operation within the housing, for example planar Inverted-F antenna (PIFA), L-shape antenna, loop antenna, to name a few. The primary antenna section 104 is not required to be planar. The secondary antenna sections 106 comprises a planar radiator suitable for being disposed on a card and may further provide passive tuning and matching elements. The two antenna sections are electronically coupled via inductive coupling, capacitive coupling, contact interface, or any suitable conductive interface for mating the primary and secondary antenna sections. The secondary antenna section thus controls the tuning of the primary antenna section. Multiband operation is provided by the various antenna configurations. Insertion of any of the cards 106 into the cavity 130 also provides sealing of the housing 102 at cavity 130.
In accordance with a further embodiment, housing 102 may further comprise a third antenna section 134 permanently located therein, wherein each of the plurality of replaceable cards with secondary antenna section disposed thereon 106, are configured to electronically couple between the first antenna section 104 and the third antenna section 134. Each replaceable card with secondary antenna section disposed thereon 106 can interchangeably couple to the first and third antenna sections 104, 134 upon insertion of the card into the cavity 130. Insertion of the card 106 into the cavity 130 also provides sealing of the housing 102 at cavity 130. Again, the electrical coupling may be inductive, capacitive, contact, or any suitable conductive interface for mating different sections of planar antennas.
Use case 1 shows a completed antenna formed of permanent primary antenna section antenna 204 and secondary antenna section 208. Use case 2 shows another completed antenna formed of permanent primary antenna 202 and secondary antenna section 210. Use case 3 shows another completed antenna formed of permanent primary antenna 202 and secondary antenna section 212. Use case 4 shows another completed antenna formed of permanent primary antenna 202 and secondary antenna section 214. The different use case configurations allow for a user to select a configuration best suited for predetermined geographic region and/or service carrier associated with each use case.
Hence, the communication device can be accommodated with a plurality of antenna configurations formed of the permanent primary section 204 and a plurality of interchangeable secondary sections 208, 210, 212, 214. Each of the antenna configurations 206 may be optimized for efficiency at a different frequency range and/or in some embodiments some of the antenna configurations may be optimized for efficiency at more than one frequency range.
The ability to plug in one card to operate over a frequency range for a use case of carrier 1, for example, and then remove and replace the card for a use case of carrier 2, for example, is highly advantageous to a user that utilizes their communication device for multiple use cases. The ability to configure the complete antenna into one of several antenna configurations enables improved selectivity performance thereby addressing the coexistence challenge. The configurability also advantageously provides for future bands which have not yet been standardized which is very useful for portable public safety communication devices.
Alternatively, in another embodiment that can also be described using
The antenna simulations represented in the Table were performed using software CST (Computer Simulation Technology) wherein different traces were printed on a SIM tray associated with a radio and each trace represented a different passive antenna. The traces were electronically coupled to a spring 320 located on the radio PCB and an AC signal port was attached to the spring.
Hence, the embodiments of
Additionally, insertion of the card tray also provides sealing to the communication device housing via a compressible seal 322. The compressible seal 322 may be formed as an over-molded rubber seal along the perimeter of the tray handle or may be a separate gasket piece part. The seal 322 compresses between the inside and the outside of the communication device housing upon insertion of the card tray into the housing, thereby providing protection from water, dust, and debris from entering the housing. The replaceable card tray with antenna disposed thereon is advantageously user-replaceable, factory replaceable, and service shop replaceable.
The simulation graph 420 of
As can be seen by comparing the two graphs 400, 420, the frequency ranges 412 over which each antenna configuration is operating with high efficiency are different. That is, the first antenna 402 is optimized for certain frequency ranges over multiple bands, while the second antenna 424 is optimized for different frequency ranges over the same multiple bands.
Thus, graphs 400, 420 provide a visual example of how two different secondary antenna cards can be interchangeable plugged in to a communication device to advantageously accommodate different frequency ranges associated with a user'"'"'s current geographical location or current user assignment.
While graphs 400 and 420 have been provided as example, it is to be appreciated that the plug-in secondary antenna cards of the various embodiments can be formed to support multiple wireless technology protocols and frequency ranges, such as 5G/4G/3G/2G/WiFi, to name a few. The provision of a plurality of secondary plug-in antennas that interchangeably couple to a common primary antenna within the communication beneficially allows for the communication device to operate with improved efficiency over a plurality of frequency ranges over multiple bands.
The antenna configuration is able to support LTE Direct which is an autonomous long distance device-to-device (D2D) protocol introduced in 3GPP Release 12 specification. Since this LTE protocol is limited to 24 dBm transmit power, the coverage in this mode is limited to approximately 500 meters with current antenna approaches. The improved antenna configuration provided by the embodiments will allow for better coverage as the antenna card can be tuned for a dedicated LTE direct frequency range.
The antenna configuration provides improved selectivity performance thereby addressing the coexistence challenge. The configurability advantageously provides for future bands which have not yet been standardized, which is very beneficial for public safety communication devices in that the purchase of an entirely new communication device can be avoided.
In past antenna approaches, performance efficiency needed to be compromised in order to combine several frequency ranges on a single antenna in an attempt to cover all bands. By recognizing that particular sales regions only need particular bands (i.e. not all bands are required), the interchangeable antenna cards of the embodiments has been provided the advantageous ability to use a dedicated antenna card for a predetermined frequency range and swap that card out for another antenna card to cover another frequency range. The plug-in secondary antenna approach of the embodiments provides improved performance by reducing the complexity of the matching circuitry and simplifying the antenna tuner topology design—as each card can have its own optimized matching and tuning circuitry. The embodiments have provided for an antenna replacement card (e.g. SIM or SD card tray) that plugs into the radio antenna section and provides specific optimized antenna for the required group of frequencies for a desired sales region. The primary section in the device is common for all frequency bands that the antenna should cover and the secondary (complementary) plug-in card is unique for certain frequency bands. The antenna configuration provided by the embodiments beneficially accommodates modern portable communication devices which need to support multiple wireless technology protocols and frequencies such as 5G/4G/3G/2G/WiFi, to name a few. The antenna configuration of the embodiments allows for high performance over an ultra wide frequency range.
In the foregoing specification, specific embodiments have been described. However, one of ordinary skill in the art appreciates that various modifications and changes can be made without departing from the scope of the invention as set forth in the claims below. Accordingly, the specification and figures are to be regarded in an illustrative rather than a restrictive sense, and all such modifications are intended to be included within the scope of present teachings.
The benefits, advantages, solutions to problems, and any element(s) that may cause any benefit, advantage, or solution to occur or become more pronounced are not to be construed as a critical, required, or essential features or elements of any or all the claims. The invention is defined solely by the appended claims including any amendments made during the pendency of this application and all equivalents of those claims as issued.
Moreover in this document, relational terms such as first and second, top and bottom, and the like may be used solely to distinguish one entity or action from another entity or action without necessarily requiring or implying any actual such relationship or order between such entities or actions. The terms “comprises,” “comprising,” “has”, “having,” “includes”, “including,” “contains”, “containing” or any other variation thereof, are intended to cover a non-exclusive inclusion, such that a process, method, article, or apparatus that comprises, has, includes, contains a list of elements does not include only those elements but may include other elements not expressly listed or inherent to such process, method, article, or apparatus. An element proceeded by “comprises . . . a”, “has . . . a”, “includes . . . a”, “contains . . . a” does not, without more constraints, preclude the existence of additional identical elements in the process, method, article, or apparatus that comprises, has, includes, contains the element. The terms “a” and “an” are defined as one or more unless explicitly stated otherwise herein. The terms “substantially”, “essentially”, “approximately”, “about” or any other version thereof, are defined as being close to as understood by one of ordinary skill in the art, and in one non-limiting embodiment the term is defined to be within 10%, in another embodiment within 5%, in another embodiment within 1% and in another embodiment within 0.5%. The term “coupled” as used herein is defined as connected, although not necessarily directly and not necessarily mechanically. A device or structure that is “configured” in a certain way is configured in at least that way, but may also be configured in ways that are not listed.
It will be appreciated that some embodiments may be comprised of one or more generic or specialized processors (or “processing devices”) such as microprocessors, digital signal processors, customized processors and field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) and unique stored program instructions (including both software and firmware) that control the one or more processors to implement, in conjunction with certain non-processor circuits, some, most, or all of the functions of the method and/or apparatus described herein. Alternatively, some or all functions could be implemented by a state machine that has no stored program instructions, or in one or more application specific integrated circuits (ASICs), in which each function or some combinations of certain of the functions are implemented as custom logic. Of course, a combination of the two approaches could be used.
Moreover, an embodiment can be implemented as a computer-readable storage medium having computer readable code stored thereon for programming a computer (e.g., comprising a processor) to perform a method as described and claimed herein. Examples of such computer-readable storage mediums include, but are not limited to, a hard disk, a CD-ROM, an optical storage device, a magnetic storage device, a ROM (Read Only Memory), a PROM (Programmable Read Only Memory), an EPROM (Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory), an EEPROM (Electrically Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory) and a Flash memory. Further, it is expected that one of ordinary skill, notwithstanding possibly significant effort and many design choices motivated by, for example, available time, current technology, and economic considerations, when guided by the concepts and principles disclosed herein will be readily capable of generating such software instructions and programs and ICs with minimal experimentation.
The Abstract of the Disclosure is provided to allow the reader to quickly ascertain the nature of the technical disclosure. It is submitted with the understanding that it will not be used to interpret or limit the scope or meaning of the claims. In addition, in the foregoing Detailed Description, it can be seen that various features are grouped together in various embodiments for the purpose of streamlining the disclosure. This method of disclosure is not to be interpreted as reflecting an intention that the claimed embodiments require more features than are expressly recited in each claim. Rather, as the following claims reflect, inventive subject matter lies in less than all features of a single disclosed embodiment. Thus the following claims are hereby incorporated into the Detailed Description, with each claim standing on its own as a separately claimed subject matter.