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Publication numberUS20080233911 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/832,488
Publication dateSep 25, 2008
Filing dateAug 1, 2007
Priority dateMar 19, 2007
Also published asUS7586378, US7792502, US7917115, US7925220, US7974590, US7983617, US8027641, US8208886, US8270907, US8391810, US8467745, US20080231375, US20080232446, US20080232447, US20080232448, US20080232523, US20080233869, US20080233881, US20080233882, US20080233883, US20080233890, US20080233897, US20080233900, US20080233907, US20080233954, US20100279633, US20110171916, US20110183628, US20120021706
Publication number11832488, 832488, US 2008/0233911 A1, US 2008/233911 A1, US 20080233911 A1, US 20080233911A1, US 2008233911 A1, US 2008233911A1, US-A1-20080233911, US-A1-2008233911, US2008/0233911A1, US2008/233911A1, US20080233911 A1, US20080233911A1, US2008233911 A1, US2008233911A1
InventorsThomas Baker, Brima Bahatunde Ibrahim
Original AssigneeThomas Baker, Brima Bahatunde Ibrahim
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method and system for utilizing a power source as an fm antenna for an integrated fm radio
US 20080233911 A1
Abstract
Aspects of a method and system for utilizing a power source as an FM antenna for an integrated FM radio are provided. In this regard, aspects of the invention may enable reception of FM radio signals via an external component coupled to a power port of a communication device. In this regard, an external component may act as an antenna for the reception of FM radio signals. Additionally, a device may be enabled to determine whether to use a connected external component or use an antenna within the device based on the power levels of FM radio signals received via each. An inductor may be utilized in order to enhance the resonance of the external component at FM radio frequencies. Additionally, an output impedance of a device may be matched to an external component via a configurable matching network.
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Claims(20)
1. A method for processing signals in a communication system, the method comprising:
in a wireless communication device, receiving FM radio signals via an external component connected to a power port of said wireless communication device.
2. The method according to claim 1, comprising receiving said FM radio signals via an external power coupled to said power port, wherein said power source acts as an FM antenna.
3. The method according to claim 1, comprising receiving said FM radio signals via a 12 V DC power adapter coupled to an automobile.
4. The method according to claim 1, comprising receiving said FM radio signals via an AC to DC converter coupled to a 120 V AC electrical outlet.
5. The method according to claim 1, comprising receiving said FM radio signals via an external antenna coupled to a power port of said wireless communication device.
6. The method according to claim 1, comprising programmably selecting between an antenna comprising said wireless communication device and said external component for said receiving of said FM signals.
7. The method according to claim 1, comprising selecting between an antenna within said wireless communication device and said external component based on power levels and/or signal quality of said FM radio signals received via said antenna within said wireless communication device and via said external component.
8. The method according to claim 1, comprising utilizing an inductor to enhance resonance at FM radio frequencies of said external component in an FM radio broadcast band.
9. The method according to claim 1, comprising programmably matching an output impedance of said wireless communication device to said external component.
10. The method according to claim 1, comprising programmably configuring one or more banks of capacitors and/or inductors to match an output impedance of said wireless communication device to said external component.
11. A system for processing signals, the system comprising:
one or more circuits which enable reception of FM radio signals via an external component connected to a power port of said wireless communication device.
12. The system according to claim 11, wherein said one or more circuits enable reception of said FM radio signals via an external power coupled to said power port, wherein said power source acts as an FM antenna.
13. The system according to claim 11, wherein said one or more circuits enable reception of said FM signals via a 12 V DC power adapter coupled to an automobile.
14. The system according to claim 11, wherein said one or more circuits enable reception of said FM radio signals via an AC to DC converter coupled to a 120 V AC electrical outlet.
15. The system according to claim 11, wherein said one or more circuits enable reception of said FM radio signals via an external antenna coupled to a power port of said wireless communication device.
16. The system according to claim 11, wherein said one or more circuits enable programmable selection between an antenna comprising said wireless communication device and said external component for said receiving of said FM radio signals.
17. The system according to claim 11, wherein said one or more circuits enable selection between an antenna within said wireless communication device and said external component based on power levels and/or signal quality of said FM radio signals received via said antenna within said wireless communication device and via said external component.
18. The system according to claim 11, wherein said one or more circuits enable utilization of an inductor to enable said external component to resonate at FM radio frequencies in an FM radio broadcast band.
19. The system according to claim 11, wherein said one or more circuits enable programmably matching an output impedance of said wireless communication device to said external component.
20. The system according to claim 11, wherein said one or more circuits enable programmable configuration one or more banks of capacitors and/or inductors to match an output impedance of said wireless communication device to said external component.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS/INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE

This patent application makes reference to, claims priority to and claims benefit from U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/895,665 filed Mar. 19, 2007.

This patent application also makes reference to:

U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______ (Attorney Docket Number 18563US02) filed on even date herewith;
U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______ (Attorney Docket Number 18568US02) filed on even date herewith;
U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______ (Attorney Docket Number 18569US02) filed on even date herewith;
U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______ (Attorney Docket Number 18570US02) filed on even date herewith;

Each of the above stated applications is hereby incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

Certain embodiments of the invention relate to wireless communication. More specifically, certain embodiments of the invention relate to a method and system for utilizing a power source as an FM antenna for an integrated FM radio.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

With the increasing popularity of various wireless standards and technologies, there is a growing demand to provide a simple and complete solution for wireless communications applications. In this regard, electronics manufacturers are increasingly attempting to incorporate multiple wireless technologies into portable electronic devices. For example, “smart phones” are increasingly being equipped to handle a variety of wireless signals for multiple protocols.

Although desirable to users, handling multiple wireless communication technologies into devices such as wireless handsets may pose problems in terms of cost and complexity. In this regard, combining a plurality of wireless technologies into a portable electronic device may require separate processing hardware and/or separate processing software. Moreover, coordinating the reception and/or transmission of data to and/or from the portable electronic device may require significant processing overhead that may impose certain operation restrictions and/or design challenges.

For example, integrating FM systems into portable devices often leads to design challenges not experienced in conventional FM radios. For example, it may be difficult to achieve high quality reception of FM signals utilizing relatively small antennas as are typically found in a portable wireless communication device. In this regard, the low frequencies of FM radio broadcast signals are not conducive to the small antennas found in portable electronic devices.

Further limitations and disadvantages of conventional and traditional approaches will become apparent to one of skill in the art, through comparison of such systems with some aspects of the present invention as set forth in the remainder of the present application with reference to the drawings.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A system and/or method is provided for utilizing a power source as an FM antenna for an integrated FM radio, substantially as shown in and/or described in connection with at least one of the figures, as set forth more completely in the claims.

These and other advantages, aspects and novel features of the present invention, as well as details of an illustrated embodiment thereof, will be more fully understood from the following description and drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a block diagram of a plurality of handheld devices which comprise a single chip integrated FM radio system for communicating with an FM radio transmitter and/or an FM radio receiver, in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 2A is a block diagram of an exemplary system for FM radio transmission and/or reception, in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 2B is a diagram of an exemplary impedance matching network, in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 3 is a block diagram of an exemplary system enabled to utilize a power source as an FM radio antenna, in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 4A depicts a car charger utilized as an FM radio antenna for a wireless communication device with integrated FM radio, in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 4B depicts a wall charger utilized as an FM radio antenna for a wireless communication device with integrated FM radio transmit and/or FM radio receive functions, in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 4C depicts an external FM radio antenna which connects to the power port of a wireless communication device with integrated FM radio transmit and/or FM radio receive functions, in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 5 illustrates exemplary steps for utilizing a power source as an FM radio antenna for a wireless communication device with integrated FM radio transmit and/or FM radio receive functions, in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Certain embodiments of the invention may be found in a method and system for utilizing a power source as an FM radio antenna for an integrated FM radio. The FM radio system may comprise an integrated FM radio transmitter and FM radio receiver. Aspects of the invention may enable reception of FM radio signals via an external component coupled to a power port of a communication device. In this regard, an external component may act as an antenna for the reception of FM radio signals. Additionally, a device may be enabled to determine whether to use a connected external component or use an antenna within the device based on the power levels of FM radio signals received via each. In order to improve the resonance at FM radio frequencies of the external component, an inductor may be utilized. Additionally, an output impedance of a device may be matched to an external component via a configurable matching network.

FIG. 1 is a block diagram of a plurality of handheld devices which comprise a single chip integrated FM radio system for communicating with an FM radio transmitter and/or an FM radio receiver, in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. Referring to FIG. 1A, there is shown an FM radio transmitter 102, an FM radio receiver 110, a personal audio player 104 a, a smart phone 104 b, a computer 104 c, and an exemplary FM radio equipped device 104 d. The FM radio transmitter 102 may be implemented as part of a radio station or other broadcasting device, for example. Each of the personal audio player 104 a, the smart phone 104 b, the computer 104 c, and the exemplary FM radio equipped device 104 d may comprise a single chip 106 with an integrated FM radio for supporting FM radio transmit and/or FM radio receive functions. The chip 106 may enable the devices 104 to receive FM radio communications from the FM radio transmitter 102. Similarly, the single chip 106 may enable transmission of FM radio communications by each of the devices 104 a, 104 b, 104 c, and 104 d to the FM radio receiver 102.

Each of the devices 104 a, 104 b, 104 c, and 104 d may comprise an electrically small antenna that may result in low quality and/or inefficient transmission and/or reception of FM radio signals. In this regard, the relatively long wavelength of FM radio broadcast signals makes it difficult to radiate/gather sufficient signal energy for such signals. Accordingly, increasing the area of an antenna may improve the quality of FM radio signals transmitted/received by such the devices 104 a, 104 b, 104 c, and 104 d. In this regard, each the devices 104 a, 104 b, 104 c, and 104 d may comprise a power port that may enable charging an internal battery or which may be utilized as a power source instead of an internal battery. Accordingly, the power port may be connected to a significant length of cable and/or a power source which may comprise significant conductive area and may act as an antenna for frequencies in the FM radio broadcast band. Consequently, the devices 104 a, 104 b, 104 c, and 104 d may be enabled to utilize the power port for transmitting and/or receiving FM radio signals.

FIG. 2A is a block diagram of an exemplary system for transmission and/or reception of FM radio signals in an FM radio broadcast band, in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. Referring to FIG. 2A, the radio 200 may comprise two frequency synthesizers 224 a and 224 b, an FM radio receive (Rx) block 226, a memory 228, a processor 230, a directional coupler 234, an antenna 236, a FM radio transmit (Tx) block 232, and a configurable matching network 244.

The frequency synthesizers 224 a and 224 b may comprise suitable circuitry, logic, and/or code that may enable generation of fixed and/or variable frequency signals. For example, the frequency synthesizers 224 a and 224 b may each comprise one or more direct digital frequency synthesizers, and/or phase locked loops (PLLs).

The memory 228 may comprise suitable circuitry, logic, and/or code that may enable storage of information. In this regard, the memory 228 may, for example, enable storage of information utilized to control and/or configure the frequency synthesizers 224 a and 224 b. For example, the memory 228 may store the value of state variables that may be utilized to control the frequency output by each of the frequency synthesizers 224 a and 224 b. The memory 228 may enable storage of information that may be utilized to configure the FM radio Rx block 226 and/or the FM radio Tx block 232. In this regard, the FM radio RX block 226 and/or the FM radio Tx block 232 may comprise suitable circuitry, logic, and/or code such as a filter, for example, that may be configured based on the desired frequency of operation. The memory 228 may enable storage of information utilized for configuring the matching network 244. For example, one or more state variables may be utilized to configure a bank of capacitors via one or more switching elements. The memory 228 may enable storage of information that may be utilized to configure the signal analyzer 242 and/or the signal analyzer 240. In this regard, the signal analyzer 242 and/or the signal analyzer 240 may comprise circuitry, logic, and/or code such as a filter, for example, that may be configured based on the desired frequency for measurement. Additionally, the memory 228 may be enabled to store measurement results from the analyzer 242 and/or the signal analyzer 240.

The FM radio Rx block 226 may comprise suitable circuitry, logic, and/or code that may enable reception of FM radio signals. In this regard, the FM radio Rx block 226 may be enabled to tune to a desired channel, amplify received signals, down-convert received signals, and/or demodulate received signals to, for example, output data and/or audio information comprising the channel. For example, the FM radio Rx block 226 may utilize in-phase and quadrature phase local oscillator signals generated by the frequency synthesizer 224 a to down-convert received FM radio signals. The FM radio Rx block 226 may, for example, be enabled to operate over a “FM radio broadcast band”, or approximately 76 MHz to 108 MHz. Signal processing performed by the FM Rx block 226 may be performed entirely in the analog domain, or the FM radio Rx block 226 may comprise one or more analog to digital converters and/or digital to analog converters. The FM radio Rx block 226 may comprise a signal analyzer 240. In this regard, the signal analyzer 240 may, for example, be enabled to measure the power at one or more frequencies in a received signal. In this regard, the signal analyzer 240 may comprise one or more tunable filters which may be tuned to the same frequency as the FM radio Rx block 226.

The FM radio Tx block 232 may comprise suitable circuitry, logic, and/or code that may enable transmission of FM radio signals. In this regard, the FM radio Tx block 232 may be enabled to frequency modulate a carrier signal with audio/data information. In this regard, the carrier frequency may be generated by the frequency synthesizer 224 b. The FM radio Tx block 232 may also be enabled to up-convert a modulated signal to a frequency, for example, in a “FM radio broadcast band”, or approximately 76 MHz to 108 MHz. Additionally, the FM radio Tx block 232 may be enabled to buffer and/or amplify a FM radio signal such that the signal may be transmitted via an antenna. In another embodiment of the invention, the frequency synthesizer 224 a may comprise a DDFS that may be capable of providing FM radio modulation for the signal to be transmitted. The FM radio Tx block 232 may comprise a signal analyzer 242. In this regard, the signal analyzer 242 may, for example, be enabled to measure the power at one or more frequencies in a signal being transmitted. In this regard, the signal analyzer 240 may comprise one or more tunable filters which may be tuned to the same frequency as the FM radio Tx block 226.

The processor 230 may comprise suitable circuitry, logic, and/or code that may enable interfacing to the memory 228, the frequency synthesizers 224 a and 224 b, the FM radio Rx block 226, the configurable matching network 244, the signal analyzer 242, the signal analyzer 240 and/or the FM radio Tx block 232. In this regard, the processor 230 may be enabled to execute one or more instructions that enable reading and/or writing to/from the memory 228. The processor 230 may be enabled to execute one or more instructions that enable providing one or more control signals to the frequency synthesizer 224, the FM radio Rx block 226 and/or the FM radio Tx block 232. In this regard, the processor 230 may, for example, be enabled to tune the FM radio Rx block 226 and/or the FM radio Tx block 232 to a desired FM radio channel. The processor 230 may be enabled to execute one or more instructions that enable providing one or more control signals to the configurable matching network 244. In this regard, the processor 230 may, for example, be enabled to configure one or more switching elements comprising the configurable matching network 244. The processor 230 may be enabled to execute one or more instructions that enable providing one or more control signals to the signal analyzer 242, and/or the signal analyzer 240. In this regard, the processor 230 may, for example, be enabled to tune the signal analyzer 242, and/or the signal analyzer 240 to a desired frequency for measurement. Similarly, the processor 230 may be enable controlling measurements performed by the transmitted signal analyzer 242 and/or the received signal analyzer 240. The processor 230 may be enabled to store measurement results from the signal analyzer 242 and/or the signal analyzer 240 to the memory 228.

The directional coupler 234 may comprise suitable circuitry, logic and or code that may enable coupling the FM radio Tx block 232 and the FM radio Rx block 226 to the antenna 236 for the transmission and reception of wireless signals. The directional coupler 234 may be enabled to route signals from the FM radio Tx block to the antenna 236 and to route signals from the antenna 236 to the FM radio Rx block 226. In this regard, the directional coupler 234 may route received signals to the Rx block 226 where they may be measured by the signal analyzer 240.

The configurable matching network 244 may comprise suitable logic, circuitry, and/or code that may enable matching the FM radio Rx block 226 and/or the FM radio Tx block to the antenna 236 over a range of impedances. In this regard the matching network 244 may comprise one or more active components, passive components, and/or switching elements. In one embodiment of the invention, the matching network may comprise an LC network with one or more variable capacitances and/or inductances. In this regard the variable capacitance may be a bank of capacitors configured via a number of switching elements. Similarly, the variable inductance may be a bank of inductors configured via a number of switching elements. In various embodiments of the invention, all or part of the matching network 244 may reside on-chip or off-chip. For example, one or more banks of capacitors may be realized on chip while one or more inductors may be realized off-chip.

In an exemplary operation, one or more signals provided by the processor 230 may configure the system 200. The processor 230 may access the memory 228 and may provide control signals to the various blocks comprising the chip 202. The frequency synthesizers 224 a and 224 b may be frequency locked to each other such that the FM radio Tx block 232 with corresponding signal analyzer 242, and the FM radio Rx block 226 with the corresponding signal analyzer 240 may be tuned to the same frequency. A test signal may be generated by the FM radio Tx block 232 and the test signal may be partially reflected by the antenna 236 due to an impedance mismatch between the Tx block 232 and the antenna 236. The analyzer 240 may measure the reflected signal. The processor 230 may utilize measurements from the analyzers 240 and 242 to configure the matching network 244. The matching network may be configured for a plurality of antennas. For example, each of the antennas 236 a and 236 b may have different characteristics and may thus require a different configuration of the matching network. Accordingly, matching to a plurality of antennas may enable selecting the antenna that achieves the best reception and/or transmission for a given application. Additionally, a parallel combination of two or more antennas may be used if it provides the best required reception. The configuration of the matching network may be performed at a multitude of frequencies across a “FM radio broadcast band”. For example, for an FM radio band of 76 MHz to 108 MHz, the matching network 244 may be configured at 76 MHz, 92 MHz and 108 MHz. The configuration of the matching network may be performed utilizing a multitude of test tone signal strengths. For example, the matching network may be configured for a maximum and a minimum transmit power of the FM radio Tx block 232. The determined matching network configuration for each test frequency and/or signal strength may be stored to the memory 228.

FIG. 2B is a diagram of an exemplary impedance matching network, in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. Referring to FIG. 2B there is shown two banks of capacitors 254 a and 254 b with corresponding switch networks 255 a, 255 d, and a bank of inductors 256 with corresponding switch networks 255 b and 255 c. Each of the switch networks 255 may comprise a plurality of switches which may be controlled via a digital word.

In operation each of the switch networks may be controlled via a digital word. In this regard the capacitance between node 251 and ground may be determined via a digital control word. Similarly the capacitance between node 253 and ground may be determined via a digital control word. Similarly the inductance between nodes 251 and 253 may be configured. Accordingly, the matching network 244 may be programmable controlled to match a wide range of impedances. All or part of the matching network may be integrated onto a single substrate or may comprise one or more discrete components. In this regard, all or part of the matching network 244 may be integrated onto the chip 106.

FIG. 3 is a block diagram of an exemplary system enabled to utilize a power source as an FM radio antenna, in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. Referring to FIG. 3 there is shown a wireless communication device 302, a power source 320, an AC chokes 322 a, 322 b, 322 c, a power cable 324, and inductors 324Aa, 324 b.

The wireless communication device 302 may comprise suitable logic, circuitry, and/or code that may enable transmission and/or reception of FM radio signals. In this regard, the wireless communication device may be similar to or the same as the devices 104 described in FIG. 1. The wireless communication device 302 may comprise a processor 312, a memory 314, an FM radio Tx/Rx block 316, a matching network 318, an antenna 312, a switching element 308, a power conditioning block 306, a battery 307, a power port 310, and a DC blocking cap 304.

The memory 314 may comprise suitable logic, circuitry, and/or code that may enable storage of information. Similar to the memory 228 of FIG. 2A, the memory 314 may enable storing state variables and/or other control signal that may enable configuring and/or controlling the Fm radio Tx/Rx block 316 and/or the matching network 318. Additionally, the memory 314 may enable storage of state variables and/or other information that may enable controlling the switching element 308 to select between the internal antenna 312 and the power port 310 for receiving FM radio signals. Also, the memory 314 may enable storage of information utilized for the configuration and/or operation of the power conditioning block 306.

The processor 312 may comprise suitable logic, circuitry, and/or code that may enable interfacing to the memory 314, the integrated FM radio Tx/Rx 316, the matching network 318, the switching element 308, and/or the power conditioning block 306. In interfacing to the memory 314, the integrated FM radio Tx/Rx block 316, and the matching network 318, the processor 312 may be similar to or the same as the processor 230 described in FIG. 2A. Additionally, the processor 312 may be enabled to provide one or more control signals to the switching element 308 for selecting between the internal antenna 312 and the power port 310 for receiving FM radio signals. Also, the processor 312 may be enabled to provide one or more control signals to the power conditioning circuit 306.

The FM radio Tx/Rx block 316 may comprise suitable logic, circuitry, and/or code to enable transmission and/or reception of FM radio signals. In this regard, the FM radio Tx/Rx block 316 may be similar to or the same as the chip 106 is FIGS. 1 and 2A.

The matching network 318 may comprise suitable logic, circuitry, and/or code that may enable matching the output impedance of the FM radio Tx/Rx block 316 to one or more antennas. In this regard, the matching network may be similar to or the same as the matching network 244 in FIGS. 2A and 2B.

The wireless communication device 302 may comprise an electrically small internal antenna 312. In this regard, the antenna 312 may comprise an electrically small antenna that may provide low quality and/or inefficient transmission and/or reception of FM radio signals.

The switching element 308 may comprise suitable logic, circuitry, and/or code that may enable communicatively coupling one of a number of signal sources to the matching network 318. In this regard, the switching element 308 may enable selecting between the internal antenna 312 and the power port 310. The switching element 308 may be controlled by one or more signals from the processor 312.

The power conditioning block 306 may comprise suitable logic, circuitry, and/or code that may enable conditioning power received via the power port 310 and/or the battery 307. In this regard, the power conditioning block 306 may be enabled to filter power lines, generate multiple voltages from a single voltage, regulate voltages, and/or regulate currents. Voltages and/or currents output by the power conditioning block 306 may be utilized to power the various blocks comprising the device 302. Similarly, power received via the power port 310 may be conditioned to be suitable for charging the battery 307.

The power port 310 may comprise a physical interface via which the device 302 may receive power from the external power source 320. Additionally, the power port 310 may enable utilizing the cable 324 and/or the power source 320 as an FM radio antenna. In this regard, RF signals received via the power port may pass through the DC blocking capacitor 304 to the switching element 308.

The power cable 324 may comprise a length of electrical conductor suitable for transmission of power from the power source 320 to the device 302. In this regard, the power cable 324 may act as an antenna for FM radio signals in a FM radio broadcast range.

The inductors 326 a, 326 b may comprise suitable logic, circuitry, and/or code that may enable enhancing the resonance of the cable 324 and/or the power source 320. In this regard, placing the inductor 326 a between the power source 320 and the cable 324 and/or placing the inductor 326 b between the power source 320 and ground may enhance the resonance of the power source 320 and the cable 324 at frequencies in an FM radio broadcast band.

The AC chokes 322 a, 322 b, 322 c may comprise suitable logic, circuitry, and/or code that may enable passing DC frequencies while blocking AC frequencies in a FM radio broadcast range. In this regard, the power conditioning block 306 may be low impedance at frequencies in a FM radio broadcast band. Consequently, without an AC choke 322 a, 322 b, and/or 322 c, AC signals received via the power port 310 may effectively be shorted to ground.

The power source 320 may comprise suitable logic, circuitry, and/or code that may enable generation and/or transmission of power to the wireless communication device 302. In various embodiments of the invention, the power source 320 may provide DC current to the wireless communication device 302. The power source 320 may comprise significant amounts of metal and/or cabling which may act as an antenna at FM radio broadcast frequencies. In various embodiments of the invention, the power source 302 may comprise one or more transformers and rectifier circuits for AC to DC conversion. In various embodiments of the invention, the power source may comprise one or more switching elements for DC to DC conversion.

In operation, the device 302 may tune to a desired frequency in an FM radio broadcast band. The device 302 may then sample an RF signal from the antenna 312 and an RF signal from the power port 310. For example, an analyzer such as the analyzer 240 of FIG. 2A may be utilized to determine whether the signal from the antenna 312 or the signal from the power port 310 comprises, for example, greater power and/or less noise. Accordingly, if the antenna 312 receives a stronger and/or less noisy signal, then the switching element 308 may be configured to receive FM radio signals via the antenna 312. Similarly, if the power port 310 receives a stronger and/or less noisy signal, then the switching element 308 may be configured to receive FM radio signals via the power port 310. In various embodiments of the invention, the sampling of the signals may be performed periodically in order to provide a best available signal in the face of changing conditions. In this regard, the signals may be sampled, for example, with sufficiently high frequency such that received FM radio signals are not audibly impacted.

In determining the best received signal, the matching network 318 may accordingly be configured based on whether the antenna 312 or the power port 310 is selected. Additionally, different configurations of the matching network 312 may be ideal for different power sources 320, different frequencies of operation, and/or different signal strengths. Accordingly, a calibration routine may be invoked upon an initial setup of the device 302 and/or periodically during operation of the device 302. In this regard, the optimal configuration for the matching network 316 for each of the antenna 312 and various power sources 320 may be determined in a manner similar to the method described in U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______ (Attorney Docket Number 18570US02) which is filed on even date herewith, and hereby incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

FIG. 4A depicts a car charger utilized as an FM radio antenna for a wireless communication device with integrated FM radio transmit and/or FM radio receive functions, in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. Referring to FIG. 4A there is shown a wireless communication device 302 comprising a power port 310 connected to a power adapter 402. In this regard, the adapter 402 may enable connecting the device 302 to a 12 Vdc outlet located, for example, in an automobile. In one embodiment of the invention, the adapter 402 may comprise an inductor such as the inductor 326 a or 326 b described in FIG. 3. In this manner, the cable 404 may act as an antenna. In another embodiment of the invention, an automobile to which the adapter 402 is connected may have an inductor between the power outlet and chassis ground. In this instance, metal components comprising the automobile itself may act as an FM radio antenna.

FIG. 4B depicts an AC/DC converter utilized as an FM radio antenna for a wireless communication device with integrated FM radio transmit and/or FM radio receive functions, in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. Referring to FIG. 4B there is shown a wireless communication device 302 comprising a power port 310 connected to an AC/DC converter 406. In this regard, the AC/DC converter 406 may enable connecting the device 302 to a 120 Vac electrical outlet. In one embodiment of the invention, the AC/DC converter 406 may comprise an AC choke such as the AC choke 322 described in FIG. 3. In this manner, the cable 408 may act as an antenna. In another embodiment of the invention, an outlet to which the adapter 402 is connected may have an inductor between the power outlet and ground. In this instance, metal components comprising the outlet and wiring may act as an FM radio antenna.

FIG. 4C depicts an external FM radio antenna which may connect to the power port of a wireless communication device with integrated FM radio transmit and/or FM radio receive functions, in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. Referring to FIG. 4C there is shown an external FM radio antenna 410 that may be enabled to connect to the power port of the wireless communication device 302. In this regard, utilizing the power port as an antenna port may save space and/or cost as compared to having a dedicated port for an external antenna.

FIG. 5 illustrates exemplary steps for utilizing a power source as an FM radio antenna for a wireless communication device with integrated FM radio transmit and/or FM radio receive functions, in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. Referring to FIG. 5, the exemplary steps may begin with start step 502. Subsequent to step 502 the exemplary steps may advance to step 504. In step 504 it may be determined whether an external component is connected via a power port of a wireless communication device. For example, a device may comprise a discrete logic signal that is asserted when an external component is connected to the power port. If an external component is not connected to the power port, then the steps may advance to step 514. In step 514 a default antenna, internal to the wireless communication device, may be utilized for transmission and/or reception of FM radio signals. In this regard, the wireless communication device may configure a matching network for an optimum match to the internal antenna at one or more desired frequencies.

Returning to step 504 if an external device is connected to the power port, then the exemplary steps may advance to step 506. In step 506 the wireless communication device may measure RF signal levels present on the power port. In an exemplary embodiment of the invention, the measurement results may be stored to a memory, such as the memory 314 in FIG. 3. Subsequent to step 506 the exemplary steps may advance to step 508. In step 508 the wireless communication device may measure RF signal levels present on the internal antenna port. In an exemplary embodiment of the invention, the measurement results may be stored to a memory, such as the memory 314 in FIG. 3. Subsequent to step 508 the exemplary steps may advance to step 510. In step 510 the results from steps 506 and 508 may be compared. In this regard if the power port provides a stronger and/or less noisy signal at a desired FM frequency then, in step 512, the power port may be utilized for transmission and/or reception of FM radio signals at the desired frequency. Conversely, if the internal antenna provides a stronger and/or less noisy signal at a desired FM frequency then, in step 514, the internal antenna may be utilized for transmission and/or reception of FM radio signals at the desired frequency.

Another embodiment of the invention may provide a machine-readable storage, having stored thereon, a computer program having at least one code section executable by a machine, thereby causing the machine to perform the steps as described herein for matching an integrated FM radio system to an antenna utilizing on-chip measurement of reflected signals.

Aspects of a method and system for receiving FM radio signals via an external component coupled to a power port of a communication device, such as the port 310 of the device 302. In this regard, an external component, such as the components shown in FIGS. 4A, 4B, and 4C, may act as an antenna for the reception of FM radio signals. Additionally, a device may be enabled to determine whether to use a connected external component or an antenna within the device, such as the antenna 312 of FIG. 3, based on the power levels of FM radio signals received via each. In order to improve the resonance of the external component at FM radio frequencies, an inductor such as the inductor 326 a or 326 b of FIG. 3 may be utilized. Additionally, an output impedance of a device, such as the device 302, may be matched to an external component via a configurable matching network, such as the matching network 318. In one embodiment of the invention, the matching network may comprise a bank of capacitors.

Accordingly, the present invention may be realized in hardware, software, or a combination of hardware and software. The present invention may be realized in a centralized fashion in at least one computer system, or in a distributed fashion where different elements are spread across several interconnected computer systems. Any kind of computer system or other apparatus adapted for carrying out the methods described herein is suited. A typical combination of hardware and software may be a general-purpose computer system with a computer program that, when being loaded and executed, controls the computer system such that it carries out the methods described herein.

The present invention may also be embedded in a computer program product, which comprises all the features enabling the implementation of the methods described herein, and which when loaded in a computer system is able to carry out these methods. Computer program in the present context means any expression, in any language, code or notation, of a set of instructions intended to cause a system having an information processing capability to perform a particular function either directly or after either or both of the following: a) conversion to another language, code or notation; b) reproduction in a different material form.

While the present invention has been described with reference to certain embodiments, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes may be made and equivalents may be substituted without departing from the scope of the present invention. In addition, many modifications may be made to adapt a particular situation or material to the teachings of the present invention without departing from its scope. Therefore, it is intended that the present invention not be limited to the particular embodiment disclosed, but that the present invention will include all embodiments falling within the scope of the appended claims.

Referenced by
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US7574187 *May 30, 2006Aug 11, 2009Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AbBattery charger antenna, method and device incorporating the same
US8208884 *Oct 28, 2009Jun 26, 2012Silicon Laboratories Inc.Method and system for FM tuner ground isolation when using ground signal line as FM antenna
US8421408Jul 16, 2010Apr 16, 2013Sotoudeh Hamedi-HaghExtended range wireless charging and powering system
US20100009631 *Jun 12, 2009Jan 14, 2010Griffin Jr Paul PTransmitting accessory utilizing power system transmission
US20110098008 *Oct 28, 2009Apr 28, 2011Tian ZhaoMethod and system for FM tuner ground isolation when using ground signal line as FM antenna
DE102010043031A1 *Oct 28, 2010May 3, 2012Endress + Hauser Flowtec AgField device e.g. sensor for e.g. level measuring device, has antenna that is connected to conductor attachment structure, so that radio signal corresponding to electromagnetic signal is received over conductor attachment structure
Classifications
U.S. Classification455/205
International ClassificationH04B1/16
Cooperative ClassificationH03L7/181, H03L7/085
European ClassificationH03L7/181, H03L7/085
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Oct 30, 2007ASAssignment
Owner name: BROADCOM CORPORATION, CALIFORNIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:BAKER, THOMAS;IBRAHIM, BRIMA;REEL/FRAME:020037/0314
Effective date: 20070725