Canon Kabushiki Kaisha (Tokyo, JP)

An apparatus for wireless communication with a different device for communication using two communication path, sets the direction of the antenna to a primary directivity that permits wireless communication via the first path. The apparatus also receives data via the first route. The communication device transmits an acknowledgment signal via the first communication path to a different communication device in response to receiving the data. The directivity is then set to an antenna that can perform wireless communication through both the first and second communication pathways for a specified period.

There is a growing demand for wireless technology that can transmit bulk data at high speeds, due to the improvement in the quality of images. Wireless communication technology that operates on a 60-GHz band, called millimeter wave, isknown as an approach to achieving high-speed wireless transmission speeds. with speeds that can reach 6.8 Gbps can be achieved through IEEE 802.11ad that is a millimeter wave wireless communication standard. For millimeter-wavewireless communication, there is a technology for expanding a communication range by concentrating energy in a specific direction with a beam directional antenna capable of beam steering as a communication antenna. Although millimeter-wave wirelesscommunication is able to achieve high-speed wireless transmission rates, there is a problem that a communication path is blocked by an obstacle, such as a human body, because of the straightness of millimeter waves and, as a result, a communication erroroccurs.

From the above perspectives, for millimeter-wave wireless communication, a system configuration having an additional communication path is beneficial in order to avoid the breakdown of communication because of interruptions in communication. A system with an alternative communication path makes use of high-speed switching between a main and an alternative path in the event of interruptions in communication. This helps reduce speed and delays. Particularly, at the timeof conducting data communications using a beam directional antenna the timing and conditions for switching the antenna directivity between omni-directivity and beam directivity must be properly established.

PTL 1 describes a method to provide a number of communication paths between devices and, once data has been transmitted through each one at every predetermined time the ACK frame is received on each path, and then the communication path responsible for data transmission is identified based on a result in determining whether the ACK frame is received.

PTL 1 requires that communication via a different route than the preferred one be carried out periodically. If not, it could lead to unproductive communication.

On the other hand the periodic checking of communication paths isn’t performed and a primary path is switched to an auxiliary route in the event that the primary path is interrupted One of the communication equipments, which has found the interruption, switchesthe beam direction to the auxiliary path, but the other of the communication devices may not have changed the direction of beam to the secondary path. In this scenario communication is not possible by using the auxiliary path.

In view of such a issue, it is the object of the present invention to allow to, with a wireless communication system including several communication paths, also reliably switch from one of the communication paths to another of the communication paths at a high rate in the event of a break of one of the communication routes.

Patent Literature

PTL 1 PCT Japanese Translation Patent Publication No. 2010-531090

To achieve the above-mentioned objective, a communication device of the present invention is a communication device that can wirelessly communicate with a second communication apparatus through an initial communication path as well as an additional communication path, which includes the following components: a receiver unit configured to set a directivity of an antenna to a first directivity capable of wireless communication via the first communication path , and receive data from the another communication apparatus through the first communication path;a sending unit designed to send an acknowledgment signal to the other communication device via the first communication path following reception of data by the receiving unit and a setting unit designed to following the acknowledgement signal transmitted by the sending unit adjust the directivity of the antenna to a higher directivity that is capable of wireless communication via the first communication path and wireless communication using the second path of communication for a set period.

The communication device described in the invention may be used to wirelessly connect with another communication device using a first communication path. It includes the following components: a receiver unit that sets the antenna’s directivity to a directivity of a first degree for wireless communication using this initial communication path and a determination unit that determines, based upon length of the data received whether the antenna needs to switch from its initial directivity to a second directivity for wireless communication using this secondcommunication path.

Additional features of the present invention will be evident from the following description of exemplary embodiments in conjunction with the drawings attached.

Click here to view the patent on USPTO website.


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