News Column

"Communication Apparatus, Integrated Circuit, and Communication Method" in Patent Application Approval Process

August 6, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Electronics Newsweekly -- A patent application by the inventors GALLI, Stefano (Morristown, NJ); KUROBE, Akio (Osaka, JP); KOGA, Hisao (Fukuoka, JP); KODAMA, Nobutaka (Fukuoka, JP), filed on March 18, 2014, was made available online on July 24, 2014, according to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by VerticalNews correspondents.

This patent application is assigned to Panasonic Corporation.

The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention is related to a communication apparatus, a communication method, a circuit module and an integrated circuit, which perform multi-carrier communication operations among a plurality of communication apparatuses, while these communication apparatuses are connected to a transmission channel and share a communication band.

"Since transmission systems such as the OFDM (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing) system using a plurality of sub-carriers have such a great merit that high quality communications can be carried out even in a severe transmission channel, these transmission systems are utilized not only in wireless communications, but also in wired communications such as power line communications. Generally speaking, frequency bands from 2 MHz to 30 MHz are used as the frequency hands of the power line communications (refer to, for example, Patent Publication 1). In addition, technical ideas capable of utilizing broadband covering higher frequency bands than the above-described frequency band are recently considered.

"Also, other technical ideas capable of equalizing levels of time waveforms in order not produce peaks and capable of suppressing interference and the like are proposed in multi-carrier communications with employment of a plurality of sub-carriers. In the above-described peak suppressing technical ideas, in such a case that a large peak is not present in time waveforms, phases of respective sub-carriers are rotated by using a default phase vector, whereas in such a case that a large peak may be monitored, a phase vector is changed so as to search such a phase vector by which the peak is not produced. Then, the phases of the respective sub-carriers are rotated by the searched phase vector (refer to, for example, Non-patent Publication 1). In multi-carrier communications, such peak suppressing technical ideas constitute essential techniques to decrease a difficulty in design of power amplifiers.

"In the case that a plurality of different logic networks are formed by employing communication apparatuses such as power line communication apparatuses connected to transmission channels, security among these different networks is maintained by employing network keys and the like. In general, technical specifications of these communication apparatuses connected to the respective networks are identical to each other. In other words, phase vectors which are employed in order to suppress peaks are also identical to each other. With employment of the above-described technical ideas, even among the networks which are different from each other in physical layer levels of communication apparatuses, signals of the respective networks can be sensed (carrier sensing is available); if the CSMA (Carrier Sense Multiple Access) technique and the like are utilized, then it is possible to suppress collisions of signals; and even when the different networks are present relatively close to each other, communications can be smoothly carried out.

"The technical idea described in the Patent Publication 1 has the following purpose: That is, even in such a case that the plural sorts of communication apparatuses whose communication systems are different from each other are connected to the shared transmission channel, the collisions of the signals are avoided without executing the demodulating process operation and the like which may cause relatively heavy loads, and signals outputted from other communication apparatuses can be readily sensed. In accordance with this technical idea, such a condition fir indicating whether or not a communication request signal of a control period is present may change a slot allocation of a data period subsequent to the control period. Then, since a communication request signal is rotated by a phase vector, the communication request signal can be firmly sensed. However, a detailed description is not made of a slot allocation of a data domain. Thus, in this technical idea, there are some possibilities that data capable of satisfying a required delay time cannot be firmly transmitted. [Patent Publication 1] JP-A-2007-135180 [Non-patent Publication 1] Denis J. G. Mestdagh and Paul M. P. Spruyt, 'A Method to Reduce the Probability of Clipping in DMT-Based Transceivers', IEEE Transactions on Communications, Volume 44, No. 10, pages 1234 to 1238, in 1996"

In addition to the background information obtained for this patent application, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "The present invention has been made to solve the above-described problems, and therefore, has an object to provide a communication apparatus, a communication method, a circuit module and an integrated circuit, by which even when plural sorts of communication apparatuses whose communication systems are different from each other are connected to a shared transmission channel, while limit of delays in response to data which are tried to be transmitted by the respective communication apparatuses can be satisfied, signals can be transmitted in a higher efficiency by avoiding collisions of signals. Also, another object of the present invention is to provide a communication method, a communication apparatus and a communication system, which are capable of reducing processing workloads for allocating slots executed by the communication apparatuses in order to avoid collisions of the signals.

"According to the invention, there is provided a communication apparatus for communicating based on a first communication system, via a transmission channel to which a first other communication apparatus communicating based on the first communication system, second other communication apparatuses communicating based on a second communication system, and third other communication apparatuses communicating based on a third communication system are connected, wherein a data transmission domain and a notification domain for notifying a data transmission within the data transmission domain are allocated to the communication apparatus and the first other communication apparatus, the second other communication apparatuses, and the third other communication apparatuses, respectively,

"the communication apparatus, including:

"a detector which detects a notice transmitted from the first, second and third other communication apparatuses within the notification domain;

"a transmitter which transmits a notice for the data transmission within the notification domain; and

"a controller which reallocates the data transmission domain in accordance with the notice transmitted from the first, second and third other communication apparatuses and the notice transmitted from the transmitter.

"According to the invention, there is provided a communication method of a communication apparatus for communicating based on a first communication system, via a transmission channel to which a first other communication apparatus communicating based on the first communication system, second other communication apparatuses communicating based on a second communication system, and third other communication apparatuses communicating based on a third communication system are connected, wherein a data transmission domain and a notification domain for notifying a data transmission within the data transmission domain are allocated to the communication apparatus and the first other communication apparatus, the second other communication apparatuses, and the third other communication apparatuses, respectively,

"the communication method, including:

"detecting a notice transmitted from the first, second and third other communication apparatuses within the notification domain;

"transmitting a notice for the data transmission within the notification domain; and

"reallocating the data transmission domain in accordance with the notice transmitted from the first, second and third other communication apparatuses and the notice transmitted from the transmitter.

"According to the invention, there is provided a circuit module of a communication apparatus for communicating based on a first communication system, via a transmission channel to which a first other communication apparatus communicating based on the first communication system, second other communication apparatuses communicating based on a second communication system, and third other communication apparatuses communicating based on a third communication system are connected, wherein a data transmission domain and a notification domain for notifying a data transmission within the data transmission domain are allocated to the communication apparatus and the first other communication apparatus, the second other communication apparatuses, and the third other communication apparatuses, respectively, the circuit module, including:

"a coupler for interfacing with the transmission channel;

"a detector which detects a notice transmitted from the first, second and third other communication apparatuses within the notification domain via the coupler;

"a transmitter which transmits a notice for the circuit module within the notification domain; and

"a controller which reallocates the data transmission domain in accordance with the notice transmitted from the first, second and third other communication apparatuses and the notice transmitted from the transmitter.

"According to the invention, there is provided an integrated circuit of a communication apparatus for communicating based on a first communication system, via a transmission channel to which a first other communication apparatus communicating based on the first communication system, second other communication apparatuses communicating based on a second communication system, and third other communication apparatuses communicating based on a third communication system are connected, wherein a data transmission domain and a notification domain for notifying a data transmission within the data transmission domain are allocated to the communication apparatus and the first other communication apparatus, the second other communication apparatuses, and the third other communication apparatuses, respectively,

"the integrated circuit, including:

"a detector which detects a notice transmitted from the first, second and third other communication apparatuses within the notification domain via a coupler for interfacing with the transmission channel;

"a transmitter which transmits a notice for the data transmission within the notification domain via the coupler; and

"a controller which reallocates the data transmission domain in accordance with the notice transmitted from the first, second and third other communication apparatuses and the notice transmitted from the transmitter.

"According to the invention, there is provided a communication method for communicating via a transmission channel to which first communication apparatuses communicating based on a first communication system, second communication apparatuses communicating based on a second communication system, and third communication apparatuses communicating based on a third communication system are connected, wherein a data transmission domain and a notification domain for notifying a data transmission within the data transmission domain are allocated to the first communication apparatuses, the second communication apparatuses, and the third communication apparatuses, respectively,

"the communication method, including:

"transmitting notices of the data transmission for each of the first communication apparatuses, the second communication apparatuses and the third communication apparatuses within the notification domain; and

"reallocating the data transmission domain in accordance with the notice transmitted from the first, second and third communication apparatuses.

"According to the invention, even when plural sorts of communication apparatuses whose communication systems are different from each other are connected to a shared transmission channel, while limit of delays in response to data which are tried to be transmitted by the respective communication apparatuses can be satisfied, signals can be transmitted in a higher efficiency by avoiding collisions of signals. Also, it is possible to provide a communication apparatus for reducing processing workloads for allocating slots executed by the communication apparatuses in order to avoid collisions of the signals.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"The above objects and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent by describing in detail preferred exemplary embodiments thereof with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein like reference numerals designate like or corresponding parts throughout the several views, and wherein:

"FIG. 1 is a diagram for schematically showing an example of an arrangement of a power line communication system for realizing a communication method and a communication system of the present invention;

"FIGS. 2A and 2B are diagrams for representing outer appearances of a PLC modem according to an embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 3 is a block diagram for indicating one example as to hardware of the PLC modem according to the embodiment of the present invention:

"FIG. 4 is a block diagram for indicating another example as to hardware of the PLC modem according to the embodiment of the present invention.

"FIG. 5 is a diagram for showing one example as to a communication cycle in the power line communication system according to the embodiment of the present invention;

"FIGS. 6A and 6B are diagrams for indicating examples as to a control signal domain in the power line communication system according to the embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 7 is a diagram for indicating another example as to a control signal domain in the power line communication system according to the embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 8 is a diagram for indicating another example as to a control signal domain in the power line communication system according to the embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 9 is a diagram for indicating another example as to a control signal domain in the power line communication system according to the embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 10 is a diagram for showing one example as to an allocation of data slots in the power line communication system according to the embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 11 is a diagram for representing one example as to notification signals in the power line communication system according to the embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 12 is a diagram for showing one example as to notification signals and data slots in the power supply communication system according to the embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 13 is a diagram for showing another example as to notification signals and data slots in the power supply communication system according to the embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 14 is a diagram for showing another example as to notification signals and data slots in the power supply communication system according to the embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 15 is a diagram for showing another example as to notification signals and data slots in the power supply communication system according to the embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 16 is a diagram for showing a table indicative of a communication systems which is allocated to notification signals and data slots of a control cycle 'T' in the power line communication system according to the embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 17 is a diagram for representing one example as to a binary table for indicating whether or not notification signals and data slots of the control cycle 'T' can be used in the power line communication system according to the embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 18 is a diagram for showing another table indicative of a communication systems which is allocated to notification signals and data slots of a control cycle 'T' in the power line communication system according to the embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 19 is a diagram for showing another example as to notification signals and data slots in the power supply communication system according to another embodiment of the present invention; and

"FIG. 20 is a diagram for showing another table indicative of a communication systems which is allocated to notification signals and data slots of a control cycle 'T' in the power line communication system according to the embodiment of the present invention."

URL and more information on this patent application, see: GALLI, Stefano; KUROBE, Akio; KOGA, Hisao; KODAMA, Nobutaka. Communication Apparatus, Integrated Circuit, and Communication Method. Filed March 18, 2014 and posted July 24, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=3017&p=61&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140717.PD.&OS=PD/20140717&RS=PD/20140717

Keywords for this news article include: Electronics, Data Transmission, Panasonic Corporation.

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Source: Electronics Newsweekly


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