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Publication numberUS20090243943 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 12/309,463
PCT numberPCT/EP2007/006242
Publication dateOct 1, 2009
Filing dateJul 13, 2007
Priority dateJul 18, 2006
Also published asEP2041834A2, US8738103, US20080018543, WO2008009391A2, WO2008009391A3
Publication number12309463, 309463, PCT/2007/6242, PCT/EP/2007/006242, PCT/EP/2007/06242, PCT/EP/7/006242, PCT/EP/7/06242, PCT/EP2007/006242, PCT/EP2007/06242, PCT/EP2007006242, PCT/EP200706242, PCT/EP7/006242, PCT/EP7/06242, PCT/EP7006242, PCT/EP706242, US 2009/0243943 A1, US 2009/243943 A1, US 20090243943 A1, US 20090243943A1, US 2009243943 A1, US 2009243943A1, US-A1-20090243943, US-A1-2009243943, US2009/0243943A1, US2009/243943A1, US20090243943 A1, US20090243943A1, US2009243943 A1, US2009243943A1
InventorsJoseph Mumbru, Carles Puente Baliarda, Jordi Ilario
Original AssigneeJoseph Mumbru, Carles Puente Baliarda, Jordi Ilario
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Multifunction wireless device and methods related to the design thereof
US 20090243943 A1
Abstract
A multifunction wireless device, a method and system of identifying complexity factors and a method any system of optimizing the geometry of an antenna system using such complexity factors.
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Claims(51)
1-105. (canceled)
106. A multifunction wireless device comprising a radio-frequency (RF) system and an antenna system capable of fully functioning in at least one communication standard, each of the at least one standard being allocated in at least one frequency band, each of the at least one frequency band being fully contained within one of the following regions of an electromagnetic spectrum, wherein at least three regions of the electromagnetic spectrum includes:
a 810 MHz-960 MHz region;
a 1710 MHz-1990 MHz region;
a 1900 MHz-2170 MHz region;
wherein the multifunction wireless device is able to operate in at least one frequency band contained in each of the at least three regions; and
wherein the antenna system includes an antenna contour featuring a complexity factor F21 larger than one and a complexity factor F32 larger than one.
107. The multifunction wireless device of claim 106, wherein the antenna contour features a value of F21 between 1.05 and 1.80, and a value of F32 between 1.10 and 1.90.
108. The multifunction wireless device of claim 106, wherein the multifunction wireless device is at least one of a smartphone and a handheld multimedia terminal having a complexity factor F21 larger than 1.39 and a value of F32 larger than 1.50.
109. The multifunction wireless device of claim 106, wherein the multifunction wireless device is at least one of a slim device, a clamshell device, a twist device, and a slider device having a value of F21 of more than 1.43.
110. The multifunction wireless device of claim 106, wherein the multifunction wireless device further includes a ground-plane, and wherein an antenna overlaps the ground-plane and has an antenna contour that features a value of F21 being higher than 1.45.
111. The multifunction wireless device of claim 106, wherein the RF system includes at least two RF transceivers and the antenna contour has a value of F21 being higher than 1.45.
112. The multifunction wireless device of claim 106, wherein the antenna contour features F21 being higher than 1.45 and wherein the antenna system includes at least two antenna elements.
113. The multifunction wireless device of claim 106, wherein the multifunction wireless device is a slim device with a thickness of less than 14 mm and wherein the antenna contour features a value of F32 larger than 1.60.
114. The multifunction wireless device of claim 106, wherein the multifunction wireless device further includes a ground-plane, and wherein an intersection of a projection of an antenna rectangle onto a ground plane rectangle with the ground plane rectangle is less than 90% of an area of the antenna rectangle.
115. The multifunction wireless device of claim 106, wherein the multifunction wireless device is one of a clamshell device, a twist device and a slider device, and wherein the antenna contour features a value of F32 higher than 1.63.
116. The multifunction wireless device of claim 106, wherein the multifunction wireless device includes at least one of a camera and a connector integrated in an antenna box associated with the antenna system and wherein the antenna contour features a value of F32 larger than 1.56.
117. The multifunction wireless device of claim 106, wherein at least one antenna has a projection area that overlaps with a ground plane of a printed circuit board (PCB) of the multifunction wireless device in at least 50% of a projection area, and wherein the antenna contour features a value of F21 smaller than 1.42 and a value of F32 larger than 1.55.
118. The multifunction wireless device of claim 106, wherein the RF system includes at least two RF transceivers and wherein at least one antenna includes an antenna contour featuring a value of F21 lower than 1.40 and a value of F32 larger than 1.50.
119. The multifunction wireless device of claim 106, wherein the antenna system includes at least two antenna elements and wherein F21 is larger than 1.43 and F32 is larger than 1.61.
120. The multifunction wireless device of claim 106, wherein the antenna system includes at least three antenna elements and wherein the antenna contour features a value of F21 lower than 1.36.
121. The multifunction wireless device of claim 106, wherein the antenna contour features F21 between 1.32 and 1.54, and at the same time F32 between 1.44 and 1.22.
122. The multifunction wireless device of claim 106, wherein the antenna contour features a value of F32 smaller than 1.52.
123. The multifunction wireless device of claim 106, wherein the multifunction wireless device is at least one of a clamshell phone, a twist phone and a slider phone, and wherein the antenna contour features a value of F32 smaller than 1.30.
124. The multifunction wireless device according to claim 106, wherein the multifunction wireless device is at least one of a smart phone and a handheld multimedia terminal, and wherein the multifunction wireless device is of a type selected from the group consisting of twist, clamshell, and combinations thereof.
125. The multifunction wireless device of claim 106, wherein the multifunction wireless device includes a thickness of less than 14 mm, wherein the multifunction wireless device includes two parts, each of the two parts having a maximum thickness of 7 mm, and wherein the multifunction wireless device is of a type selected from the group consisting of clamshell, twist, slider, and combinations thereof.
126. The multifunction wireless device of claim 106, wherein the multifunction wireless device incorporates at least one of 3.5G and 4G features.
127. The multifunction wireless device of claim 126, wherein the multifunction wireless device includes at least two dedicated antennas for the 4G features forming an antenna diversity arrangement.
128. The multifunction wireless device of claim 106, wherein the antenna system includes a plurality of antenna elements, wherein the RF system includes an RF transceiver operable to drive each antenna element of the plurality of antenna elements through one contact, and wherein at least one of the plurality of antenna elements has a second contact for grounding purposes.
129. The multifunction wireless device of claim 106, wherein the multifunction wireless device includes at least one parasitic antenna element, the at least one parasitic antenna element comprising a contact terminal used for grounding purposes.
130. The multifunction wireless device of claim 106, wherein the multifunction wireless device includes a ground plane, and wherein the antenna system is integrated within the multifunction wireless device in such a way that an antenna rectangle of the antenna system is at least partially on a projection of a ground plane rectangle associated with the ground plane.
131. The multifunction wireless device of claim 106, wherein the multifunction wireless device includes a ground plane, wherein an antenna rectangle of the antenna system is in a projection of a ground plane rectangle associated to the ground plane in an area of less than 30% of the antenna rectangle, and wherein the antenna contour of the antenna system features a complexity factor F21 larger than 1.20.
132. The multifunction wireless device of claim 106, wherein the multifunction wireless device includes a ground plane, wherein an antenna rectangle of the antenna system is in a projection of a ground plane rectangle associated to the ground plane in an area larger than 80% of the antenna rectangle, and wherein the antenna contour of the antenna system features a complexity factor F21 smaller than 1.45.
133. The multifunction wireless device of claim 106, wherein the antenna system is integrated in a bottom part of a body of the multifunction wireless device, and wherein the antenna system features an antenna contour with a complexity factor F21 smaller than 1.45 and a complexity factor F32 smaller than 1.50.
134. The multifunction wireless device of claim 106, wherein the multifunction wireless device is a two-body multifunction wireless device which integrates the antenna system in a vicinity of a hinge that allows rotation of at least one of the two bodies, and wherein the antenna contour of the antenna system features a complexity factor F21 larger than 1.20 and a complexity factor F32 larger than or equal to 1.55.
135. The multifunction wireless device of claim 106, wherein the antenna system includes a feeding point responsible for an operation of the antenna system in its lowest frequency band placed near a corner of an antenna rectangle associated to the antenna system.
136. The multifunction wireless device of claim 106, wherein the multifunction wireless device includes a ground plane, the ground plane being encompassed by a ground plane rectangle, and wherein the antenna system includes a feeding point responsible for an operation of the antenna system in its lowest frequency band, the feeding point being placed in such a way that a contact terminal of the multifunction wireless device is located near an edge of the ground plane.
137. The multifunction wireless device of claim 106, wherein the multifunction wireless device includes wireless connectivity to other wireless devices or networks than 3G or 4G through a wireless system.
138. The multifunction wireless device of claim 137, wherein the multifunction wireless device includes a twist structure in which a body portion can be twisted such that it can be rotated with two or more axes of rotation.
139. The multifunction wireless device of claim 106, wherein the multifunction wireless device operates simultaneously in at least two wireless services, wherein a first one of the at least two wireless services is a mobile telephone service, and wherein a second one of the at least two wireless services is one of a short range wireless connectivity service and a geolocalization service.
140. The multifunction wireless device of claim 106, the multifunction wireless device further includes five functional blocks, wherein the five functional blocks include a display, a processing module, a memory module, a communication module and a power management module.
141. The multifunction wireless device of claim 106, the multifunction wireless device further includes at least one multilayer printed circuit board on which to carry electronics, wherein at least one of the at least one multilayer printed circuit board includes at least one of a feeding means for the antenna system, a grounding means for the antenna system, or a combination thereof.
142. The multifunction wireless device of claim 106, wherein the antenna system includes at least one feeding point and at least one grounding point.
143. The multifunction wireless device of claim 106, wherein the antenna system includes:
a first portion operable to provide a first path for currents associated with a radiation mode in a first frequency band within a first region of the electromagnetic spectrum, preferably the region of 810 MHz-960 MHz;
a second portion operable to provide a second path for currents associated with a radiation mode in a second frequency band within a second region of the electromagnetic spectrum, preferably the region of 1710 MHz-1990 MHz;
a third portion operable to provide a third path for currents associated with a radiation mode in a third frequency band within a third region of the electromagnetic spectrum, preferably the region of 1900 MHz-2170 MHz; and
wherein at least two portions of the first, second, and third portions overlap at least partially with each other.
144. The multifunction wireless device of claim 106, wherein the antenna system includes at least one slot, aperture or opening within a structure.
145. The multifunction wireless device of claim 106, wherein the antenna system is provided with a structure which is bended, folded, or a combination thereof.
146. The multifunction wireless device of claim 106, wherein the antenna system includes additional conducting parts in an antenna box associated to the antenna system.
147. The multifunction wireless device of claim 106, wherein a structure of the antenna system includes at least one antenna element, wherein the at least one antenna element is formed by at least one conducting geometric element.
148. The multifunction wireless device of claim 147, wherein the structure of the antenna system includes at least two antenna elements, the at least two antenna elements being electromagnetically coupled by means of at least one of capacitive coupling or inductive coupling.
149. The multifunction wireless device of claim 106, wherein a dimension of an antenna box associated to the antenna system not included in a largest face thereof is used to separate the antenna system from an element of the multifunction wireless device, the element being selected from the group consisting of a ground plane, a grounded shield can, a loudspeaker module, a vibrating module, a memory card socket, a hard disk drive, a connector, and combinations thereof.
150. The multifunction wireless device of claim 106, wherein the antenna contour of the antenna system includes straight segments, curved segments or a combination thereof.
151. The multifunction wireless device of claim 150, wherein the antenna contour includes a plurality of segments, the plurality of segments being connected together defining a single set of joined segments.
152. The multifunction wireless device of claim 150, wherein the segments of the antenna contour are shorter than at least one fifth of a free-space wavelength corresponding to a lowest frequency band of operation.
153. The multifunction wireless device of claim 150, wherein the antenna contour includes at least 10 segments.
154. The multifunction wireless device of claim 150, wherein the antenna contour includes a length larger than 2 times a length of a diagonal of an antenna rectangle associated to the antenna system.
155. A multifunction wireless device comprising:
a memory comprising more than 1 GByte;
a central data processing unit;
a screen comprising at least 75.000 pixels and a color resolution depth of more than 65.000 colors;
a keypad comprising more than 40 keys and/or a touch screen having a size of at least half a size of the multifunction wireless device;
at least two bodies operable to be moved against each other, wherein the at least two bodies include a clamshell, flip, twist or slider device;
a battery for energy supply of the multifunction wireless device without an external energy supply;
a first means for providing a wireless connection for a mobile phone service within at least two different mobile phone communication standards;
a second means for providing a wireless connection for other digital data transmission with a data transmission rate of at least 1 Mbit/s;
an antenna system for at least the first means for providing a wireless connection, wherein the antenna system includes:
a complexity factor of F21 being more than 1.52 and less than 1.65; and
a complexity factor F32 being more than 1.55 and less than 1.70.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This patent application claims priority from, and incorporates by reference the entire disclosure of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/831,544, filed Jul. 18, 2006, U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/856,410, filed Nov. 3, 2006 and U.S. Non-provisional patent application Ser. No. 11/614,429 filed Dec. 21, 2006. This patent application further claims priority from, and incorporates by reference the entire disclosure of European Patent Application No. EP 06117352.2, filed Jul. 18, 2006.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to a multifunction wireless device (MFWD) in general, and, more particularly, but not by way of limitation, to a multifunction wireless device and antenna designs thereof combining into a single unit mobile data and voice services with at least one of multimedia capabilities (multimedia terminal (MMT) and personal computer capabilities, (i.e., smartphone) or with both MMT and smartphone (SMRT) capabilities (MMT+SMRT). The present invention further relates to a method and a system of identifying complexity factors of an antenna contour and to a method of optimizing the geometry of an antenna system.

HISTORY OF RELATED ART

MFWDs are usually individually adapted to specific functions or needs of a certain type of users. In some cases, it may be desirable that the MFWD is either e.g. small while in other cases this is not of importance since e.g. a keyboard or screen is provided by the MFWD which already requires a certain size.

Many of the demands for modern MFWDs also translate to specific demands for the antennas thereof. For example, one design demand for antennas of multifunctional wireless devices is usually that the antenna be small in order to occupy as little space as possible within the MFWD which then allows for smaller MFWDs or for more specific equipment to provide certain function of the MFWD. At the same time, it is sometimes required for the antenna to be flat since this allows for slim MFWDs or in particular, for MFWDs which have two parts that can be shifted or twisted against each other.

In the context of the present application, a device is considered to be slim if it has a thickness of less than about 14 mm, 13 mm, 12 mm, 11 mm, 10 mm, 9 mm or 8 mm. A slim MFWD should be mechanically stable, mechanical stability being more difficult to achieve in slim devices.

Additionally, antennas in some embodiments are required to be multi-band antennas and to cover different frequency bands and/or different communication system bands. Beyond that, some of the bands have to be particularly broad like the UMTS band which has a bandwidth of 12.2%. For a good wireless connection, high gain and efficiency are further required. Other more common design demands for antennas are the voltage standing wave ratio (VSWR) and the impedance which is typically about 50 ohms.

Furthermore of particular importance, is omni-directional coverage which means that the antenna radiates with a substantially donut-shaped radiation pattern such that e.g. terrestrial base stations of mobile telephone communication systems can be contacted within any direction in the horizontal plane.

However, for satellite communication (for example, for receiving GPS-signals), other radiation patterns are preferred, in particular, those which radiate into the upper hemisphere. Here radiation into the horizontal plane is usually less desired. The polarization of the emitted or received radiation also has to be taken into consideration. Other demands for antennas for modern MFWDs are low cost and a low specific absorption rate (SAR).

Furthermore, an antenna has to be integrated into a device such as MFWD such that an appropriate antenna may be integrated therein which puts constraints upon the mechanical fit, the electrical fit and the assembly fit of the antenna within the device. Of further importance, usually, is the robustness of the antenna which means that the antenna does not change antenna properties in response to smaller shocks to the device.

As can be imagined, a simultaneous improvement of all features described above is a major challenge for persons skilled in the art. A typical exemplary design problem is the generally uniform line of thinking that due to the limits of diffraction, a substantial increase in gain and directivity can only be achieved through an increase in the antenna size.

On the other hand, a MFWD that has a high directivity and hence, a high gain, has to be properly oriented towards a transceiver-base station. This, however, is not always practical since portable device users need to have the freedom to move and change direction with respect to a base station without losing coverage and, therefore, losing the wireless connection. Therefore, less gain is usually accepted in order to obtain an omni-directional (donut-like) radiation pattern.

It has to be taken into account that a palmtop, laptop, or desktop portable device might require a radiation pattern that enhances radiation in the upper hemisphere, i.e., pointing to the ceiling and the walls rather than pointing to the floor, since transceiver stations such as a hotspot antenna or a base station are typically located above or on the side of the portable device. If, however, such a device is used for a voice phone call it will be held substantially upright close to the users head in which case an omni-directional pattern is preferred which is oriented so that the donut-like shape of the radiation pattern lies in the horizontal.

While it might appear desirable to provide an antenna with a uniform radiation pattern (sphere-like) for voice calls such a pattern turns out to have substantial drawbacks in terms of a desired low specific absorption rate since it sometimes leads to an increased absorption of radiation within the hand and the head of the user during a voice phone call.

In every MFWD, the choice of the antenna, its placement in the device and its interaction with the surrounding elements of the device will have an impact on the overall wireless connection performance making its selection non-trivial and subject to constraints due to particular target use, user and market segments for every device.

As established by L. J. Chu in “Physical Limitations of Omni-Directional Antennas”, Journal of Applied Physics, Vol. 19, December, 1948, pg. 1163-1175, and Harold A. Wheeler, in “Fundamental Limitations of Small Antennas”, Proceedings of the I.R.E., 1947, pgs. 1479-1488. small antennas may not exceed a certain bandwidth. The bandwidth of the antenna decreases in proportion to the volume of the antenna. The bandwidth, however, is proportional to the maximum data rate the wireless connection can achieve and, therefore, a reduction in the antenna size is additionally linked to a reduction in the speed of data transmission.

Furthermore, a reduction of the antenna size can be achieved, for example, by loading the antenna with high dielectric materials for instance by stuffing, backing, coating, filling, printing or over-molding a conductive antenna element with a high dielectric material. Such materials tend to concentrate a high dielectric and magnetic field intensity into a smaller volume. This concentration leads to a high quality factor which, however, leads to a smaller bandwidth. Further, such a high concentration of electromagnetic field in the material leads to inherent electrical losses. Those losses may be compensated by a higher energy input into the antenna which then leads to a portable wireless device with a reduced standby or talk/connectivity time. In the design of MFWDs, every micro Joule of energy available in the battery has to be used in the most efficient way.

Multi-band antennas require a certain space since for each band a resonating physical structure is usually required. Such additional resonating physical structures occupy additional space which then increases the size of the antenna. It is therefore particularly difficult to build antennas which are both small and multi-band at the same time.

As already mentioned above, there exists a fundamental limit established by Chu and Wheeler between the bandwidth and antenna size. Therefore, many small antennas have great difficulty in achieving a desired large bandwidth.

Broadband operation may be achieved by two closely neighboring bands which then require additional space for the resonating physical structure of each of the bands. Further, those two antenna portions may not be provided too close together since, due to electric coupling between the two elements, the merging of the two bands into a single band is not achieved, but rather splitting the resonant spectrum into independent sub-bands which is not acceptable for meeting the requirements of wireless communication standards.

Furthermore, for broadband operation the resonating physical structure needs a certain width. This width, however, requires additional space which further shows that small broadband antennas are difficult to achieve.

It is known to achieve a broadband operation with parasitic elements which, however, require additional space. Such parasitic elements may also not be placed too close to other antenna portions since this will also lead to splitting the resonant spectrum into multiple sub-bands.

An antenna type which may be particularly suitable for slim multifunctional devices or those composed of two parts which can be moved against each other (such as twist, clamshell or slide devices) is a patch antenna (and particularly a PIFA antenna). However patch antennas, are unfortunately known to have poor gain and narrow bandwidths, typically in the range of 1% to 5% which is unsuitable for coverage of certain bands such as the UMTS band.

Although it is known that the bandwidth may be increased by changing the separation between the patch and its ground plane, this then destroys the advantage of patch antennas being flat. This also leads to a distortion of the radiating pattern, for instance, due to surface wave effects.

For patch antennas it is known that by providing a high dielectric material between the patch and the ground plane, it is possible to reduce the antenna size. As mentioned above, such high dielectric materials tend to reduce the bandwidth which is then disadvantageous for patch antennas. Such materials also generally increase losses.

Further difficulties in antenna design occur when trying to build multi-band antennas. While it is possible to separate different antenna portions from each other with appropriate slots or the like, currents and charges in the respective parts always interact with one another by strong and far-reaching electromagnetic fields. Those different antenna branches are, therefore, never completely independent of one another. Trying to add a new branch to an existing antenna structure to produce a new antenna frequency of resonance therefore changes entirely the previous antenna frequencies. Therefore, it is difficult to simply take a working antenna and try to add one more band by just adding one more antenna portion. All previously achieved optimizations for already established frequency bands are lost by such an approach.

Trying to design an antenna with three or more bands gives rise to a linear or, in the worst case an exponential, rise in the number of parameters to consider or problems to resolve. For each band, resonant frequency, bandwidth, and other above-mentioned parameters such as impedance, polarization, gain, and directivity must all be controlled simultaneously. Furthermore, multi-band antennas may be coupled with two or more radio frequency devices. Such coupling raises the issue of isolation between the different radio frequency devices, which are both connected to the same antenna. Isolation of this type is a very difficult task.

Physical changes intended to optimize one parameter of one antenna band change other antenna parameters, most likely in a counter-productive way. It is usually not obvious how to control the counter-productive effects or how to compensate for them without creating still more problems.

Mechanical considerations must also be taken into account in antenna design. For example, the antenna needs to be firmly held in place within a device. However, the materials that are in very close proximity to the metal piece or the conductive portion which forms an antenna or antenna portion, have a great impact on the antenna characteristics. Sometimes extensions or small recesses in the metal piece are provided to firmly hold the antenna in place, however such means which are intended for giving mechanical robustness to the antenna also interact with and change the electric properties of the antenna.

All these different design problems of antennas may only be solved in the design of the geometry of the antenna. All parameters such as size, flatness, multi-band operation, broadband operation, gain, efficiency, impedance, radiation patterns, specific absorption rate, robustness and polarization are highly dependent on the geometry of the antenna. Nevertheless, it is practically impossible to identify at least one or two geometric features which affect only one or two of the above-mentioned antenna characteristics. Thus, there is no individual geometry feature which can be identified in order to optimize one or two antenna characteristics, without also influencing all other antenna characteristics.

Any change to the antenna geometry may harm more than it helps without knowing in advance how and why it happens or how it can be avoided.

Additionally, every platform of a wireless device is different in terms of form factor, market and technical requirements and functionality which requires different antennas for each device.

One object to be solved by the present invention is therefore to provide an enhanced wireless connectivity. It is one further object of the present invention to provide wireless connectivity to an MFWD that takes the form of a handheld multimedia terminal (MMT). It is another object of the present invention as well, to provide wireless connectivity to an MFWD that takes the form of a smartphone (SMRT). Another object of the invention is to provide antenna design parameters that tend to optimize the efficiency of an antenna for a MFWD device while observing the constraints of small device size and enhanced performance characteristics.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides in one aspect a multifunctional wireless device.

The present invention further provides in one aspect a MFWD with an RF system and an antenna system with the capability of fully functioning in one, two, three or more communication standards (such as e.g. GSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, UMTS, CDMA, W-CDMA, etc.), and in particular mobile or cellular communication standards, each standard allocated in one or more frequency bands, each of said frequency bands being fully contained within one of the following regions of the electromagnetic spectrum:

the 810 MHz-960 MHz region,

the 1710 MHz-1990 MHz region,

and the 1900 MHz-2170 MHz region

such that the MFWD is able to operate in one, two, three, four, five, six or more of said bands contained in at least said three regions. In some cases in each of the three regions at least one, two or more bands are allocated for operation, while in other cases only in one or two regions one, two or more bands are allocated for operation in each of those one or two regions. The number of bands in each region may be the same or different. In one region there may be one band only, while in another region there may be two or more bands. Further the device may or may not make use of one, two or more further regions of the electromagnetic spectrum where one, two, three or more additional bands are located, while those bands may be used by one, two or more communication standards which are also using one, two or more bands in those above mentioned three regions or those one, two or more communication standards are additional communication standards, which do not make use of any band within those three above mentioned regions.

In another aspect the present invention provides a multifunction wireless device having at least one of multimedia functionality and smartphone functionality, the multifunction wireless device including an upper body and a lower body, the upper body and the lower body being adapted to move relative to each other in at least one of a clamshell, a slide, and a twist manner. The multifunction wireless device further includes an antenna system disposed within at least one of the upper body and the lower body and having a shape with a level of complexity of an antenna contour defined by complexity factors F21 having a value of at least 1.05 and not greater than 1.80 and F32 having a value of at least 1.10 and not greater than 1.90.

In another aspect the present invention provides a multifunction wireless device having at least one of multimedia and smartphone functionality, the multifunction wireless device including a microprocessor and operating system adapted to permit running of word-processing, spreadsheet, and slide software applications, and at least one memory interoperably coupled to the microprocessor, the at least one memory having a total capacity of at least 1 GB. The multifunction wireless device further includes an antenna system having a shape with a level of complexity of an antenna contour defined by complexity factor F21 having a value of at least 1.05 and not greater than 1.80 and by complexity factor F32 having a value of at least 1.10 and not greater than 1.90.

Further the invention provides in another aspect a multifunction wireless device having at least one of multimedia and smartphone functionality, the multifunction wireless device including a receiver of at least one of analog and digital sound signals, an image recording system comprising at least one of an image sensor having at least 2 Megapixels in size, a flash light, an optical zoom, and a digital zoom, and data storage means having a capacity of at least 1 GB. The multifunction wireless device further includes an antenna system having a shape with a level of complexity of an antenna contour defined by complexity factor F21 having a value of at least 1.05 and not greater than 1.80 and by complexity factor F32 having a value of at least 1.10 and not greater than 1.90.

The present invention is related to a portable multifunction wireless device (MFWD) and in particular to a handheld multifunction wireless device. In some embodiments, the MFWD will take the form of a handheld multimedia terminal (MMT) including wireless connectivity to mobile networks. In some embodiments, the MFWD will take the form of a handheld device combining personal computer capabilities, mobile data and voice services into a single unit (smartphone, SMRT), while in others the MFWD will combine both multimedia and smartphone capabilities (MMT+SMRT).

In some embodiments, the MMT will include means to reproduce digital music and sound signals, preferably in a data compressed format such as for instance a MPEG standard such as MP3 (MPEG3) or MP4 (MPEG4). In some embodiments, the MMT will include a digital camera to record still (pictures, photos) and/or moving images (video), combined with a microphone or microphone system to record live sound and convert it to a digital compressed format. The present invention will be particularly suitable for those MMT embodiments combining both music and image capabilities, by providing means to efficiently integrate music, images, live video and sound recording and playing into a very small, compact and lightweight handheld device.

In some embodiments, the smartphone will consist of a handheld electronic unit comprising a microprocessor and operating system (such as for instance but not limited to Pocket PC, Windows Mobile, Windows CE, Symbian, Palm OS, Brew, Linux) with the capability of downloading and installing multiple software applications and enhanced computing capabilities compared to a typical state of the art mobile phone. Typically, SMRT will comprise a small, compact (handheld) computer device with the capability of sharing, opening and editing typical word processing, spreadsheets and slide files that are handled by a personal computer (for instance a laptop or desktop). Although many current mobile phones feature some very basic electronic agenda functions (calendars, task lists and phonebooks) and are even able to install small Java or Brew games, they may or may not be considered here to be smartphones (SMRT).

It is one purpose of the present invention to provide enhanced wireless capabilities to any of the MFWD devices described above. In some embodiments though, providing a wide geographical coverage will be a priority rather than enhanced multimedia or computing capabilities, while in others the priority will become to provide a high-speed connection and/or a seamless connection to multiple networks and standards.

It is another purpose of the present invention to provide methods and systems which allow to more efficiently design antenna systems for multifunctional wireless devices. One method refers to identifying complexity factors. Those factors allow to judge or evaluate certain antenna systems designs in order to more efficiently arrive to a working solution. Another method refers to optimizing antenna systems using at least two of such complexity factors.

In one further aspect of the present invention it is provided a method and a system of identifying complexity factors of an antenna contour for a multifunctional wireless device and utilizing the identified complexity factors to provide an antenna with maximum performance characteristics for given physical an functional specifications.

In another aspect of the invention it is provided a method and a system of optimizing the geometry of an antenna system to obtain superior RF performance within a wireless device, which may be or include a multifunctional wireless device, wherein the method comprises the steps of: a) defining at least two complexity factors for an antenna system and b) establishing a complexity factor plane adapted for graphing such complexity factors therewith.

Embodiments of the present invention further describe an antenna system constructed in accordance with the above method.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Further characteristics and advantages of the invention will become apparent in view of the detailed description which follows of some preferred embodiments of the invention given for purposes of illustration only and in no way meant as a definition of the limits of the invention, made with reference to the accompanying drawings:

FIG. 1A shows a block diagram of a MFWD of the present invention illustrating the basic functional blocks thereof;

FIG. 1B shows a perspective view of a MFWD including a space for the integration of an antenna system, and its corresponding antenna box and antenna rectangle;

FIG. 2A shows an example MFWD comprising a ground plane layer included in a PCB, and its corresponding ground plane rectangle;

FIG. 2B shows the ground plane rectangle of the MFWD of FIG. 2 a in combination with an antenna rectangle for an antenna system;

FIG. 3 shows an example of an antenna contour of an antenna system for a MFWD;

FIG. 4 from top to down shows an example of a process (for instance a stamping process) followed to shape a rectangular conducting plate to create the structure of an antenna system for a MFWD;

FIGS. 5A-B show an example of MFWD being held typically by a right-handed user to originate a phone call, and how the feeding point corner of the antenna rectangle of said MFWD may be selected;

FIG. 5C shows an exploded view of an exemplary clamshell-type MFWD;

FIG. 6A shows an example of a first grid to compute the complexity factors of an antenna contour;

FIG. 6B shows an example of a second grid to compute the complexity factors of an antenna contour;

FIG. 6C shows an example of a third grid to compute the complexity factors of an antenna contour;

FIG. 7 shows the two-dimensional representation of the F32 vs. F21 space;

FIG. 8A shows an example of an antenna contour inspired in a Hilbert curve under a first grid to compute the complexity factors of said antenna contour;

FIG. 8B shows the example of the antenna contour of FIG. 8 a under a second grid to compute the complexity factors of said antenna contour;

FIG. 8C shows the example of the antenna contour of FIG. 8 a under a third grid to compute the complexity factors of said antenna contour;

FIG. 9A shows an example of a quasi-rectangular antenna contour featuring a great degree of convolution in its perimeter under a first grid to compute the complexity factors of said antenna contour;

FIG. 9B shows the example of the quasi-rectangular antenna contour featuring a great degree of convolution of FIG. 9 a under a second grid to compute the complexity factors of said antenna contour;

FIG. 9C shows the example of the quasi-rectangular antenna contour featuring a great degree of convolution of FIG. 9 a under a third grid to compute the complexity factors of said antenna contour;

FIG. 10A shows an example of a triple branch antenna contour under a first grid to compute the complexity factors of said antenna contour;

FIG. 10B shows the example of the triple branch antenna contour of FIG. 10 a under a second grid to compute the complexity factors of said antenna contour;

FIG. 10C shows the example of the triple branch antenna contour of FIG. 10 a under a third grid to compute the complexity factors of said antenna contour;

FIG. 11 shows the mapping of the antenna contour of FIGS. 6, 8, 9 and 10 in the F32 vs. F21 space;

FIG. 12A shows an example of antenna contour of the antenna system of a MFWD according to the present invention;

FIG. 12B shows an example of a PCB of a MFWD including a layer that serves as the ground plane to the antenna system of FIG. 12 a;

FIG. 13A shows the antenna contour of FIG. 12 a placed under a first grid to compute the complexity factors of said antenna contour;

FIG. 13B shows the antenna contour of FIG. 12 a placed under a second grid to compute the complexity factors of said antenna contour;

FIG. 13C shows the antenna contour of FIG. 12 a placed under a third grid to compute the complexity factors of said antenna contour;

FIG. 14A shows an antenna contour according to the present invention placed under a first grid to compute the complexity factors of said antenna contour;

FIG. 14B shows the antenna contour according to the present invention of FIG. 14 a placed under a second grid to compute the complexity factors of said antenna contour;

FIG. 14C shows the antenna contour according to the present invention of FIG. 14 a placed under a third grid to compute the complexity factors of said antenna contour;

FIG. 15 shows the mapping of the antenna contour of FIGS. 12 and 14 in the F32 vs. F21 space;

FIG. 16 illustrates a flow diagram for optimizing the geometry of an antenna system to obtain superior performance within a wireless device;

FIGS. 17A-17H illustrate the progressive modification of an antenna system through the different steps of the optimization process in accordance with the principles of the present invention;

FIG. 18 is a complexity factor plain graphically illustrating the complexity factors of FIGS. 18A-18H;

FIG. 19A is a graphical representation of the VSWR of the antenna system relative to frequency;

FIG. 19B is a graphical representation of the efficiency of the antenna system as a function of the frequency; and

FIGS. 20A-20F illustrate cross-sectional views of exemplary MFWDs comprising three bodies.

DETAIL DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring first to FIG. 1A, a multifunction wireless device (MFWD) of the present invention 100 advantageously comprises five functional blocks: display 11, processing module 12, memory module 13, communication module 14 and power management module 15. The display 11 may be, for example, a high resolution LCD or equivalent is an energy consuming module and most of the energy drain comes from the backlight use. The processing module 12, that is the microprocessor or CPU and the associated memory module 13, are also major sources of power consumption. The fourth module responsible of energy consumption is the communication module 14, an essential part of which is the antenna system. The MFWD 100 has a single source of energy and it is the power management module 15 mentioned above that provides and manages the energy of the MFWD 100. In a preferred embodiment, the processing module 12 and the memory module 13 have herein been listed as separate modules. However, in another embodiment, the processing module 12 and the memory module 13 may be separate functionalities within a single module or a plurality of modules. In a further embodiment, two or more of the five functional blocks of the MFWD 100 may be separate functionalities within a single module or a plurality of modules.

The MFWD 100 generally comprises one, two, three or more multilayer printed circuit boards (PCBs) on which to carry and interconnect the electronics. At least one of the PCBs includes feeding means and/or grounding means for the antenna system.

At least one of the PCBs, preferably the same one as the at least one PCB including feeding means and/or grounding means, includes a layer that serves as a ground plane of the antenna system.

The antenna system within the communication module 14 generally is regarded as an essential element of a multifunction wireless device. In particular it can be regarded an essential element of the MFWD 100, as it provides the MFWD 100 with wide geographical and range coverage, high-speed connection and/or seamless connection to multiple networks and standards. Thus, a volume of space within the MFWD 100 needs to be made available to the integration of the antenna system. However, the integration of the antenna system is complicated by the fact that the MFWD 100 also includes one or more advanced functions provided by at least one, two, three or more additional electronic subsystems within the various modules 11-15 such as:

    • a receiver of analog and/or digital sound signals (e.g. for FM, DAB, XDARS, SDARS, or the like).
    • a receiver of digital broadcast TV signals (such as DVB-H, DMB)
    • a module to download and play streamed video,
    • an advanced image recording system (comprising e.g. one, two, three or more of: optical or digital zoom; flash light; one, two or more image sensors, one, two or more of which maybe more than 2 Megapixels in size),
    • data storage means in excess of 1 GB (fixed and/or removable; hard disk drive; non volatile (e.g. magnetic, ferroelectric or electronic) memory),
    • a high resolution image and/or character and graphic display (more than 100 times 100 pixels or more than 320 times 240 pixels (e.g. more than 75,000 pixels) and/or 65,000 color levels or more),
    • a full keyboard (e.g. number keys and character keys separated therefrom and/or at least 26, 30, 36, 40 or 50 keys; the keyboard may be integrated within the MFWD or may be connectable to the MFWD by a cable or a short range wireless connectivity system),
    • a touch screen with a size of at least half of the overall device
    • a geolocalization system (such as e.g. GPS or Galileo or a mobile network related terrestrial system),
    • and/or a module to handle an internet access protocol and/or messaging capabilities (such as email, instant messaging, SMS, MMS or the like).

In some examples, the integration of an antenna system into the MFWD 100 is further complicated by the presence in the MFWD 100 of additional antennas, such as for example antennas for reception of broadcast radio and/or TV, antennas for geolocalization services, and/or antennas for wireless connectivity systems.

The MFWD 100 according to one embodiment achieves an efficient integration of an antenna system alongside other electronic modules and/or subsystems that provide sophisticated functionality to the MFWD 100, (and possibly also in conjunction with additional antennas), in a way that the MFWD meets size, weight and/or battery consumption constraints critical for a portable small-sized device.

The MFWD 100 according to one embodiment is preferably able to provide both voice and high-speed data transmission and receive services through at least one or more of said frequency regions in the spectrum. For that purpose, a MFWD will include the RF capabilities, antenna system and signal processing hardware to connect to a mobile network at a speed of preferably at least 350 Kbits/s, while in some embodiments the data transfer will be performed with at least 1 Mbit/s, 2 Mbit/s or 10 Mbit/s or beyond. For this purpose, a MFWD will preferably include at least 3G (such as for instance UMTS, UMTS-FDD, UMTS-TDD, W-CDMA, cdma2000, TD-SCDMA, Wideband CDMA) and/or 3.5G and/or 4G services (including for instance HSDPA, WiFi, WiMax, WiBro and other advanced services) in one or more of said frequency regions. In some embodiments a MFWD will include also 2G and 2.5G services such as GSM, GPRS, EDGE, TDMA, PCS, CDMA, cdmaOne. In some embodiments a MFWD will include 2G and/or 2.5G services at one or both of the first two frequency regions (810-960 MHz and 1710-1990 MHz) and a 3G or a 4G service in the upper frequency region (1900-2170 MHz). In particular, some MFWD devices will provide 3 GSM/GPRS services (GSM900, GSM1800, GSM1900 or PCS) and UMTS/W-CDMA, while some others will provide 4 GSM/GPRS services (GSM850, GSM900, GSM1800, GSM1900 or PCS) and UMTS and/or WCDMA to ensure seamless connectivity to multiple networks in several geographical domains such as for instance Europe and North America. In some embodiments, a MFWD will include 3G, 3.5G, 4G or a combination of such services in said three frequency regions.

In some embodiments of the invention, the MFWD 100 includes wireless connectivity to other wireless devices or networks through a wireless system such as for instance WiFi (IEEE802.11 standards), Bluetooth, ZigBee, UWB in some additional frequency regions such as for instance an ISM band (for instance around 430 MHz or 868 MHz, or within 902-928 MHz or in the 2400-2480 MHz range, or in the 5.1-5.9 GHz frequency range or a combination of them) and/or within a ultra wide-band range (UWB) such as the 3-5 GHz or 3-11 GHz frequency range.

In some embodiments of the invention, the MFWD 100 provides voice over IP services (VoIP) through a wireless connection using one or more wireless standards such as WiFi, WiMax and WiBro, within the 2-11 GHz frequency region or in particular the 2.3-2.4 GHz frequency region.

The MFWD 100 may have a bar shape, which means that it is given by a single body. It may also have a two-body structure such as a clamshell, flip or slider structure. It may further or additionally have a twist structure in which a body portion e.g. with a screen can be twisted (rotated with two or more axes of rotation which are preferably not parallel).

The MFWD 100 may operate simultaneous in two or more wireless services (e.g. a short range wireless connectivity service and a mobile telephone service, a geolocalization service and a mobile telephone service, etc.).

For any wireless service, more than one antenna (system) may be provided in order to obtain a diversity system and/or a multiple input/multiple output system.

In a MFWD 100 according to an embodiment of the present invention, the structure of the antenna system is advantageously shaped to efficiently use the volume of physical space made available for its integration within the MFWD 100 in order to obtain a superior RF performance of the antenna system (such as for example, and without limitation, input impedance level, impedance bandwidth, gain, efficiency, and/or radiation pattern) and/or superior RF performance of the MFWD 100 (such as for example and without limitation, radiated power, received power and/or sensitivity) in at least one of the communication standards of operation in at least one of the frequency regions. Alternatively, the antenna system can be advantageously shaped to minimize the volume required within the MFWD 100 yet still achieve a certain RF performance.

As a consequence, the resulting MFWD 100 may exhibit in some examples one, two, three or more of the following features:

    • increased communication range,
    • improved quality of the communication or quality of service (QOS),
    • extended battery life for higher autonomy of the device,
    • reduced device profile and/or the size (an aspect particularly critical for slim phones and/or twist phones),
    • and/or reduced weight of the device (aspect particularly critical for multimedia phones and/or smart phones), all of which are qualifies that translate into increased user acceptance of the MFWD 100.

The antenna system also comprises at least one feeding point and may optionally comprise one, two or more grounding points. In some examples of MFWDs, the antenna system may comprise more than one feeding point, such as for example two, three or more feeding points.

The MFWD 100 comprises one, two, three, four, five or more contact terminals. A contact terminal couples the feeding means included in a PCB of the MFWD 100 with a feeding point of the antenna system. The feeding means comprise one, two, three or more RF transceivers coupled to the antenna system through contact terminals.

Similarly, a contact terminal can also couple the grounding means included in a PCB of the MFWD 100 with a grounding point of the antenna system. A contact terminal may take for instance the form of a spring contact with a corresponding landing area, or a pogo pin with a corresponding landing area, or a couple of pads held in electrical contact by fastening means (such as a screw) or by pressure means.

A volume of space within the MFWD 100 of one embodiment of the invention is dedicated to the integration of the antenna system into the device. An antenna box for the MFWD 100 is herein defined as being the minimum-sized parallelepiped of square or rectangular faces that completely encloses the antenna volume of space and wherein each one of the faces of the minimum-sized parallelepiped is tangent to at least one point of the volume. Moreover, each possible pair of faces of the minimum-size parallelepiped shares an edge forming an inner angle of 90°.

For example, the antenna box shown at 103 of FIG. 1B delimits the volume of space within the MFWD 100 dedicated to the antenna system in the sense that, although other elements of the MFWD 100 (such as for instance an electronic module or subsystem) can be within the antenna box, no portion of the antenna system can extend outside the antenna box.

Therefore, although the volume within the MFWD 100 dedicated to the integration of the antenna system will generally be irregularly shaped, the antenna box itself will have the shape of a right prism (i.e., a parallelepiped with square or rectangular faces and with the inner angles between two faces sharing an edge being 90°).

An antenna system of the MFWD 100 of one embodiment of the invention has a structure able to support different radiation modes so that the antenna system can operate with good performance and reduced size in the communication standards allocated in multiple frequency bands within at least three different regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Such an effect is achieved by appropriately shaping the structure of the antenna system in a way that different paths are provided to the electric currents that flow on the conductive parts of said structure of the antenna system, and/or to the equivalent magnetic currents on slots, apertures or openings within said structure, thereby exciting radiation modes for the multiple frequency bands of operation. In some cases the structure of an antenna system will comprise a first portion that provides a first path for the currents associated with a radiation mode in a first frequency band within a first region of the electromagnetic spectrum, a second portion that provides a second path for the currents associated with a radiation mode in a second frequency band within a second region of the electromagnetic spectrum and a third portion that provides a third path for the currents associated with a radiation mode in a third frequency band within a third region of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Some of these basic concepts of antenna design are set forth in co-pending U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/179,257, filed Jul. 12, 2005 and entitled “Multi-Level Antenna” and in co-pending U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/179,250, filed Jul. 12, 2005 and entitled “Space-Filing Miniature Antenna” both of which are hereby incorporated by reference herein.

In some embodiments of the invention the first, second and third portions are overlapping partially or completely with each other, while in other embodiments the three portions are essentially non-overlapping. In some embodiments only two of the three portions overlap either partially or completely and in some cases one portion of the three portions is the entire antenna system.

In some examples, at least one of the paths has an electrical length substantially close to one time, three times, five times or a larger odd integer number of times a quarter of the wavelength at a frequency of the associated radiation mode. In other examples, at least one of the paths has an electrical length approximately equal to one time, two times, three times or a larger integer number of times a half of the wavelength at a frequency of the associated radiation mode.

A structure of an antenna system of the MFWD 100 according to the present invention is able to support different radiation modes. Such an effect is advantageously achieved by means of one of, or a combination of, the following mechanisms:

creating slots, apertures and/or openings within the structure,

bending and/or folding the structure,

because an edge-rich, angle-rich and/or discontinuity-rich structure is obtained in which different portions of the structure offer longer and more winding paths for the electric currents and/or the equivalent magnetic currents associated with different frequency bands of operation than would the path of a simpler structure that uses neither one of the aforementioned mechanisms.

The process of shaping the structure of the antenna system into a configuration that supports different radiation modes can be regarded as the process of lowering the frequency of a first radiation mode associated with a first frequency band, and/or subsequently including additional radiation modes associated with additional frequency bands, to an antenna formed of a substantially square or rectangular conducting plate (or a substantially planar structure) that occupies the largest face of the antenna box.

The geometry of a substantially square or rectangular conducting plate occupying a largest face of the antenna box is an advantageous starting point for the design of the geometry of the structure of the antenna system since such a structure offers a priori the longest path for the currents of a radiation mode corresponding to a lowest frequency band, together with the maximum antenna surface. Antenna designers have frequently encountered difficulty in maintaining the performance of small antennas. There is a fundamental physical limit between size and bandwidth in that the bandwidth of an antenna is generally directly related with the volume that the antenna occupies. Thus, in antenna design it may be preferable to pursue maximization of the surface area of an antenna in order to achieve maximum bandwidth. The geometry of an antenna comprised of a substantially square or rectangular conducting plate can be modified by at least one of the following:

    • creating slots, gaps or apertures within the extension of the plate,
    • removing peripheral parts of the plate,
    • folding or bending parts of said plate, so that the folded or bent parts are no longer on the plane defined originally by the plate,
    • and/or including additional conducting parts in the antenna box that are not contained on the plane originally defined by the plate;
      in order to adapt the antenna system to the frequency bands of operation, to the space required by additional electronic modules or subsystems, and/or to other space constraints of the MFWD 100 (as for example those imposed by the ergonomics, or the aesthetics of the MFWD).

In some examples within embodiments of the present invention, one or several modifications of the structure of an antenna system are aimed at lengthening the path of the electric currents and/or the equivalent magnetic currents of a particular radiation mode to decrease its associated frequency band. In other examples, one or several modifications of the structure of an antenna system are aimed at splitting, or partially diverting, the electric currents and/or the equivalent magnetic currents on different parts of the structure of the antenna system to enhance multimode radiation, which may be advantageous for wideband behavior.

The resulting antenna structure (i.e., after modifying its geometry) includes a plurality of portions that allow the operation of the antenna system in multiple frequency bands. Generally, the structure of the antenna system comprises one, two, three, four or more antenna elements with each element being formed by a single conducting geometric element, or by a plurality of conducting geometric elements that are in electrical contact with one another (i.e., there is electrical continuity for direct or continuous current flow). One antenna element may comprise one or more portions of the structure of the antenna system and one portion of the antenna system may comprise one, two, three or more antenna elements. Different antenna elements may be electromagnetically coupled (either capacitively coupled or inductively coupled). Generally an antenna element of the antenna system is not connected by direct contact to another antenna element of said antenna system, unless such contact is optionally done through the ground plane of the antenna system. In some examples, an antenna system with a structure comprising several antenna elements is advantageous to increase the number of frequency bands of operation of said antenna system and/or to enhance the RF performance of said antenna system or that of a MFWD including said antenna system.

In some examples, slots, gaps or apertures created between different antenna elements, or between parts of a same antenna element, serve to decrease electromagnetic coupling between the antenna elements, or the parts of the same antenna element. In other examples, the structure of the antenna system seeks to create proximity regions between antenna elements, or between parts of a same antenna element, to enhance the coupling between the antenna elements, or the parts of a same antenna element.

The design of the structure of the antenna system is intended to use efficiently as much of the volume of the space within the antenna box as possible in order to obtain a superior RF performance of the antenna system and/or superior RF performance of the MFWD 100 in at least one frequency band. In particular, according to the present invention, the structure of the antenna system comes into contact with each of the six (6) faces of the antenna box in at least one point of each face to make better use of the available volume. However, it is generally advantageous to position the geometrical complexity of the structure predominantly on a largest face of the antenna box, and use the third dimension of the antenna box (i.e., the dimension not included in said largest face) to separate the antenna system from other elements of the MFWD 100 (such as for instance, and without limitation, a ground plane, a grounded shield can, a loudspeaker module, a vibrating module, a memory card socket, a hard disk drive, and/or a connector) that may degrade the RF performance of the antenna system and/or the RF performance of the MFWD 100.

For one purpose of the design of the antenna system, an antenna rectangle is defined as being the orthogonal projection of the antenna box along the normal to the face with largest area of the antenna box.

In some exemplary MFWDs, one of the dimensions of the antenna box can be substantially smaller than any of the other two dimensions, or even be close to zero. In such cases, the antenna box collapses to a practically two-dimensional structure (i.e., the antenna box becomes approximately the antenna rectangle).

The antenna rectangle has a longer side and a shorter side. The length of the longer side is referred to as the width of the antenna rectangle (W), and the length of the shorter side is referred to as the height of the antenna rectangle (H). The aspect ratio of the antenna rectangle is defined as the ratio between the width and the height of the antenna rectangle.

In addition to the antenna rectangle, a ground plane rectangle is defined as being the minimum-sized rectangle that encompasses the ground plane of the antenna system included in the PCB of the MFWD 100 that comprises the feeding means responsible for the operation of the antenna system in its lowest frequency band. That is, the ground plane rectangle is a rectangle whose edges are tangent to at least one point of the ground plane.

The area ratio is defined as the ratio between the area of the antenna rectangle and the area of the ground plane rectangle.

In some examples, the antenna system of the present invention advantageously places a feeding point of the antenna system, preferably a feeding point responsible for the operation of the antenna system in its lowest frequency band, near a corner of the antenna rectangle, because it may provide a longer path on the structure of the antenna system for the electric currents and/or the equivalent magnetic currents coupled to the antenna system through the feeding point.

In other examples, the antenna system of the present invention advantageously places a feeding point of the antenna system, preferably a feeding point responsible for the operation of the antenna system in its lowest frequency band, in such a way that a contact terminal of the MFWD 100 is located near an edge of a ground plane encompassed by the ground plane rectangle. Preferably that edge is common with a side of the ground plane rectangle, and preferably the side is a short side of the ground plane rectangle. Such placement of the feeding point of the antenna system, and that of the contact terminal of the MFWD 100 associated with the feeding point, may provide a longer path for electric and/or magnetic currents flowing on the ground plane of the antenna system enhancing the RF performance of the antenna system, or that of the MFWD 100, in at least the lowest frequency band. This becomes particularly relevant in those MFWD 100 having form factors that require a small size of the ground plane rectangle and, consequently, a small size of the whole device.

The structure of the antenna system becomes geometrically more complex as the number of frequency bands in which the MFWD 100 has to operate increases, and/or the size of the antenna box decreases, and/or the RF performance requirements are made more stringent in at least one frequency band of operation. In a MFWD 100 according to the present invention, the structure of the antenna system is geometrically defined by its antenna contour. The antenna contour of the antenna system is a set of joined and/or disjointed segments comprising:

the perimeter of one or more antenna elements placed in the antenna rectangle,

the perimeter of closed slots and/or closed apertures defined within the antenna elements, and/or the orthogonal projection onto the antenna rectangle of perimeters of antenna elements, or perimeters of or parts of antenna elements that are placed in the antenna box but not in the antenna rectangle.

The antenna contour, i.e., its peripheral both internally and externally, can comprise straight segments, curved segments or a combination thereof. Not all the segments that form the antenna contour need to be connected (i.e., to be joined). In some cases, the antenna contour comprises two, three, four or more disjointed subsets of segments. A subset of segments is defined by one single segment or by a plurality of connected segments. In other cases, the entire set of segments that form the antenna contour are connected together defining a single set of joined segments (i.e., the antenna contour has only one subset of segments).

Along the contour different segments can be identified e.g. by a corner between two segments, wherein the corner is given by a point on the contour where no unique tangent can be identified. At the corners the contour has an angle. The segments next to a corner may be straight or curved or one straight and the other curved. Further, segments may be separated by a point where the curvature changes from left to right or from right to left. In a sine curve, for example such points are given where the curve intersects the horizontal axis (x-axis, abscissa, sin(x)=0).

It is preferred that right and left curved segments are provided (when following the contour) and/or that at corners angles to the left and to the right (when following the contour) are provided. Preferably the numbers of left and right curved segments respectively, (if provided) do not differ by more than 80%, 70%, 60%, 50%, 40%, 30%, 20% or 10% of the larger of the two numbers. Also the number of corner angles between adjacent segments which following the contour go to the right and those that go to the left do not differ by more than 80%, 70%, 60%, 50%, 40%, 30%, 20% or 10% of the larger of the two numbers. Further preferably the number of the left curved segments plus the number of the corners where the contour turns left and the number of the right curved segments plus the number of corners where the contour turns right do not differ by more than 80%, 70%, 60%, 50%, 40%, 30%, 20% or 10% of the larger of the two numbers.

Generally, one, two, three or more subsets of segments of the antenna contour advantageously each comprise at least a certain minimum number of segments that are connected in such a way that each segment forms an angle with any adjacent segments or a curved segment interposed between such segments, such that no pair of adjacent segments defines a larger straight segment. The angles at corners or curved segments increase the degree of convolution of the curves formed by the segments of each of said subsets leading to an antenna contour that is geometrically rich in at least one of edges, angles, corners or discontinuities, when considered at different levels of detail. Possible values for the minimum number of segments of a subset include 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45 and 50. Also a maximum number of segments of a subset may be given. Possible values of said maximum number are 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, 75, 100, 150, 200, 250 and 500.

Additionally, to shape the structure of an antenna system in some embodiments the segments of the antenna contour should be shorter than at least one fifth of a free-space wavelength corresponding to the lowest frequency band of operation, and possibly shorter than one tenth of said free-space wavelength. Moreover, in some further examples the segments of the antenna contour should be shorter than at least one twentieth of said free-space wavelength.

The antenna contour needs to make efficient use of the area of the antenna rectangle in order to attain enough geometrical complexity to make the resulting structure of an antenna system suitable for the MFWD 100. In particular, according to the present invention, the antenna contour preferably comes into contact with each of the four (4) sides of the antenna rectangle in at least one point of each side of the antenna rectangle. The antenna contour should include at least ten segments in order to provide some multiple frequency band behavior, and/or size reduction, and/or enhanced RF performance to the resulting antenna system. However, a larger number of segments may be used, such as for instance 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50 or more segments. In general, the larger the number of segments of the antenna contour and the narrower the angles between connected segments, the more convoluted the structure of the antenna system becomes. The number of segments of the antenna contour may be less than 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, 75, 100, 150, 200, 250 or 500.

The length of the antenna contour of an antenna system is defined as the sum of the lengths of each one of the disjointed subsets that make up the antenna contour. The larger the length of the antenna contour, the higher the richness of the antenna contour in at least one of edges, angles, corners or discontinuities, making the resulting structure of an antenna system suitable for a MFWD.

In some examples the length of the antenna contour is larger than 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 15, 20, 25, 30, 40, or more times the length of the diagonal of the antenna rectangle or less than any of those values.

Each of the one or more antenna elements comprised in the antenna system might be arranged according to different antenna topologies, such as for instance any one of the topologies selected from the following list: monopole antenna, dipole antenna, folded dipole antenna, loop antenna, patch antenna (and its derivatives for instance PIFA antennas), IFA antenna, slot antenna. Any of such antenna arrangements might comprise a dielectric material with a high dielectric constant (for instance larger than 3) to influence the operating frequency, impedance or both aspects of the antenna system.

In accordance with embodiments of the invention, the level of complexity of an antenna contour can be advantageously parameterized by means of two complexity factors, hereinafter referred to as F21 and F32, which capture and characterize certain aspects of the geometrical details of the antenna contour (such as for instance its edge-richness, angle-richness and/or discontinuity-richness) when viewed at different levels of scale.

For the computation of F21 and F32 of a particular antenna, a first, a second, and a third grid (hereinafter called grid G1, grid G2 and grid G3 respectively) of substantially square or rectangular cells are placed on the antenna rectangle. The three grids are adaptive to the antenna rectangle. That is, the size and aspect ratio of the cells of each one of said three grids is determined by the size and aspect ratio of the antenna rectangle itself. The use of adaptive grids is advantageous because it provides a sufficient number of cells within the antenna rectangle to fully capture the geometrical features of the antenna contour at differing levels of detail.

Moreover, the three grids are selected to span a range of levels of scale corresponding to two octaves: A cell of grid size G2 is half the size of a cell of grid G1 (i.e., a ½ scaling factor or an octave of scale); a cell of grid size G3 is half the size of a cell of grid G2, or one fourth the size of a cell of grid G1 (i.e., a ¼ scaling factor or two octaves of scale). A range of scales of two octaves provides a sufficient variation in the size of the cells across the three grids as to capture gradually from the coarser features of the antenna contour to the finer ones.

Grids G1 and G3 are constructed from grid G2, which needs to be defined in the first place.

As far as the second grid (or grid G2) is concerned, the size of a cell and its aspect ratio (i.e., the ratio between the width and the height of the cells) are first chosen so that the antenna rectangle is perfectly tessellated with an odd number of columns and an odd number of rows.

In the present invention, columns of cells are associated with the longer side of an antenna rectangle, while rows of cells are associated with a shorter side of the antenna rectangle. In other words, a longer side of the antenna rectangle spans a number of columns, with the columns being parallel to the shorter side of the antenna rectangle. In the same way a shorter side of the antenna rectangle spans a number of rows, with the rows being parallel to the longer side of the antenna rectangle.

If the antenna rectangle is tessellated with an excessive number of columns, then the size of the resulting cells is much smaller than the range of typical sizes of the features necessary to shape the antenna contour. However, if the antenna rectangle is tessellated with an insufficient number of columns, then the size of the resulting cells is much larger than the range of typical sizes of the features necessary to shape the antenna contour. It has been found that setting to nine (9) the number of columns that tessellate the antenna rectangle provides an advantageous compromise, for the preferred sizes of an MFWD, and the corresponding available volumes for the antenna system, according to the present invention. Therefore, a cell width (W2) is selected to be equal to a ninth ( 1/9) of the length of the longer side of the antenna rectangle (W).

Moreover, it is also advantageous to use cells that have an aspect ratio close to one. In other words, the number of columns and rows of cells of the second grid that tessellate the antenna rectangle are selected to produce a cell as square as possible. A grid formed by cells having an aspect ratio close to one is preferred in order to perceive features of the antenna contour using approximately a same level of scale along two orthogonal directions defined by the longer side and the shorter side of the antenna rectangle. Therefore, preferably, the cell height (H2) is obtained by dividing the length of the shorter side of the antenna rectangle (H) by the odd integer number larger than one (1) and smaller than, or equal to, nine (9), that results in an aspect ratio W2/H2 closest to one.

In the particular case that two different combinations of a number of columns and rows of cells of the second grid produce a cell as square as possible, a second grid is selected such that the aspect ratio is larger than 1.

Thus, the antenna rectangle is tessellated perfectly with 9 by (2n+1) cells of grid G2, wherein n is an integer larger than zero (0) and smaller than five (5).

A first grid (or grid G1) is obtained by combining four (4) cells of the grid G2. Each cell of the grid G1 consists of a 2-by-2 arrangement of cells of grid G2. Therefore, a cell of the grid G1 has a cell width equal to twice (2) the width of a cell of the second grid (W2) (i.e., W1=2×W2); and a cell height (H1) equal to twice (2) the height of a cell of the second grid (H2) (i.e., H1=2×H2).

Since grid G2 tessellates perfectly the antenna rectangle with an odd number of columns and an odd number of rows, an additional row and an additional column of cells of said grid G2 are necessary to have enough cells of the grid G1 as to completely cover the antenna rectangle.

In order to uniquely define the tessellation of the antenna rectangle with grid G1 a corner of said antenna rectangle is selected to start placing the cells of the grid G1.

A feeding point corner is defined as being the corner of the antenna rectangle closest to a feeding point of the antenna system responsible for the operation of the antenna system in its lowest frequency band. In case that the feeding point is placed at an equal distance from more than one corner of the antenna box, then the corner closest to a perimeter of the ground plane of the PCB of the MFWD 100 is selected, preferably the corner closest to a shorter edge of the ground-plane rectangle. In case both corners are placed at the same distance from the feeding point and from the shorter edge of the ground-plane rectangle, the feeding point corner will be chosen as follows. For reasons of ergonomics and taking into account the absorption of radiation in the hand of the MFWD user, and considering that there is a predominance of right hand users, it has been observed that in some embodiments it is convenient to place a feeding point and/or to designate the feeding point corner on the corner of the antenna rectangle which is closer to a left corner of the ground plane rectangle. That is, the left side of the ground plane rectangle being the closest to the left side of the MFWD 100 as seen by a right-handed user typically holding the MFWD 100 with the right hand to originate a phone call, while facing a display of the MFWD 100. Also, the selection of the feeding point corner on the top or bottom corner on the left side of the MFWD 100 depends on the position of the antenna system with respect to a body of the MFWD 100. That is, an upper-left corner of the antenna rectangle is preferred in those cases in which the antenna system is placed substantially near the top part of the body of the MFWD (usually, above and/or behind a display) and a lower-left corner of the antenna rectangle is preferred in those cases in which the antenna system is placed substantially near the bottom part of the body of the MFWD 100 (usually, below and/or behind a keypad). Again, due to ergonomics reasons, a top and a bottom part of a body of a MFWD are defined as seen by a right-handed user holding MFWD typically with the right hand to originate a phone call, while facing a display 501 as seen in FIGS. 5 (a) and 5 (b).

A first cell of the grid G1 is then created by grouping four (4) cells of grid G2 in such a manner that a corner of the first cell is the feeding point corner, and the first cell is positioned completely inside the antenna rectangle.

Once the first cell of the grid G1 is placed, other cells of said grid G1 can be placed uniquely defining the relative position of the grid G1 with respect to the antenna rectangle. The antenna rectangle spans 5 by (n+1) cells of the grid G1, (when G2 includes 9 columns) requiring the additional row and the additional column of cells of the grid G2 that meet at the corner of the antenna rectangle that is opposite to the feeding point corner, and that are not included in the antenna rectangle.

The complexity factor F21 is computed by counting the number of cells N1 of the grid G1 that are at least partially inside the antenna rectangle and include at least a point of the antenna contour (in the present invention the boundary of the cell is also part of the cell), and the number of cells N2 of the grid G2 that are completely inside the antenna rectangle and include at least a point of the antenna contour, and then applying the following formula:

F 21 = - log ( N 2 ) - log ( N 1 ) log ( 1 / 2 )

Complexity factor F21 is predominantly characterized by capturing the complexity and degree of convolution of features of the antenna contour that appear when the contour is viewed at coarser levels of scale. As it is illustrated in the example of FIGS. 8A-C, the election of grid G1 801 and grid G2 802, and the fact that with grid G2 802 the antenna rectangle 800 is perfectly tessellated by an odd number of columns and an odd number of rows, results in a value of the factor F21 equal to one for an antenna contour shaped as the antenna rectangle 800. On the other hand, an antenna contour whose shape is inspired in a Hilbert curve that fills the antenna rectangle 800 features a value of the factor F21 smaller than two. Therefore the factor F21 is geared more towards assessing an overall complexity of an antenna contour (i.e., whether the degree of convolution of an antenna contour distinguishes sufficiently from a simple rectangular shape when looked at from a zoomed-out view), rather than estimating if the full complexity of an antenna contour (i.e., the complexity of the antenna contour when looked at from a zoomed-in view) approaches that of a highly-convoluted curve such as the Hilbert curve.

Moreover, in some embodiments the factor F21 is related to the number of paths that a structure of the antenna system provides to electric currents and/or the equivalent magnetic currents to excite radiation modes (i.e., factor F21 tends to increase with the number of antenna portions within the structure of the antenna system and/or the number of antenna elements that form the antenna system). In general, the more frequency bands and/or radiation modes that need to be supported by the antenna structure of the MFWD 100, the higher the value of the factor F21 that needs to be attained by the antenna contour of the antenna system of the MFWD 100. This is in particular more important as the size of the antenna rectangle decreases.

A third grid (or grid G3) is readily obtained by subdividing each cell of grid G2 into four cells, with each of the cells having a cell width (W3) equal to one half (½) of the width of a cell of the second grid (W2) (i.e., W3=½×W2); and a cell height (H3) equal to one half (½) of the height of a cell of the second grid (H2) (i.e., H3=½×H2).

Therefore, since each cell of the grid G2 is replaced with 2-by-2 cells of the grid G3, then 18 by (4n+2) cells of grid G3 are thus required to tessellate completely the antenna rectangle.

The complexity factor F32 is computed by counting the number of cells N2 of grid G2 that are completely inside the antenna rectangle and include at least a point of the antenna contour, and the number of cells N3 of the grid G3 that are completely inside the antenna rectangle and include at least a point of the antenna contour, and applying then the following formula:

F 32 = - log ( N 3 ) - log ( N 2 ) log ( 1 / 2 )

Complexity factor F32 is predominantly characterized by capturing the complexity and degree of convolution of features of the antenna contour that appear when the contour is viewed at finer levels of scale. As it is illustrated in the example of FIGS. 8A-C, the election of grid G2 802 and grid G3 803 is such that an antenna contour whose shape is inspired in a Hilbert curve that fills the antenna rectangle 800 features a value of the factor F32 equal to two. On the other hand, an antenna contour shaped as the antenna rectangle 800 features a value of the factor F32 larger than one. Therefore the factor F32 is geared more towards evaluating the full complexity of an antenna contour (i.e., whether the degree of convolution of an antenna contour tends to approach that of a highly-convoluted curve such as the Hilbert curve), rather than discerning if said antenna contour is substantially different from a rectangular shape.

Moreover, the factor F32 is in some embodiments related to the degree of miniaturization achieved by the antenna system. In general, the smaller the antenna box of the MFWD 100, the higher the value of the factor F32 that needs to be attained by the antenna contour of the antenna system of the MFWD 100.

In some embodiments, an increase of the complexity factor F32 allows to reposition radiation modes of the antenna system that otherwise would occur at frequencies well above the 1710 MHz-1990 MHz region and/or the 1900 MHz-2170 MHz region of the electromagnetic spectrum. In some other examples, an increase of the complexity factor F32 may also introduce additional radiation modes within the 1710 MHz-1990 MHz region and/or the 1900 MHz-2170 MHz region. Therefore, the complexity factor F32 may be advantageous to increase the number of frequency bands supported by a given antenna system, while at the same time contributing to the miniaturization of said antenna system.

The complexity factors F21 and F32 span a two-dimensional space on which the antenna contour of the antenna system of the MFWD 100 is mapped as a single point with coordinates (F21, F32). Such a mapping can be advantageously used to guide the design of the antenna system by tailoring the degree of convolution of the antenna contour until some preferred values of the factors F21 and F32 are attained, so that the resulting antenna system: (a) provides the required number of frequency bands in which the MFWD operates; (b) meets MFWD size and/or integration constraints; and/or (c) enhances the RF performance of the antenna system and/or that of the MFWD in at least one of the frequency bands of operation.

In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the MFWD 100 comprises an antenna system whose antenna contour features a complexity factor F21 larger than one and a complexity factor F32 larger than one. In a preferred embodiment, the MFWD 100 comprises an antenna system whose antenna contour features a complexity factor F21 larger than or equal to 1.1 and a complexity factor F32 larger than or equal to 1.1.

In some examples the antenna contour features a complexity factor F32 larger than a certain minimum value in order to achieve some degree of miniaturization.

An antenna contour with a complexity factor F32 approximately equal to two, despite achieving substantial size reduction, may not be preferred for the MFWD 100 of the present invention as the antenna system is likely to have reduced capability to operate in multiple frequency bands and/or limited RF performance. Therefore in some examples of embodiments of the present invention the antenna contour features a complexity factor F32 smaller than a certain maximum value in order to achieve enhanced RF performance.

In some cases of embodiments of the present invention the antenna contour features a complexity factor F32 larger than said minimum value but smaller than said maximum value.

Said minimum and maximum values for the complexity factor F32 can be selected from the list of values comprising: 1.10, 1.15, 1.20, 1.25, 1.30, 1.35, 1.40, 1.45, 1.50, 1.55, 1.60, 1.65, 1.70, 1.75, 1.80, 1.85, and 1.90.

Similarly, in some examples an antenna contour advantageously features a complexity factor F21 larger than a lower bound and/or smaller than an upper bound. The lower and upper bounds for the complexity factor F21 can be selected from the list of comprising: 1.05, 1.10, 1.15, 1.20, 1.25, 1.30, 1.35, 1.40, 1.45, 1.50, 1.55, 1.60, 1.65, 1.70, 1.75, and 1.80.

The complexity factors F21 and F32 have turned out to be relevant parameters that allow for an effective antenna design. Evaluation of those parameters gives good hints on possible changes of antennas in order to obtain improved antennas.

In some cases the parameters F21 and F32 allow for easy identification of unsuitable antennas. Further those parameters may also be used in numerical optimization algorithms as target values or to define target intervals in order to speed up such algorithms.

In the following paragraphs some parameter ranges for F21 and F32 which have turned out to be particularly advantageous or useful are summarized.

It has been found that for MFWDs it is particularly useful to have a value of F21 larger than 1.43, 1.45, 1.47 or even preferably greater than 1.50. Such values in this complexity factor translate into a richer frequency response of the antenna which allows for more possible resonant frequencies and more frequency bands with better bandwidths or a combination of those effects.

Furthermore, for SMRT or MMT, design demands may be different since those devices are usually larger and a reduction of the antenna size is not of such utmost importance, but energy consumption may be important since those devices have to operate to provide many different functionalities. For those devices a complexity factor F21 of only more than 1.39, preferably 1.41 or most preferred more than 1.43 turns out to be advantageous.

For clamshell, twist or slider devices it has to be taken into account that those phones consist of at least two parts which may be moved relative to each other. As a result only a small amount of space is available for the phones and hence, a value of F21 of more than 1.43, 1.45, 1.47, or even more preferably greater than 1.50 is advantageous. The same applies to slim devices. For those devices, where there is the requirement of the antenna to be flat, a value of F21 greater than the above-mentioned limits provides sufficient possibilities for fringing electromagnetic fields to escape from the area below a patch such that the patch achieves a higher bandwidth and a higher gain. The antenna in case of clamshell, twist or slider devices does not necessarily have to become a patch or patch-like antenna.

For some MFWDs it is usually not possible to allocate a certain volume of space which is only available for the antenna. It may, for example, be necessary to fit an antenna around one, two or more openings in which a camera, a speaker, RF connectors, digital connectors, speaker connectors, power connectors, infrared ports and/or mechanical elements such as screws, plastic insets, posts or clips have to be provided. The respective opening(s) can be achieved by a certain value F21 which is higher than 1.38, 1.40, or 1.42, or more preferably greater than 1.45 or 1.50. It turns out that with such values for F21 it is possible to provide sufficient opening in order to insert other components.

For those antennas which in their physical properties come quite close to patch antennas namely those with an overlap between the antenna and the ground-plane-(patch-like antennas), a value of F21 being higher than 1.45, 1.47, 1.50, or 1.60 turns out to be a good measure for an antenna to provide an expected improved bandwidth or gain with respect to a patch antenna without any complexity in at least one of the frequency bands. This region for F21 further turns out to be useful for an MFWD with two or more RF transceivers. With a lower value it will be difficult to sufficiently isolate the two RF transceivers against each other. By the complexity factor F21 being more than 1.45, 1.47 or 1.50 the two RF transceivers can be electrically separated sufficiently, e.g. by connecting them to two antenna portions which are not in direct electrical contact.

The last mentioned range is also equally suitable for a MFWD with two, three or more antenna elements. Those elements may be convoluted into each other in order to occupy less space which translates into a high value of F21.

A MFWD with an antenna with a complexity factor of F32 being larger than 1.55, 1.57 or 1.60 is advantageous. Such a high value of F32 provides an additional factor for tuning the frequency of high frequency bands without changing the gross geometry for low frequency bands. For this range of F32 it turns out that the parameter F21 being lower than 1.41, 1.39, 1.37, or 1.35 is advantageous since for a high value of F32 which provides some miniaturization, F21 may be low in particular to avoid an antenna with too many separate portions or antenna arms since such independent portions are difficult to physically secure with a device in order to achieve proper mechanical robustness.

For a SMRT or MMT device a value of F32 being larger than 1.50, 1.52, 1.55 or 1.60 is desirable. The phones which usually operate in high frequency bands such as UMTS and/or a wireless connectivity at a frequency of around 2.4 GHz a higher value of F32 can be used to appropriately adapt the antenna to a desired resonance frequency and/or bandwidth in those bands.

For slim devices (thickness less than 14 mm, 13 mm, 12 mm, 11 mm, 10 mm, 9 mm or 8 mm) it turns out that a parameter of F32 being larger than 1.60, 1.62 or 1.65 may be desired in order to achieve an edge rich structure that reduces the problems of certain antenna structures, such as flat patch antennas. A high value of F32 may lead to an increased bandwidth which is useful in certain cases such as coverage of the UMTS band. For the same reasons, in some embodiments of MFWD and particularly in slim devices, it is preferred that the intersection of the projection of the antenna rectangle 110 onto the ground plane rectangle 202 is less than 90% of the area of said antenna rectangle. In particular, such a intersection should be in some cases below 80%, 70%, 50%, 30%, 20% or 10% of said area. Such values for the intersection may be given also for devices which are not considered slim.

For clamshell, twist or slider devices, even higher values of F32 such as higher than 1.63, 1.65, 1.68 or 1.70 may be necessary since in those MFWDs the antennas have to be even more flat.

MFWDs which have a camera or any other item such as a connector integrated in the antenna box it is desirable to have a value of F32 being larger than 1.56, 1.58, 1.60 or 1.63. For those devices it turns out that the mechanical fixing of the antenna may be difficult due to other items which are within the antenna box. With a high value of F32 being more than 1.55, or the other values mentioned above, the antenna usually has an edge or recess rich structure that facilitates fixing of the antenna at its border. Therefore, usually there is no problem in mechanically securing an antenna with a high value of F32 within a wireless device.

For antennas which are overlapping with the ground plane of a PCB of the MFWD with at least 50% or 100%, it is possible to achieve appropriate antenna performance even if the value of F21 is smaller than e.g. 1.42, 1.40 or 1.38 in cases that the complexity factor F32 is more than 1.55. Such edges, curves or steps in the border which lead to a high value of F32, increase efficiency and gain since they lead to strong reorientations of current. This may compensate for lower values of F21, in particular for antennas of patch-like geometry (i.e. those where the antenna overlaps 100% with the ground plane of a PCB of the MFWD).

Equally for MFWDs with two or more RF transceivers, efficient antennas are possible for values of F21 being lower than 1.40, 1.38 or 1.35 in cases that the complexity factor F32 is larger than 1.50, 1.52, 1.53, 1.57 or 1.60. Appropriate separation of the two RF transceivers is difficult with a low value of F21. It may still be possible, however, with a high complexity value of F32, which enables some kind of compensation for a low value of F21.

In some embodiments, when a high level of complexity is sought it might be necessary to design an antenna system whose structure comprises 2, 3 or more antenna elements. Such complexity may be achieved at a coarser and/or finer level of detail. When a high level of complexity is sought in a coarser level of detail, a high value of F21 might be required, namely more than 1.43, 1.45, 1.47, or 1.50. When a high level of complexity is sought in a finer level of detail, a high value of F32 might be required, namely more than 1.61, 1.63, 1.65 or 1.70.

Furthermore, it turns out that for some MFWDs with three or more antenna elements, a value of F21 lower than 1.36, 1.34, 1.32, 1.30, or even less than 1.25 is advantageous. In these cases the use of an additional antenna element pursues the enhancement of the radio electric performance of the antenna system in at least one of the frequency bands rather than introducing an additional frequency band disjoined from those already supported by the antenna system. For the above mentioned reason it may be advantageous to keep the value of F21 below a certain maximum. That can be achieved by reducing the separation of the third or additional antenna elements with respect to the antenna elements already present in the structure of the antenna system, so that the gaps between those antenna elements are not fully observed at a coarser level of detail. Therefore, for MFWDs with three or more antenna elements, lower values of F21 may be preferred in certain cases. Additionally, the separation of the antenna system into three or more antenna elements allows for easier adaptation of each antenna element to space requirements within the MFWD such that miniaturization is not such an issue. Therefore, it is possible to have antennas with larger dimensions which then provide for improved radiation efficiency, higher gain and also simply easier design and hence, less costly antennas.

With MFWDs, in general, it turns out to be particularly useful to have a value of F21 greater than 1.42, 1.44, 1.46, 1.48 or 1.50 while at the same time having a value of F32 being lower than 1.44, 1.42, 1.40 or 1.38. This is because for the portion of the antenna that resonates at low frequencies (which means long wavelengths, and hence, a long antenna portion), higher miniaturization is required. This miniaturization of large-scale portions translates into a high value of F21 and vice versa. For higher frequencies which have smaller wavelengths, there is not such a strong requirement for miniaturization but, rather an enhanced bandwidth is desired. Therefore lower values of F32 may be preferred. Low values of F32 further allow for maximum efficiency since those antennas do not need to be extremely miniaturized.

It is particularly useful to use a parameter range of F21 being more than 1.32, 1.34 or 1.36 and less than 1.54, 1.52 or 1.50 while at the same time F32 is less than 1.44, 1.42 or 1.40 and more than 1.22, 1.24 or 1.26. In this parameter range the values of F21 and F32 assume intermediate values which give the possibility of having different design parameters such as smallness, multi-band and broadband operation, as well as an appropriate antenna gain and efficiency to be taken into account equally. This parameter range is particularly useful for MFWDs where there is no single or no two design parameters which are of outstanding importance.

Another useful parameter range is given by F21 being less than 1.32, 1.30 or 1.28 with a value of F32 being less than 1.54, 1.52 or 1.50 and at the same time being greater than 1.34, 1.36 or 1.38. This parameter range is useful for MFWDs where the robustness of the device is of outstanding importance since a low value of F21 leads to devices with a particularly simple geometry without having many highly diffracted portions which are difficult to mechanically secure individually within a device. In order to achieve some miniaturization, however, a value of F32 in the indicated range is preferred when taking into account the trade off between the disadvantages of too high values of F32 (in terms of too strong miniaturization which leads to a poor bandwidth) while on the other hand wanting to have at least some kind of miniaturization corresponding to F32 being above a lower limit.

For some MFWDs it may be desirable to have the value of F32 being less than 1.52, 1.50, 1.48, or 1.45. It was found that antenna elements with highly complex borders are often quite difficult to manufacture and assemble. For instance stamping tools require more resolution and wear out more easily in case of complex borders (which means high value of F32) which translates into higher manufacturing costs (tooling manufacturing costs, tool maintenance cost, larger number of hits per piece of the stamping tool) and delivery lead times, particularly for large volume production.

This turns out to be important for large volume devices such as slim phones where mass production is common. High volume puts extreme pressure on manufacturing costs, time to market and production volumes.

Additionally, shapes with high factors of F32 are very complicated to model with appropriate CAD tools as the very complicated shapes turn out to consume a lot of computing time. This increases development costs which in turn increases total costs of such an antenna design.

Equally, for clamshell, twist or slider phones (which may have a major portion of the market share where mass manufacturing is carried out), it may be desirable to have a value of F32 being less than 1.30, 1.28 or 1.26.

For relatively low cost and robust antenna design, it is preferable to have the value of F21 being more than 1.15 or 1.17 and at the same time being less than 1.40, 1.38 or 1.36 while the value of F32 is less than 1.30, 1.28 and more than 1.15 or 1.17.

Additionally, it is advantageous to have a SMRT or a MMT device which is of the type twist, or clamshell.

For a MFWD which is slim (which here means it has a thickness of less than on the order of 14 mm) and is of the type clamshell, twist or slider the flatness requirement is very demanding because each of the parts forming the clamshell, twist or slider may only have a maximum thickness of 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9 mm. With the technology disclosed herein, it is possible to design flat antennas even for such MFWDs.

A MFWD incorporating 3.5G or 4G features (i.e. comprising 3G and other advanced services such as for instance HSDPA, WiBro, WiFi, WiMAX, UWB or other high-speed wireless standards, hereinafter 4G services) might require operation in additional frequency bands corresponding to said 4G standards (for instance, bands within the frequency region 2-11 GHz and some of its sub-regions such as for instance 2-11 GHz, 3-10 GHz, 2.4-2.5 GHz and 56 GHz or some other bands). In some cases, to achieve a maximum volume compactness it would be advantageous that the same antenna system is capable of supporting the radiation modes corresponding to the additional frequency bands. Nevertheless, this approach can be inconvenient as it will increase complexity to the RF circuitry of the MFWD 100, for example by filters to separate the frequency bands of the 4G services from the frequency bands of the rest of services. Therefore it may be advantageous to have a dedicated antenna for 4G services although inside the antenna box.

In other cases, achieving good isolation between the frequency bands of the 4G services and the frequency bands of the rest of services (3G and below) is preferred to compactness. In those cases the 4G antenna (i.e. the one or more additional antenna covering one or more of the 4G services) will preferably be separated as much as possible from the antenna box. Generally the longer side of the antenna rectangle is placed alongside a short edge of the ground plane rectangle. In some cases it would be advantageous to place the 4G antenna substantially close to the edge that is opposite to the shorter edge. In other cases it would be advantageous to place the 4G antenna substantially close to an edge that is adjacent to the shorter edge. Therefore since the MFWDs physical dimensions are usually predefined, the separation between antennas can be further increased by reducing the shorter side of the antenna rectangle and thus increasing its aspect ratio. As a consequence, for those devices, it may be desirable to have a value of F32 higher than 1.35, 1.50, 1.60, 1.65 or 1.75. When the complexity factor F21 is in the lower half of the typical range, for example when F21 is smaller than 1.40, it may be advantageous to have a value of F32 higher than 1.35. On the other hand when the complexity factor F21 is in the upper half of its typical range, for example when F21 is larger than 1.45, it may be advantageous to have a value of F32 higher than a minimum value that can be selected from the list of values comprising: 1.10, 1.15, 1.20, 1.25, 1.30, 1.35, 1.40, 1.45, 1.50, 1.55, 1.60, 1.65, 1.70, 1.75, 1.80, 1.85, and 1.90.

Advantageously MFWD including 4G services may have two or more dedicated antennas for the 4G services forming an antenna diversity arrangement. In those cases not only is good isolation between the antenna system and the antennas for the 4G services required but also good isolation between the two or more antennas forming the antenna diversity arrangement.

One, two or more 4G antennas may be IFA-antennas and they may be located outside of the ground plane rectangle. They may be located next to the ground plane. One, two or more 4G antennas may be slot antennas, preferably within the ground plane.

Typically the number of contacts in an antenna system is proportional to the number of RF transceivers coupled to the antenna system and to the number of antenna elements comprised in the structure of the antenna system. Each RF transceiver drives an antenna element through typically one contact. Additionally each of the antenna elements may have a second contact for grounding purposes. Parasitic antenna elements typically comprise a contact terminal used for grounding purposes.

In some examples, the MFWD integrates an antenna system in such a way that the antenna rectangle of the antenna system is at least partially (such as for instance at least a 10%, 20%, 30%, 40%, 50% or even 60%) or completely on the projection of the ground plane rectangle of said MFWD. In some other examples, the antenna rectangle is completely outside of the projection of the ground plane rectangle of said MFWD.

In other examples in which the antenna rectangle of an antenna system is in the projection of the ground plane rectangle of a MFWD in an area of less than 10%, 20% or 30% of the antenna rectangle, the antenna contour of the antenna system preferably features a complexity factor F21 larger than 1.20, 1.30, 1.40 or 1.50. In still other examples in which the antenna rectangle of an antenna system is in the projection of the ground plane rectangle of a MFWD in an area larger than 80%, 90% or 95% of said antenna rectangle, the antenna contour of the antenna system preferably features a complexity factor F21 smaller 1.30, 1.35, 1.40 or 1.45.

Another aspect of the integration of an antenna system within a MFWD is the positioning of the antenna system with respect to the one or more bodies comprised in the MFWD.

An antenna system can be integrated either in the top part of the body of a MFWD (usually, above and/or behind a display), or in the bottom part of a body of the MFWD (usually, below and/or behind a keypad).

In some examples, an antenna system integrated within the bottom part of a body of a MFWD features advantageously an antenna contour with a complexity factor F21 smaller than 1.45 and a complexity factor F32 smaller than 1.50, since generally there is quite a bit more space available in such a part of the device. In some other examples, the antenna contour preferably features a factor F21 larger than 1.45 and/or a factor F32 larger than 1.75.

In some examples, an antenna system integrated on the top part of the body of a MFWD advantageously features an antenna contour with a complexity factor F21 smaller than 1.30, 1.25, or 1.20. In some other examples, the antenna contour preferably features a factor F21 larger than 1.45, 1.50 or 1.55.

In some cases, a two-body MFWD (such as for instance a clamshell or a flip-phone, a twist device, or a slider device) integrates the antenna system in the vicinity of the hinge that allows rotation of at least one of the two bodies. In such cases, the antenna contour of the antenna system preferably features a complexity factor F21 larger than 1.20 and/or a complexity factor F32 larger than or equal to 1.55.

Further of advantage for a general trade off between multiple parameters are values of a complexity factor of F21 being more than 1.52 and less than 1.65 and/or a complexity factor F32 being more than 1.55 and less than 1.70.

In some examples in which the antenna system of a MFWD operates in at least four, five or more frequency bands, the antenna contour of said antenna system features a complexity factor F21 preferably between 1.20 and 1.75 (more preferably between 1.35 and 1.75) and/or a complexity factor F32 preferably between 1.25 and 1.75. (and more preferably between 1.35 and 1.75). Moreover, it may be advantageous to select the values of the complexity factors F21 and F32, such that they substantially verify the following relation


F 32 =AF 21 +B

wherein A is preferably between 0.10 and 0.60, and more preferably between 0.25 and 0.45; and B is preferably between 0.50 and 1.50, and more preferably between 0.75 and 1.25.

ILLUSTRATION EXAMPLES

Referring now to FIG. 1B, there is shown a perspective view of a MFWD 100 comprising, in this particular example, only one body. A volume of space 101 within the MFWD 100 is made available for the integration of an antenna system. The MFWD 100 also comprises a multilayer PCB that includes feeding means and/or grounding means. A layer 102 of the PCB serves as a ground plane of the antenna system.

An antenna box 103 is obtained as a minimum-sized parallelepiped that completely encloses the volume 101. In this example, the antenna box 103 has rectangular faces 104-109. According to the present invention as described above, the structure of the antenna system comes into contact with each of the six (6) faces of the antenna box 104-109 in at least one point of each face. Moreover, the antenna system of MFWD 100 has no portion that extends outside the antenna box 103.

An antenna rectangle 110 is obtained as the orthogonal projection of the antenna box 103 along the normal to the face with largest area, which in this case is the direction normal to faces 104 and 105.

Referring now to FIG. 2A, there is shown a top plan view of the MFWD 100. For the sake of clarity, the volume of space 101 has been omitted in FIG. 2A. A ground plane rectangle 200 is adjusted around the layer 102 that serves as a ground plane to the antenna system of the MFWD 100. The ground plane rectangle 200 is the minimum-sized rectangle in which each of its edges is tangent to at least one point of the perimeter of layer 102.

FIG. 2B depicts the relative position of the ground plane rectangle 200 and the antenna rectangle 110 for the MFWD 100 of FIG. 1A. The antenna rectangle 110 has a long side 203 and a short side 204. The ground plane rectangle 110 has a long edge 202 and a short edge 201.

In this particular example, the antenna rectangle 110 and the ground plane rectangle 200 lie substantially on a same plane (i.e., the antenna rectangle 110 and the ground plane rectangle 200 are substantially coplanar). Furthermore, a long side 203 of the antenna rectangle 110 is substantially parallel to a short edge 201 of the ground plane rectangle 200, while in some other embodiments it will be substantially parallel to a long edge 202 of the ground plane rectangle 200.

In this example, the antenna rectangle 110 is partially overlapping the ground plane rectangle 200. Although in other cases, they can be completely overlapping or completely non-overlapping. Moreover, in this example the placement of the antenna rectangle 110 is not symmetrical with respect to an axis of symmetry that is parallel to the long edge 202 of the ground plane rectangle 200 and that passes by the middle point of the short edge 201 of said ground plane rectangle 200. In other words, the antenna rectangle 110 is shifted slightly to the left as seen in this view.

FIG. 3 shows an example of a structure of an antenna system contained within an antenna box 301. In this particular example, the structure comprises only one antenna element 300. The antenna element 300 has been shaped to be able to support different radiation modes, in order that the resulting antenna system can operate in multiple frequency bands. In particular, two apertures 302 and 303 with closed perimeters have been created in the antenna element 300. Additionally, the antenna element 300 also features an opening 304 that increases the number of segments that form the perimeter of the antenna element 300. The antenna element 300 also includes two parts 305 and 306 that are bent 90° with respect to the rest of the antenna element 300, but are fully contained in the antenna box 301.

The bottom part of FIG. 3 shows an antenna rectangle 351 associated with the antenna box 301. The antenna rectangle 351 contains the antenna contour 350 associated with the antenna element 300.

The antenna contour 350 comprises three disjointed subsets of segments: (a) a first subset is formed by the segments of the perimeter 357 (which includes both external segments of the antenna element 300 and those segments added to said antenna element by the opening 304) and the group of segments 356 corresponding to the orthogonal projection of part 306 of the antenna element 300; (b) a second subset is formed by the segments 352 associated to the perimeter of aperture 302; and (c) a third subset is formed by the segments 353 associated to the perimeter of aperture 303.

Note that in this example, part 305 of the antenna element 300 has an orthogonal projection that completely matches a segment of the perimeter 357, and therefore does not increase the number of segments of the antenna contour 350.

Referring now to FIG. 4 there is shown how the structure of an antenna system such as the one presented in FIG. 3 can be obtained by appropriately shaping a rectangular conducting plate 400. The structure in FIG. 4 can be seen to have been formed in three steps (top to down) in a manufacturing process of antenna system by means of, for instance, a stamping process.

The top part of FIG. 4 shows the plate 400 occupying (and extending beyond) the antenna rectangle 351 (represented as a dash-dot line). The cut out lines that delimit those parts of the conducting plate 400 that will be removed are depicted as dashed lines. A peripheral part of the plate 400 will be removed, as indicated by the outline 401. Additionally, two closed apertures will be created as defined by outline 402 and outline 403.

The middle part of FIG. 4 shows a planar structure 430 resulting after eliminating the parts of plate 400 that will not be used to create the antenna system. In the planar structure 430, two closed apertures 302 and 303, and an opening 304 can be identified.

The planar structure 430 has a first part 405, and a second part 406, that extend beyond the antenna rectangle 351. The first and second parts 405 and 406 are bent or folded so that their orthogonal projection does not extend outside the antenna rectangle 351.

The bottom part of FIG. 4 shows the antenna element 300 obtained from the planar structure 430. The antenna element 300 is a three-dimensional structure that fits within the antenna box 301 (also depicted as a dash-dot line). The first part of the planar structure 405 is bent 90 degrees downwards (in the direction indicated by arrow 431) to become part 305 of the antenna element 300. The second part of the planar structure 406 is folded twice to become part 306 of said antenna element 300. The second part 406 is rotated a first time 90 degrees downwards (as indicated by the arrow 432), and then at another point along the second part 406 rotated a second time 90 degrees leftwards (as indicated by the arrow 433).

Referring now to FIG. 5A-B there is shown a MFWD 500 consisting of a single body being typically held by a right-handed user to originate a phone call while facing a display 501 of the MFWD 500. The MFWD 500 comprises an antenna system and a PCB that includes a layer that serves as a ground plane of the antenna system 502 (depicted in dashed line). The antenna system is arranged inside an antenna box, whose antenna rectangle 503, 504 is depicted also in dashed line. The antenna rectangle 503, 504 is in the projection of the ground plane layer 502. In the case of FIG. 5A, the antenna rectangle 503 is placed substantially in the top part of the body of the MFWD 500 (i.e., above and/or behind a display 501), while in FIG. 5B the antenna rectangle 504 is placed substantially in the bottom part of the body of the MFWD 500 (i.e., below and/or behind a keypad).

For reasons of ergonomics, it is advantageous in the examples of FIG. 5 to select a corner of the antenna rectangle close to the left edge of the MFWD 500. The upper left corner of the antenna rectangle 505 is selected as the feeding point corner in the case of FIG. 5A, while the lower left corner of the antenna rectangle 506 is selected as the feeding point corner in the case of FIG. 5B. In these two examples the corners designated as feeding point corners 505, 506 are also substantially close to a short edge of a ground plane rectangle (not depicted in FIG. 5) that encloses the ground plane layer 502.

FIG. 5C illustrates an alternate embodiment of a MFWD 500 having a clamshell-type configuration. The MFWD 500 includes a lower circuit board 522, an upper circuit board 524, and an antenna system. The antenna system is arranged inside an antenna box, whose antenna rectangle 523 is depicted also in dashed line. The antenna rectangle 523 is secured to a mounting structure 526. FIG. 5C further illustrates an upper housing 528, a lower housing 530 that join to enclose the circuit boards 522, 524 and the antenna rectangle 523. The lower circuit board includes a ground plane 532, a feeding point 534, and communications circuitry 536. The antenna rectangle 523 is secured to a mounting structure 526 and coupled to the lower circuit board 522. The lower circuit board 522 is then connected to the upper circuit board 524 with a hinge 538, enabling the lower circuit board 522 and the upper circuit board 524 to be folded together in a manner typical for clamshell-type phones. In some embodiments, the hinge 538 may be adapted to provide rotation of the upper circuit board 524 with respect to the lower circuit board 522 around two or more, preferably non-parallel, axes of rotation, resulting in a MFWD 500 having a twist-type configuration. In order to reduce electromagnetic interference from the circuit boards 522, 524, the antenna rectangle 523 is preferably mounted on the lower circuit board 522 adjacent to the hinge 538.

FIG. 6A-6C represents, respectively examples of a first grid 601, a second grid 602 and a third grid 603 used for the computation of the complexity factors F21 and F32 of an antenna contour that fits in an antenna rectangle 600. The antenna rectangle 600 has a long side 603 and a short side 604.

In FIG. 6B, the second grid 602 has been adjusted to the size of the antenna rectangle 600. The long side of the antenna rectangle 603 is fitted with nine (9) columns of cells of the second grid 602. As far as the number of rows is concerned, the aspect ratio of the antenna rectangle 600 in this particular example is such that a cell aspect ratio closest to one is obtained when the short side of the antenna rectangle 604 is fitted with five (5) rows of cells of the second grid. Therefore, the antenna rectangle 600 is perfectly tessellated with 9 by 5 cells of the second grid 602.

FIG. 6A shows a possible first grid 601 obtained from grouping 2-by-2 cells of the second grid 602. In this example, the upper left corner of the antenna rectangle 600 is selected as the feeding point corner 605. A first cell of the first grid 606 is placed such that the cell 606 has a corner designated as the feeding point corner 605 and is completely inside the antenna box 600. In the example of FIG. 6A, the antenna rectangle 600 spans five (5) columns and three (3) rows of cells of the first grid 601.

Since the antenna rectangle 600 is tessellated with an odd number of columns and rows of cells of the second grid. An additional column 608 and an additional row 609 of cells of the second grid 602 are necessary to have enough cells of the first grid 601 to completely cover the antenna rectangle 600. The additional column 608 and additional row 609 meet at the lower right corner of the antenna rectangle 607 (i.e., the corner opposite to the feeding point corner 605).

FIG. 6C shows the third grid 603 obtained from dividing each cell of the second grid 602 into four (4) cells. Each cell of the third grid 603 has a cell width and cell height equal a half of the cell width and cell height of a cell of the second grid 602. Thus, in this example the antenna rectangle 600 is perfectly tessellated with eighteen (18) columns and ten (10) rows of cells of the third grid 603.

Referring now to FIG. 7 there is shown a graphical representation of the two-dimensional space 700 defined by the complexity factors F21 and F32 for an illustrative antenna (not shown). The antenna contour of the illustrative antenna system of a MFWD is represented as a bullet 701 of coordinates (F21, F32) in the two-dimensional space 700.

FIGS. 8A-8C provide examples to illustrate the complexity factors that feature two radically different antennas: (1) A solid planar rectangular antenna that occupies the entire area of an antenna rectangle 800 for a MFWD (not specifically shown); and (2) an antenna whose contour is inspired in a Hilbert curve 810 that fills the available space within the antenna rectangle 800 (the antenna structure shown in the rectangle 800 of each of FIGS. 8A-8C). These two antenna examples, although not advantageous to provide the multiple frequency band behavior required for the antenna system of a MFWD, help to show the relevance and characteristics of the two complexity factors F2 and F32.

FIGS. 8A-8C show antenna 810 inside the antenna rectangle 800 under a first grid 801, a second grid 802, and a third grid 803. In this example, the antenna rectangle 800 is perfectly tessellated with nine (9) columns and five (5) rows of cells of said second grid 802 (FIG. 8 b). The antenna 810 has a feeding point 811, located substantially close to the lower left corner of the antenna rectangle 805 (being thus the feeding point corner).

In FIG. 8A, there are fifteen (15) cells of the first grid 801 at least partially inside the antenna rectangle 800 and that include at least a point of the antenna contour of antenna 810 (i.e., N1=15). In FIG. 8B, there are forty-five (45) cells of the second grid 802 completely inside the antenna rectangle 800 and that include at least a point of the antenna contour of the antenna 810 (i.e., N2=45). Finally in FIG. 8C, there are one hundred eighty (180) cells of the third grid 803 completely inside the antenna rectangle 800 and that include at least a point of the antenna contour of the antenna 810 (i.e., N3=180). Therefore, in the present example, an antenna whose contour is inspired in the Hilbert curve 810 shown within the antenna space 800 of FIGS. 8A-8C features F21=1.58 (i.e., smaller than 2.00) and F32=2.00.

On the other hand if the process of counting the cells in each of the three grids is repeated for a planar rectangular antenna whose contour fills the entire rectangular space of the antenna rectangle 800 (not actually shown) then N1=12, N2=24 and N3=52, which results in F21=1.00 and F32=1.12 (i.e., larger than 1.00).

These results illustrate that complexity factor F21 is geared more towards discerning if the antenna contour of a particular antenna system distinguishes sufficiently from a simple planar rectangular antenna rather than capturing the complete intricacy of said antenna contour, while complexity factor F32 is predominantly directed towards capturing whether the degree of complexity of the antenna contour approaches to that of a highly-convoluted curve such as a Hilbert curve.

FIGS. 9A-9C and 10A-10C provide two examples illustrating the complexity factors that characterize a quasi-rectangular antenna 910 having a highly convoluted perimeter and a triple branch antenna 1010, respectively. These two exemplary antennas help to show the relevance of the two complexity factors.

FIGS. 9A-9C show, respectively, the antenna 910 inside an antenna rectangle 900 under a first grid 901, a second grid 902, and a third grid 903. In this example, the antenna rectangle 900 is perfectly tessellated with nine (9) columns and five (5) rows of cells of said second grid 902 (FIG. 9 b). The antenna 910 has a feeding point 911, located substantially close to the upper left corner of the antenna rectangle 905 (being thus the feeding point corner).

In FIG. 9A, there are twelve (12) cells of the first grid 901 at least partially inside the antenna rectangle 900 and that include at least a point of the antenna contour of antenna 910 (i.e., N1=12). In FIG. 9B, there are twenty-four (24) cells of the second grid 902 completely inside the antenna rectangle 900 and that include at least a point of the antenna contour of the antenna 910 (i.e., N2=24). Finally in FIG. 9C, there are ninety-six (96) cells of the third grid 903 completely inside the antenna rectangle 900 and that include at least a point of the antenna contour of the antenna 910 (i.e., N3=96). Therefore, in the present example, a quasi-rectangular antenna 910 having a highly convoluted perimeter features F21=1.00 and F32=2.00. This antenna example appears on a coarse scale (as probed e.g. by a long wavelength resonance) quite similar to a simple planar rectangular antenna which is also shown by F21 being very low. On the other hand the edge is highly convoluted which will have influence on small wavelength resonances. This feature is characterized by a high value of F32.

FIGS. 10A-C show, respectively, antenna 1010 inside the antenna rectangle 1000 under a first grid 1001, a second grid 1002, and a third grid 1003. In this example, the antenna rectangle 1000 is perfectly tessellated with nine (9) columns and five (5) rows of cells of said second grid 1002 (FIG. 10 b). The antenna 1010 has a feeding point 1011, located substantially close to the bottom left corner of the antenna rectangle 1005 (being thus the feeding point corner).

As for the antenna 1010 as shown in FIG. 10A, there are ten (10) cells of the first grid 1001 at least partially inside the antenna rectangle 1000 and that include at least a point of the antenna contour of antenna 1010 (i.e., N1=10). In FIG. 10B, there are thirty-four (34) cells of the second grid 1002 completely inside the antenna rectangle 1000 and that include at least a point of the antenna contour of the antenna 1010 (i.e., N2=34). Finally in FIG. 10C, there are seventy (70) cells of the third grid 1003 completely inside the antenna rectangle 1000 and that include at least a point of the antenna contour of the antenna 1010 (i.e., N3=70). Therefore, in the present example, a triple branch antenna, similar to an asymmetric fork, features F21=1.77 and F32=1.04. In this fork example the antenna is not miniaturized since the three branches are essentially straight. This configuration corresponds to a low value of F32. The fork, however is substantially different from a rectangle in that the three branches can be identified clearly and performance of the calculations in accordance with the principles of the invention yields a high value of F21.

FIG. 11 is a graphical presentation that maps the values of the complexity factors F21 and F32 of the exemplary antennas of FIGS. 6, 8, 9, and 10. In FIG. 11 the horizontal axis represents increasing values of F21 while the vertical axis represents increasing values of F32. The exemplary simple planar, rectangular antenna discussed above in connection with FIG. 6, occupies the entire area of an antenna rectangle 800 and is characterized by a pair of complexity factors F21=1.00 and F32=1.12 that are mapped as bullet 1102 in FIG. 11. The complexity factors for the antenna whose contour is discussed above in connection with FIG. 8, and that is inspired in a Hilbert curve 810 are F21=1.58 and F32=2.00 and is mapped onto FIG. 11 as bullet 1101. The quasi-rectangular antenna, discussed above in connection with FIG. 9, and having a highly convoluted perimeter of 910 is characterized by complexity factors F21=1.00 and F32=2.00 and is mapped onto FIG. 11 as bullet 1103. Bullet 1104 represents the pair of complexity factors F21=1.77 and F32=1.04 for the exemplary triple branch antenna 1010 discussed above in connection with FIG. 10. These antenna examples help to show the value and antenna characteristics represented by the two complexity factors. F21 and F32 Further, FIG. 11 and the bullets 1001-1004 illustrate how a two dimensional graphical space 700 might be used for antenna system design.

Referring to FIG. 11 and the bullet 1102 in connection with the configuration and performance characteristics of the sample planar rectangular antenna of FIG. 6 it can be seen that such an antenna has a relatively low level of complexity on both a gross as well as a finer level of detail. Thus, while the antenna is relatively large and resonant at a relatively low frequency, it is less likely to provide multiple frequencies of resonance for multiband performance. As one moves up along the vertical axis toward bullet 1103 in connection with the configuration and performance characteristics of the generally rectangular antenna with a convoluted space-filling perimeter of FIG. 9, it can be seen that while the complexity of the antenna remains low at a gross level of detail, the complexity increases at a finer level of detail. This, in turn, enhances the miniaturization of the antenna to some degree and causes the antenna to resonate at lower harmonic frequencies and behave as a larger antenna than it actually is even though this may not be enough of a change to render the antenna suitable for successful use.

If one now moves from the origin of the graph of FIG. 11 along the horizontal axis toward bullet 1104 in connection with the configuration and performance characteristics of the forked antenna of FIG. 10 we see that the antenna has a relatively high level of complexity on a gross level of detail but a low level of complexity at a finer level of detail. These characteristics tend to enrich the frequency of resonance and, thus, its, multiband capabilities as well as, in some respects, its miniaturization. Finally, in moving toward bullet 1101 of FIG. 11 in connection with the configuration and performance characteristics of the antenna discussed above in connection with FIG. 8, we see that the antenna is highly complex on both gross and fine levels of detail. This produces an antenna with a high degree of miniaturization which tends to penalize the bandwidth of the antenna and render it less than ideal for antenna performance.

An antenna designer can see that the complexity factors F21 and F32, as represented and characterized by the antennas on FIGS. 6, 8, 9 and 10 and the illustrated graph of FIG. 11 are very useful tools for modern antenna design for MFWD and similar devices. Use of these tools in accordance with the invention yields antenna designs, as well as MFWD devices having antennas, with enhanced performance characteristics.

FIG. 12A shows a top-plan view of one illustrated embodiment of the structure 1200 of an antenna system for a MFWD according to the present invention. The antenna rectangle 1210 is depicted as a dashed line. The structure 1200 has been shaped to attain the desired multiple frequency band operation as well as desired RF performance. In particular, peripheral parts of a substantially flat conducting plate have been removed, and slots 1230-1233 have been created within the structure 1200. Slot 1232 divides the structure 1200 into two antenna elements 1201 and 1202. Antenna element 1201 and antenna element 1202 are not in direct contact, although the two antenna elements 1201 and 1202 are in contact through the ground plane of the MFWD.

The resulting structure 1200 supports different radiation modes so as to operate in accordance with two mobile communication standards: GSM and UMTS. More specifically it operates in accordance with the GSM standard in the 900 MHz band (completely within the 810 MHz-960 MHz region of the spectrum), in the 1800 MHz band (completely within the 1710 MHz-1990 MHz region of the spectrum), and in the 1900 MHz band (also completely within the 1710 MHz-1990 MHz region of the spectrum). The UMTS standard makes use of a band completely within the 1900 MHz-2170 MHz region of the radio spectrum. Therefore, the antenna system operates in four (4) separate frequency bands within three (3) separate regions of the electromagnetic spectrum.

In the example of FIG. 12A, the MFWD comprises four (4) contact terminals to couple the structure of said antenna system 1200 with feeding means and grounding means included on a PCB of said MFWD. In FIG. 12A, the antenna element 1201 includes a feeding point 1204 and a grounding point 1203, while the antenna element 1202 includes another feeding point 1205 and a grounding point 1206.

The feeding point 1204 is responsible for the operation of the antenna system in its lowest frequency band (i.e., in accordance with the 900 MHz band of the GSM standard). Therefore, the lower left corner of the antenna rectangle 1211 is chosen to be the feeding point corner.

FIG. 12B shows the position of the antenna rectangle relative to the PCB that includes the layer 1220 that serves as a ground plane of the antenna system. The layer 1220 is confined in a minimum-sized rectangle 1221 (depicted in dash-dot line), defining the ground plane rectangle for the MFWD. In this example, the antenna rectangle 1210 is placed substantially in the bottom part of the PCB of said MFWD. Moreover, the antenna rectangle 1210 is substantially parallel to the ground plane rectangle 1221. The antenna rectangle 1210 in this example is completely located in the projection of the ground plane rectangle 1221; however, the antenna rectangle 1210 is not completely on the projection of the ground plane layer 1220 that serves as a ground plane.

A long side of the antenna rectangle 1210 is substantially parallel to a short edge of the ground plane rectangle. The feeding corner 1211 is near a corner of the ground plane rectangle, providing advantageously a longer path to the electric and/or equivalent magnetic currents flowing on the ground plane layer 1220 to potentially enhance the RF performance of the antenna system or the RF performance of the MFWD in at least a lowest frequency band.

The antenna contour of the structure of antenna system 1200 of the example in FIG. 12A is formed by the combination of two disjoint subsets of segments. A first subset is given by the perimeter of the antenna element 1201 and comprises forty-eight (48) segments. A second subset is given by the perimeter of the antenna element 1202 and comprises twenty-six (26) segments. Additionally, all these segments are shorter than at least one tenth of a free-space wavelength corresponding to the lowest frequency band of operation of said antenna system.

Moreover, the length of the antenna contour of the structure 1200 is more than six (6) times larger than the length of a diagonal of the antenna rectangle 1210 in which said antenna contour is confined.

In FIGS. 13A-13B, the antenna contour of the structure of the antenna system 1200 is placed under a first grid 1301, a second grid 1302, and a third grid 1303 for the computation of the complexity factors of said structure 1200.

The antenna rectangle 1210 has been fitted with nine (9) columns and five (5) rows of cells of said second grid 1302 (in FIG. 13B), as the aspect ratio of the antenna rectangle 1210 is such that fitting five (5) rows of cells in the short side of the antenna rectangle 1210 produces a cell of the second grid 1302 with an aspect ratio closest to one.

In FIG. 13A, there are thirteen (13) cells of the first grid 1301 that, while being at least partially inside the antenna rectangle 1210 and including at least a point of the antenna contour of the structure 1200 (i.e., N1=13).

In FIG. 13B, there are thirty-eight (38) cells of the second grid 1302 completely inside the antenna rectangle 1210 and that include at least a point of the antenna contour of the structure 1200 (i.e., N2=38).

Finally in FIG. 13C, there are one hundred and fourteen (114) cells of the third grid 1303 completely inside the antenna rectangle 1210 and that include at least a point of the antenna contour of the structure 1200 (i.e., N3=114).

The complexity factor F21 for the antenna shown in FIGS. 12A, 13A and 13B is computed as

F 21 = - log ( 38 ) - log ( 13 ) log ( 1 / 2 ) = 1.55

while the complexity factor F32 is obtained as

F 32 = - log ( 114 ) - log ( 38 ) log ( 1 / 2 ) = 1.58

Therefore, the exemplary structure of antenna system for a MFWD 1200 shown in 12A, 13A and 13B is characterized advantageously by complexity factors F21=1.55 and F32=1.58.

FIGS. 14A-14C show, respectively, another exemplary antenna 1410 inside the antenna rectangle 1400 under a first grid 1401, a second grid 1402, and a third grid 1403 for the computation of the complexity factors of the antenna 1410. In this example, the antenna rectangle 1400 may be tessellated with nine (9) columns and five (5) rows of cells of the second grid 1402 (FIG. 148) as well as with nine (9) columns and seven (7) rows of cells of said second grid (not depicted) since in both cases the aspect ratio is at its closest to one. A second grid 1402 with nine (9) columns and five (5) rows of cells has been selected since the aspect ratio for grid 1402 is bigger than 1. The antenna 1410 has a feeding point 1411, located substantially close to the bottom left corner of the antenna rectangle 1405 (being thus the feeding point corner).

In FIG. 14A, there are fifteen (15) cells of the first grid 1401 that, while being at least partially inside the antenna rectangle 1400 and that include at least a point of the antenna contour 1410 (i.e., N1=15). It should be noted that the cells have been shaded forming the group of cells 1412 to add clarity to the discussion contained herein.

In FIG. 14B, there are forty-two (42) cells of the second grid 1402 completely inside the antenna rectangle 1400 and that include at least a point of the antenna contour 1410 (i.e., N2=42). These cells are shaded forming the group of cells 1413 for clarity as set forth above.

Finally in FIG. 14C, there are one hundred and forty-two (142) cells of the third grid 1403 completely inside the antenna rectangle 1400 and that include at least a point of the antenna contour of the structure 1410 (i.e., N3=142). These cells are shaded forming the group of cells 1414 for clarity as set forth above.

The complexity factor F21 is for the antenna shown in FIGS. 14A-14C computed as

F 21 = - log ( 42 ) - log ( 15 ) log ( 1 / 2 ) = 1.49

while the complexity factor F32 is obtained as

F 32 = - log ( 142 ) - log ( 42 ) log ( 1 / 2 ) = 1.76

Therefore, the example antenna 1410 for a MFWD features advantageously complexity factors F21=1.49 and F32=1.76.

The antenna complexity contour of the antenna structure 1200, FIGS. 12A, 13A and 13B is mapped in the graphical representation of FIG. 15 as a bullet 1501 with coordinates (F21=1.55 or F32=1.58). The antenna 1410 of FIGS. 14A-14C is mapped on the graph of FIG. 15 as a bullet 1502 with coordinates (F21=1.49 or F32=1.76). Those two examples show cases where intermediate values of F21 and F32 are used. For intermediate values the value of F21 of the structure 1200 is relatively high and in case of the structure 1400 the value of F32 is relatively high.

Before referring in detail to the description of FIGS. 16-19 some general remarks concerning the methods of this application shall be made. Those remarks are to be seen independent of the FIGS. 16-19 and their description.

The present invention relates to a method and system of identifying complexity factors of an antenna contour for a multifunctional wireless device and utilizing the identified complexity factors to provide an antenna with maximum performance characteristics for given physical and functional specifications. In accordance with one embodiment of the principles of the present invention, the configuration and performance characteristics of an antenna are identified relative to complexity factors at both a gross level of detail and a finer level of detail to therein afford an antenna design and antenna systems with enhanced performance characteristics relative to physical parameters of antenna space possible within a given multifunctional wireless device.

In another aspect, one embodiment of the present invention relates to a method of optimizing the geometry of an antenna system to obtain superior RF performance within a wireless device. The device may include a multifunctional wireless device and the method comprises the steps of defining at least two complexity factors for an antenna system and establishing a complexity factor plane adapted for graphing such complexity factors therewith. The subject antenna system is then used to determine the specifications from heterogeneous requirements of the antenna system that may be utilized with regard to said complexity factors. The specifications are then translated into a target region of the complexity factor plane for use in the optimization process. From the complexity factor plane, the shape of the structure of the antenna system is established such that the antenna contour complexity factor lies substantially within said target region of said complexity factor plane.

In a further embodiment of the present invention, the above-referenced method of optimizing the geometry of an antenna system further includes the method of performing a series of iteration steps altering the antenna layout and contour for both mechanical and complexity factor tuning reasons. For example, the method of making these series of iteration steps may include removing sections of the antenna element. The iteration steps may further include introducing slots to the antenna element to create different paths for current flowing on the antenna element to therein support multiple radiation modes. The iteration steps may further include mechanical changes necessary for installing the antenna mandated by design considerations occurring subsequent to at least one of a series of iteration steps. In such an event, an additional series of iteration steps may then be necessary to fine tune the antenna element in accordance with the established complexity factors and the target region of the complexity factor plane. The fine tuning may include adding additional slots within the antenna element and/or indentations. The fine tuning may further include any indentations in the proximity of the feeding point of the antenna and/or in the proximity of the grounding point of the antenna.

In a further embodiment of the present invention, the above-referenced method of optimizing the geometry of an antenna system further includes defining at least two complexity factors of antenna element contour representative of said antenna system, establishing a complexity factor plane adapted for graphing said defined complexity factors thereon in analytical representation thereof, and determining specifications of said antenna system from heterogeneous requirements of said antenna system. The method further includes translating said specifications into a target region of said complexity factor plane and shaping a physical antenna system structure such that antenna element contour thereof has a complexity factor lying within said target region of said complexity factor plane.

In some embodiments of the invention, the step of determining specifications from heterogeneous requirements includes determining space availability of the antenna system and determining space availability of a ground plane for the MFWD device.

In some embodiments of the invention, the method of optimizing the geometry of an antenna system further includes determining a communication standards operated by the MFWD.

In some embodiments of the invention, the method of optimizing the geometry of an antenna system further includes determining at least one input impedance, impedance bandwidth, gain efficiency, and radiation pattern for the MFWD.

In some embodiments of the invention, the method of optimizing the geometry of an antenna system further includes determining the presence of other electronic modules or subsystems in a vicinity of the antenna system within the MFWD.

In some embodiments of the invention, the method of optimizing the geometry of an antenna system further includes defining at least one complexity factor for the antenna system as a function of the antenna contour subjected to representative analysis at multiple levels of scalar graduations.

In some embodiments of the invention, the method of optimizing the geometry of an antenna system further includes defining at least two complexity factors for an antenna system includes the steps of defining a gross complexity factor of a select RF performance of the antenna system and defining a fine complexity factor of said RF performance of the antenna system.

In some embodiments of the invention, the method of optimizing the geometry of an antenna system further includes generating a series of iteration steps resulting in altering the antenna element configuration and including the step of subsequently evaluating the alteration relative to said complexity factor. The series of iteration steps include removing at least one section of the antenna system, introducing slots in the antenna element to create different paths for current flowing on the antenna element to therein support multiple RF radiation modes and imparting mechanical changes necessitating additional iteration steps altering the antenna element for fine tuning the at least two complexity factors thereof.

According to an embodiment of the present invention, the mechanical changes include adding additional slots to the antenna element affecting the complexity factors and adding indentations to the antenna element. The step of adding indentations includes adding the indentations to the antenna element in the proximity of a feeding point.

According to an embodiment of the present invention, the step of adding indentations includes adding the indentations at the proximity of antenna grounding points.

According to an embodiment of the present invention, further included in the step of performing subsequent measurements (those e.g. forming part of an evaluation of alterations) to the antenna element to determine if the antenna contour remains within the target region and performing iteration steps altering the antenna element for the fine tuning of the at least two complexity factors therefrom and de-tuning the antenna element in its upper frequency band by imparting a slot inset antenna element to increase an electrical length of said antenna element to selectively restore select ones of said at least two complexity factors.

In some embodiments of the invention, the method of optimizing the geometry of an antenna system further includes modifying the antenna contour to create one, two, three or more segments shorter than at least one-fifth of a free-space wavelength corresponding to the lowest frequency band of specified RF operation, modifying the antenna contour to create one, two, three or more segments shorter than at least one-tenth of said free-space wavelength corresponding to the lowest frequency band of the specified RF operation, and modifying the antenna contour to create one, two, three or more segments shorter than at least one-twentieth of said free-space wavelength corresponding to the lowest frequency band of said specified RF operation.

In some embodiments of the invention, the method of optimizing the geometry of an antenna system wherein the step of defining at least two complexity factors for the antenna system includes creating a first, a second, and a third grid of substantially square cells placed on an antenna rectangle, the grids having a size and aspect ratio for the cells of each one being determined by the size and aspect ratio of the antenna rectangle itself, wherein the grids are selected to span a range of levels of scale corresponding to two octaves, wherein a cell of a first grid is half the size of a cell of a second grid, and a cell of a third grid is half the size of a cell of said second grid, wherein the cell is one-fourth the size of a cell of the first grid, and further wherein the range of scales of two octaves provides sufficient variation in the size of the cells across said grids as to capture a functional relationship defined by the courser feature of the antenna contour relative to finer ones thereof. In some embodiments of the invention, the second grid is sized so that the size of the cell therein and its aspect ratio are chosen so that said antenna rectangle is perfectly tessellated with an odd number of columns and an odd number of rows.

In some embodiments of the invention, wherein the step of defining the cells further includes the step of defining a series of columns and rows of cells of the second grid tessellating the antenna rectangle and selected to produce a substantially square cell manifesting an aspect ratio approaching unity and wherein one of said complexity factors is computed by counting the number of cells of said first grid that are at least partially inside the antenna rectangle and include at least a point of the antenna contour and the number of cells in said second grid that are completely inside said antenna rectangle and include at least a point of the antenna contour pursuant to a predefined formulaic relationship.

Referring now to FIGS. 16-19, there is shown one example of optimizing the geometry of an antenna system to obtain a superior performance for MFWDs. In that sense, complexity factors F21 and F32, as described above, are useful in guiding the optimization process of the structure of an antenna system to reach a target region of the (F21, F32) plane, as it is depicted in the flowchart 1600 in FIG. 16.

In one embodiment, the process to design an antenna system starts with a set of specifications 1601. A set of specifications includes a list of heterogeneous requirements that relate to mechanical and/or functional aspects of said antenna system. A typical set of specifications may comprise:

    • Dimensional information of the MFWD, and more particularly of the space available within the MFWD for the integration of an antenna system (data necessary to define the antenna box and the antenna rectangle) and of the ground-plane of the MFWD (data necessary to define the ground plane rectangle).
    • Communication standards operated by the MFWD, and some requirements on RF performance of the antenna system (such as for example, and without limitation, input impedance level, impedance bandwidth, gain, efficiency, and/or radiation pattern) and/or RF performance of the MFWD (such as for example, and without limitation, radiated power, received power and/or sensitivity).
    • Information on the functionality envisioned for a given MFWD (i.e., MMT, SMRT, or both), number of bodies the MFWD comprises (for instance whether the MFWD features a bar, clamshell, flip, slider or twist structure), and presence of other electronic modules and/or subsystems in the vicinity of the antenna box, or even (at least partially) within the antenna box.

As described above, an aspect of the present invention is the relation between functional properties of an antenna system of a MFWD and the geometry of the structure of the antenna system. According to the present invention, a set of specifications for an antenna system can be translated into a certain level of geometrical complexity of the antenna contour associated to the structure of said antenna system, which is advantageously parameterized by means of factors F21 and F32 described above.

Therefore, once a set of specifications has been compiled, one embodiment of the design method of the present invention translates the set of specifications into a target region of the (F21, F32) plane 1602. In some examples, the target region is defined by a minimum and/or a maximum value of factor F21 (denoted by F21 min and F21 max in FIG. 16), and/or a minimum and/or a maximum value of factor F32 (denoted by F21 min F21 max in FIG. 16).

It will then be advantageous in order to benefit from a superior RF performance of the antenna system and/or a superior RF performance of the MFWD to shape the structure of the antenna system so that its antenna contour features complexity factors within the target region of the (F21, F32) plane.

Starting from an initial structure of an antenna system 1603, whose antenna contour features complexity factors F21 0 and F32 0), most likely outside the target region of the (F21, F32) plane, an antenna system designer may need to gradually modify the structure of antenna system 1605 (such as, for instance, creating slots, apertures and/or openings within said structure; or bending and/or folding said structure) to adjust the complexity factors of its antenna contour. This process can be performed in an iterative way, verifying after each step whether factors F21 1 and F31 2 are within the target region of the (F21, F32) plane 1604. Depending on the current values of the complexity factors after step “i” of this iterative process, an antenna system designer can apply changes to the structure of the antenna system at step “i+1” to correct the value of one, or both, complexity factors in a particular direction of the (F21, F32) plane.

The design process ends 1606 when a structure of the antenna system has an antenna contour featuring complexity factors within the target region of the (F21, F32) plane (denoted by F21* and F31* in FIG. 16).

In further illustration of the above, an example of designing an antenna system of a MFWD can be illustrated by reference to one process to obtain the antenna system of FIG. 12 a.

In this particular example, the MFWD is intended to provide advanced functionality typical of a MMT device and/or a SMRT device. The MFWD must operate two mobile communication standards: GSM and UMTS. More specifically it operates the GSM standard in the 900 MHz band (completely within the 810 MHz-960 MHz region of the spectrum), in the 1800 MHz band (completely within the 1710 MHz 1990 MHz region of the spectrum), and in the 1900 MHz band (also completely within the 1710 MHz-1990 MHz region of the spectrum). The UMTS standard makes use of a band completely within the 1900 MHz-2170 MHz region of the spectrum. The MFWD comprises one RF transceiver to operate each mobile communication standard (i.e., two RF transceivers).

The MFWD has a bar-type form factor, comprising a single PCB. The PCB includes a ground plane layer 1220, whose shape is depicted in FIG. 12B. The antenna system is to be integrated in the bottom part of the PCB, such integration being complicated by the presence of a bus connector and a microphone module.

In this example the ground plane rectangle 1221 is approximately 100 mm×43 mm. The antenna rectangle 1210 has a long side approximately equal to the short side of the ground plane rectangle 1221, and a short side approximately equal to one fourth of the long side of the ground plane rectangle 1221. Also in this example, the space provided within the MFWD for the integration of said antenna system allows placing parts of the structure of the antenna system at a maximum distance of approximately 6 mm above the ground plane layer 1220.

Furthermore, there are additional functional requirements in terms of impedance, VSWR and efficiency levels in each frequency band, and requirements on the mechanical structure of the antenna system and materials to be used. These requirements are listed in Table 1 below.

TARGET
Parameter Condition Minimum Typical Maximum Unit
Impedance 50 Ohm
Frequency GSM900 800 960 MHz
Bands GSM1800 1710 1880
GSM1900 1850 1990
UMTS 1920 2170
VSWR GSM900 3.5:1
GSM1800 3.0:1
GSM1900 3.0:1
UMTS 2.5:1
Efficiency GSM900 20 %
GSM1800 30
GSM1900 30
UMTS 30
Antenna System Type Patch, PIFA, Monopole, IFA . . .
Structure 3
2
3
Antenna System Radiator Bronze, brass, stainless steel, nickel-silver . . .
Materials (Thickness: 0.1, 0.15, 0.2, 0.3, 0.4, or 0.5 mm
Plating Nickel, gold . . .
(Thickness: between 0.1 and 10 microns)
Carrier ABS, PC-ABS, POM, LCP
Assembly Clips, screws, adhesive, heat-stakes . . .

The PCB area required by other electronic modules carried by the MFWD makes it difficult to remove any additional portions of the ground plane layer 1220 underneath the antenna system. Since substantial overlapping of the antenna rectangle 1210 and the ground plane rectangle 1221 occurs, a patch antenna solution is preferred for the MFWD of this example.

In order to take full advantage of the dimensions of the ground plane layer 1220 to potentially enhance the RF performance of the antenna system or the RF performance of the MFWD in at least a lowest frequency band, a feeding point of the antenna system will be placed substantially close to the bottom left corner of the ground plane layer 1220, so that a longer path is offered to the electric and/or equivalent magnetic currents flowing on said ground plane layer 1220. Therefore, the bottom left corner of the antenna rectangle 1211 is selected to be the feeding corner.

The antenna rectangle 1210 is then fitted with nine (9) columns and five (5) rows of cells of a second grid 1302 (in FIG. 13B), as the aspect ratio of the antenna rectangle 1210 is such that fitting five (5) rows of cells in the short side of the antenna rectangle 1210 produces a cell of the second grid 1302 with an aspect ratio closest to one.

Once a set of mechanical and/or functional specifications has been compiled, they are translated into a level of geometrical complexity that the antenna contour associated to the structure of an antenna system needs to attain.

For those antennas in which their physical properties come quite close to patch antennas, a value of F21 being higher than 1.45, 1.47, 1.50, or 1.60 turns out to be a good measure for an expected improved bandwidth or gain with respect to a patch antenna without any complexity in at least one of the frequency bands. In the example of FIG. 12, a value of F21 higher than 1.50 is preferred.

For a SMRT or MMT device a value of F32 being larger than 1.50, 1.52, 1.55 or 1.60 is desirable. The phones which usually operate in high frequency bands such as UMTS and/or a wireless connectivity of around 2.4 GHz a higher value of F32 can be used to appropriately adapt the antenna to a desired resonance frequency and/or bandwidth in those bands. In the example of FIG. 12, a value of F32 higher than 1.55 is preferred.

Moreover, for MFWDs which have e.g. a camera or any other item such as a connector integrated in the antenna box, it is desirable to have a value of F32 being larger than 1.56, 1.58, 1.60 or 1.63. Therefore, since in the example of FIG. 12 a connector and a microphone module are to be integrated in the antenna box alongside the antenna system, it is preferred to further increase the value of F32 to make it higher than 1.56.

In conclusion, it will be advantageous to shape the structure of the antenna 35 system in such a way that its antenna contour features complexity factor F21 higher than 1.50 and F32 higher than 1.56, thus defining a target region 1800 in the upper right part of the (F21, F32) plane in FIG. 18.

Referring now to FIG. 17, there is shown the progressive modification of the antenna contour as the structure of the antenna system through the different steps of the optimization process. As indicated by the designer of the MFWD, a feeding point to couple the RF transceiver that operates the GSM communication standard should be preferably located at point 1722, while a feeding point to couple the RF transceiver that operates the UMTS communication standard should be preferably located at point 1724. Furthermore, grounding points should be preferably located at points 1721 and 1723.

Table 2 lists for each step the number of cells of the first, second and third grids considered for the computation of the complexity factors of the antenna contour, 15 and the values of said complexity factors F21, F32.

TABLE 2
Cells Counted Cells Counted Cells counted Complexity Complexity
in First Grid in Second Grid in Third Grid Factor Factor
Step (N1) (N2) (N3) F21 F32
0 12 24 52 1.00 1.12
1 15 31 82 1.05 1.40
2 13 31 82 1.25 1.40
3 13 37 103 1.51 1.48
4 13 38 113 1.55 1.57
5 13 36 103 1.47 1.52
6 13 38 110 1.55 1.53
7 13 38 114 1.55 1.58

As a starting point (step 0), the structure of the antenna system is simply a rectangular plate 1701 occupying the entire antenna rectangle 1210 and placed at the maximum distance allowed above the ground plane layer 1220 (see FIG. 17 a). In this case the antenna contour is equal to the antenna rectangle 1210, and features complexity factors F21=1.00 and F32=1.12 (represented as point 1801 in FIG. 18), obviously outside the target region 1800.

In the first iteration (step 1), a slot 1702 is practiced in the rectangular plate 1701, dividing said plate 1701 into two separate geometric elements: a larger antenna element 1711 and a smaller antenna element 1712, as shown in FIG. 17 b. The larger antenna element 1711 will be coupled to the RF transceiver that operates the GSM communication standard, while the smaller antenna element 1712 will be coupled to the RF transceiver that operates the UMTS communication standard.

The slot 1702 increases the geometrical complexity of the antenna contour, mainly along the F32 axis, mapping as point 1802 with coordinates F21=1.05 and F32=1.40 on the (F21, F32) plane.

In order to offer a longer path to the electrical currents flowing on the antenna element 1711, particularly those currents responsible for a radiation mode associated to the lowest frequency band of said antenna system, the next iteration step (step 2) is initiated. An upper right portion of the antenna element 1711 is removed creating an opening 1703 (FIG. 17C). As it can be seen in Table 2, the effect sought when creating opening 1703 in the structure of the antenna system is directed towards enhancing the coarse complexity of the antenna contour (F21 increases from 1.05 to 1.25), while leaving its finer complexity unchanged. This modification accounts in FIG. 18 for the jump from point 1802 to 1803, still far from the target region 1800. A fringe benefit of creating the opening 1703 in the structure of the antenna system is that additional space within the MFWD, and in particular within the antenna box, is made available for the integration of other functional modules.

In the next iteration (step 3) a second slot is introduced in the structure of the antenna system (FIG. 17D). Slot 1704 is practiced in antenna element 1711 with the main purpose of creating different paths for the currents flowing on said antenna element, so that it can support several radiation modes. The slot 1704 intersects the perimeter of the antenna element 1711 and has two closed ends: a first end 1730 near the left side of the antenna rectangle, and a second end 1731. As a result, the antenna element 1711 comprises a first arm 1732, a second arm 1733, and a third arm 1734.

From Table 2 it can be seen that the complexity factor F21 has been augmented to 1.51 in recognition of the improvement in the multiple frequency band and/or multiple radiation mode behavior of the structure shown in FIG. 17D. The convoluted shape of slot 1704 contributes also to an increase of complexity factor F32, reaching the value of 1.48.

After step 3, the antenna contour corresponds to point 1804 on the (F21, F32) plane of FIG. 18. It can be noticed that while F21 is already above the minimum value of 1.50, F32 has not reached the minimum value of 1.56 yet.

In order to increase the value of F32 (step 4), three small slots 1705, 1706, 1707, are created in the structure of the antenna system, in particular in the antenna element 1711 (see FIG. 17E). Slots 1706 and 1707 are connected to slot 1702, introduced in the structure to separate the larger antenna element 1711 from the 15 smaller antenna element 1712. The slots 1705, 1706, 1707 are effective in providing a more winding path for the electrical currents flowing on the arms of antenna element 1711, hence increasing the degree of miniaturization of the resulting antenna system.

At this stage the antenna contour features complexity factors F21=1.55 and F32=1.57 and maps into point 1805 on the (F21, F32) plane of FIG. 18, clearly within the target region 1800.

However, the design in FIG. 17E is to be modified for mechanical reasons (step 5). A portion in the lower left corner of antenna element 1711 is to be removed (creating the opening 1708) in order for the antenna system to fit in its housing in the body of the MFWD. Moreover in order to accommodate a connector and a microphone module, portion 1740 on the right side of the antenna element 1712 needs to be shortened and then bent 90 degrees downwards (i.e. towards the ground plane layer 1220) forming a capacitive load. Such a modification results in opening 1709.

Unfortunately, the changes introduced in step 5 lead to an antenna system whose antenna contour is no longer within the target region of the (F21, F32) plane 1800: F21 has dropped to 1.47 (i.e., below 1.50) and F32 to 1.52 (i.e., below 1.56), which corresponds to point 1806.

The detuning of the antenna system in its upper frequency band due mostly to the reduction in size of antenna element 1712 can be readily corrected by creating a slot 1760 in said antenna element 1712 (step 6), to increase the electrical length of said antenna element. With this modification, the antenna contour of FIG. 17G has fully restored the value of F21 to 1.55, and partially that of F32 (point 1807 in FIG. 18).

A final fine-tuning of the structure of the antenna system is performed at step 7 (FIG. 17H) aimed at restoring the level of F32 to be within the target region 1800, in which small indentations 1770, 1771, 1772, 1773, 1774 are created in the proximity of the feeding points 1722, 1724 and grounding points 1721, 1723 of the antenna system. The final design of the antenna system has a structure whose antenna contour features F21=1.55 and F32=1.58 (represented as point 1808 in FIG. 18), well within the target region of the (F21, F32) plane 1800.

The typical performance of the antenna system of FIG. 12 a (or FIG. 17 h) is presented in FIG. 19.

Referring specifically to FIG. 19A, there is shown the VSWR of the antenna system referred to an impedance of 50 Ohms as a function of the frequency. Solid curve 1901 represents the VSWR of antenna element 1711 (i.e., the antenna element coupled to the RF transceiver that operates the GSM communication standard), while dashed curve 1902 represents the VSWR of antenna element 1712 (i.e., the antenna element coupled to the RF transceiver that operates the UMTS communication standard). The shaded regions 1903 and 1904 correspond to the mask of maximum VSWR allowed constructed from the functional specifications provided in Table 1. As it can be observed in FIG. 19A, the VSWR curves 1901, 1902 are below the mask 1903, 1904 for all frequencies within the frequency bands of operation of the antenna system.

FIG. 19B shows the efficiency of the antenna system as a function of the frequency. Curve 1951 represents the efficiency of antenna element 1711 in the 900 MHz band of the GSM standard; curve 1952 represents the efficiency of antenna element 1711 in the 1800 MHz and 1900 MHz bands of the GSM standard; and curve 1953 represents the efficiency of antenna, element 1712 in the frequency band of the UMTS standard. The dashed regions 1954 and 1955 correspond to the mask of minimum efficiency required constructed from the functional specifications provided in Table 1. As it can be observed in FIG. 19 b, the efficiency curves 1951, 1952, 1953 are above the mask 1954, 1955 for all frequencies within the frequency bands of operation of the antenna system.

FIGS. 20A-20F illustrate cross-sectional views of exemplary MFWDs comprising three bodies in which at least one body is rotated with respect to another body around two parallel axes.

FIGS. 20A-B illustrate a MFWD 2000 comprising a first body 2001, a second body 2002, and a third body 2003. A first connecting means 2004, such as, for example, a hinge, connects the first body 2001 to the third body 2003 and provides rotation of the first body 2001 around a first axis. A second connecting means 2005 connects the second body 2002 to the third body 2003 and provides rotation of the second body 2002 around a second axis. The first and second axes of rotation are parallel to each other and each of the axes is perpendicular to the cross-sectional plane of the figure. In this particular example, the third body 2003 is substantially smaller in size than the first and second bodies 2001, 2002 of the MFWD 2000.

FIG. 20A illustrates the three bodies 2001, 2002, 2003 of the MFWD 2000 in a closed (or folded) state. The dashed lines indicate the position occupied by the centers of the first body 2001 and that of the second body 2002 when they are in the closed state.

FIG. 20B illustrates the MFWD 2000 in a partially extended state. The first body 2001 and the second body 2002 are displaced with respect to a position they occupy in the closed state. The possible directions of rotation of the first body 2001 and the second body 2002 are indicated by the arrows.

FIGS. 20C-20D illustrate a MFWD 2030 comprising a first body 2031, a second body 2032, and a third body 2033. The MFWD 2030 further comprises a first connecting means 2034 connecting the first body 2031 to the third body 2033 and provides rotation of the first body 2031 around a first axis. The MFWD 2030 further comprises a second connecting means 2035 connecting the second body 2032 to the third body 2033 and provides rotation of the second body 2032 around a second axis. As shown in FIGS. 20A-20B, the first and second axes of rotation are parallel to each other.

In this particular example, the third body 2033 is substantially larger than the first and second bodies 2031, 2032 of the MFWD 2030, allowing the first body 2031 and the second body 2032 to be folded on top of the third body 2033 (and more generally on a same side of the third body 2033) when the MFWD 2030 is in its dosed state, as illustrated in FIG. 20C. In some cases, the first body 2031 and the second body 2032 will be substantially equal in size, while in other cases, the first body 2031 and the second body 2032 will have substantially different dimensions.

FIG. 20D illustrates the MFWF 2030 in a partially extended state. In the partially extended state, the first body 2031 is rotated around the first rotation axis provided by the first connecting means 2034, while the second body 2032 is rotated around the second rotation axis provided by the second connecting means 2035.

A third example of a MFWD is presented in FIG. 20E-F, in which the MFWD 2060 comprises a first body 2061, a second body 2062, and a third body 2063. According to this example, the first, second, and third bodies 2061, 2062, 2063 can be selectively folded and unfolded by means of a first connecting means 2064 and a second connecting means 2065.

FIG. 20E illustrates the MFWD 2060 in a closed state. In this example, the first body 2061 is located on top of the third body 2063 while the second body 2062 is located below the third body 2063 (and more generally on an opposite side of the third body 2063).

The MFWD 2060 can be extended to its maximum size state by rotating the first body 2061 around a first rotation axis provided by the first connecting means 2064 and rotating the second body 2062 around a first rotation axis provided by the second connecting means 2065. FIG. 20F represents the MFWD 2060 in a partially extended state. The directions of rotation of the first body 2061 and the second body 2062 are indicated by means of the arrows shown in FIG. 20F.

As can be seen from the various examples and explanations above the use of the complexity factor F21 and F32 in accordance with the principles of the present invention are very useful in the design of MFWD devices and, in particular, multiband antennas for such devices. The choice of certain complexity factor ranges to optimize both the miniaturization of the antenna as well as the multiband and RF performance characteristics, all in accordance with the principles of the invention, should be clear to one of ordinary skill in the art from the above explanations.

NUMBERED EMBODIMENTS

In the following some particular embodiments of interest are summarized as numbered embodiments forming part of the description.

Embodiment 1

A multifunction wireless device having at least one of multimedia functionality and smartphone functionality, the multifunction wireless device comprising: an upper body and a lower body, the upper body and the lower body being adapted to move relative to each other in at least one of a clamshell, a slide, and a twist manner; and an antenna system disposed within at least one of the upper body and the lower body and having a shape with a level of complexity of an antenna contour defined by complexity factors F21 having a value of at least 1.05 and not greater than 1.80 and F32 having a value of at least 1.10 and not greater than 1.90.

Embodiment 2

The multifunction wireless device of embodiment 1, wherein the multifunction wireless device has multimedia functionality.

Embodiment 3

The multifunction wireless device of embodiment 1 or 2, wherein the multifunction wireless device has smartphone functionality.

Embodiment 4

The multifunction wireless device of any of embodiments 1 to 3, further comprising: a microprocessor; at least one memory interoperably coupled to the microprocessor, the at least one memory having a total capacity of at least 1 GB; an input device comprising at least one of a keyboard comprising at least 26 keys and a touch screen; and wherein the complexity factor F21 has a value greater than 1.39 and the complexity factor F32 has a value greater than 1.50.

Embodiment 5

The multifunction wireless device of any of embodiments 1 to 4 further comprising: a receiver of at least one of analog and digital sound signals; an image recording system comprising at least one of an at least two-Megapixel image sensor, a flashlight, an optical zoom, and a digital zoom; data storage of at least 1 GB in capacity; and wherein the complexity factor F21 has a value greater than 1.39 and the complexity factor F32 has a value greater than 1.50.

Embodiment 6

The multifunction wireless device of any of embodiments 1 to 5, wherein the first body and the second body comprise a clamshell configuration.

Embodiment 7

The multifunction wireless device of any of embodiments 1 to 6, further comprising: an image-recording system; a display comprising at least 75,000 pixels and capable of displaying at least 65,000 color levels; a keyboard; and wherein the antenna system is mounted on the lower body below the keyboard, the complexity factor F21 having a value greater than 1.45 and the complexity factor F32 having a value greater than 1.75.

Embodiment 8

The multifunction wireless device of any of embodiments 1 to 7, further comprising: a keyboard comprising at least 40 keys; and wherein the antenna system is mounted on the lower body below the keyboard, the complexity factor F21 having a value less than 1.45 and the complexity factor F32 having a value less than 1.50.

Embodiment 9

The multifunction wireless device of any of embodiments 1 to 8, further comprising: a hinge connecting the upper body to the lower body; and wherein the antenna system is mounted on the lower body adjacent to the hinge, the complexity factor F21 having a value greater than 1.20 and the complexity F32 having a value of at least 1.55.

Embodiment 10

The multifunction wireless device of any of embodiments 1 to 9, wherein the upper body and the lower body each have a thickness value of at least 5 mm and not greater than 9 mm and the complexity factor F21 has a value greater than 1.43 and the complexity factor F32 has a value greater than 1.63.

Embodiment 11

The multifunction wireless device of any of embodiments 1 to 10, wherein the upper body and the lower body are adapted to move relative to each other in a manner selected from the group consisting of a twist manner and a slide manner.

Embodiment 12

The multifunction wireless device of any of embodiments 1 to 11, further comprising: a receiver of at least one of analog and digital sound signals; a microprocessor interoperably coupled to the receiver; a keyboard; wherein the antenna system is mounted on the lower body below the keyboard; and wherein the complexity factor F21 has a value greater than 1.45 and the complexity factor F32 has a value greater than 1.75.

Embodiment 13

The multifunction wireless device of any of embodiments 1 to 12, further comprising: a microphone system adapted to record sound and convert the recorded sound to a digital format; keyboard; wherein the antenna system is mounted on the lower body below the keyboard; and wherein the complexity factor F21 has a value less than 1.45 and the complexity factor F32 has a value less than 1.50.

Embodiment 14

The multifunction wireless device of any of embodiments 1 to 13, further comprising: a hinge connecting the upper body to the lower body; and wherein the antenna system is mounted on the lower body adjacent to the hinge, the complexity factor F21 having a value greater than 1.20 and the complexity factor F32 having a value of at least 1.55.

Embodiment 15

The multifunction wireless device of claim any of embodiments 1 to 14, further comprising: a geolocalization system; wherein the upper body and the lower body each have a thickness value of at least 5 mm and not greater than 9 mm; and wherein the complexity factor F21 has a value greater than 1.43 and the complexity factor F32 has a value greater than 1.63.

Embodiment 16

A multifunction wireless device having at least one of multimedia and smartphone functionality, the multifunction wireless device comprising: a microprocessor and operating system adapted to permit running of word-processing, spreadsheet, and slide software applications; at least one memory interoperably coupled to the microprocessor, the at least one memory having a total capacity of at least 1 GB; an antenna system; and wherein the antenna system has a shape with a level of complexity of an antenna contour defined by complexity factor F21 having a value of at least 1.05 and not greater than 1.80 and by complexity factor F32 having a value of at least 1.10 and not greater than 1.90.

Embodiment 17

The multifunction wireless device of embodiment 16, further comprising an upper body and a lower body, the upper body and the lower body being adapted to move relative to each other in at least one of a clamshell, a slide, and a twist manner.

Embodiment 18

A multifunction wireless device having at least one of multimedia and smartphone functionality, the multifunction wireless device comprising: a receiver of at least one of analog and digital sound signals; an image recording system comprising at least one of an at least two-Megapixel image sensor, a flashlight, an optical zoom, and a digital zoom; data storage means having a capacity of at least 1 GB; an antenna system; and wherein the antenna system has a shape with a level of complexity of an antenna contour defined by complexity factor F21 having a value of at least 1.05 and not greater than 1.80 and by complexity factor F32 having a value of at least 1.10 and not greater than 1.90.

Embodiment 19

The multifunction wireless device of embodiment 18, further comprising an upper body and a lower body, the upper body and the lower body being adapted to move relative to each other in at least one of a clamshell, a slide, and a twist manner.

Embodiment 20

Method of identifying complexity factors of an antenna contour for a multifunctional wireless device and utilizing the identified complexity factors to provide an antenna with maximum performance characteristics for given physical and functional specifications.

Embodiment 21

Method according to embodiment 20, wherein the configuration and performance characteristics of an antenna are identified relative to complexity factors at both a gross level of detail and a finer level of detail to therein afford an antenna design and antenna systems with enhanced performance characteristics relative to physical parameters of antenna space possible within a given multifunctional wireless device.

Embodiment 22

Method of optimizing the geometry of an antenna system to obtain superior RF performance within a wireless device, which may be or include a multifunctional wireless device wherein the method comprises the steps of:—defining at least two complexity factors for an antenna system and—establishing a complexity factor plane adapted for graphing such complexity factors therewith.

Embodiment 23

The method of embodiment 22, wherein said antenna system is then used to determine the specifications from heterogeneous requirements of the antenna system that may be utilized with regard to said complexity factors.

Embodiment 24

The method of embodiment 23, wherein the specifications are then translated into a target region of the complexity factor plane for use in the optimization process.

Embodiment 25

The method of embodiment 24, wherein from the complexity factor plane, the shape of the structure of the antenna system is established such that the antenna contour complexity factor lies substantially within said target region of said complexity factor plane.

Embodiment 26

The method of any of embodiments 22 to 25, wherein the method includes the method of performing a series of iteration steps altering the antenna layout and contour for both mechanical and complexity factor tuning reasons.

Embodiment 27

The method of embodiment 26, wherein the method of making these series of iteration steps includes removing sections of the antenna element.

Embodiment 28

The method of embodiment 26 or 27, wherein the method of making these series of iteration steps includes introducing slots to the antenna element to create different paths for current flowing on the antenna element to therein support multiple radiation modes.

Embodiment 29

The method of any of embodiments 26 to 28, wherein the method of making these series of iteration steps includes mechanical changes necessary for installing the antenna mandated by design considerations occurring subsequent to at least one of a series of iteration steps.

Embodiment 30

The method of embodiment 29, wherein an additional series of iteration steps are performed to fine tune the antenna element in accordance with the established complexity factors and the target region of the complexity factor plane.

Embodiment 31

The method of embodiment 30, wherein, the fine tuning may include adding additional slots within the antenna element and/or indentations and/or the fine tuning may further include any indentations in the proximity of the feeding point of the antenna and/or in the proximity of the grounding point of the antenna.

Embodiment 32

The method of any of embodiments 22 to 31, wherein the method includes defining at least two complexity factors of antenna element contour representative of said antenna system, establishing a complexity factor plane adapted for graphing said defined complexity factors thereon in analytical representation thereof, and determining specifications of said antenna system from heterogeneous requirements of said antenna system.

Embodiment 33

The method of embodiment 32, wherein the method includes translating said specifications into a target region of said complexity factor plane and shaping a physical antenna system structure such that antenna element contour thereof has a complexity factor lying within said target region of said complexity factor plane.

Embodiment 34

The method of any of embodiments 23 to 33, wherein the step of determining specifications from heterogeneous requirements includes one, two, three or all of the following group of items:—determining space availability of the antenna system and determining space availability of a ground plane for the multifunction wireless device;—determining the number of bodies of the device;—determining whether the device features a bar, clamshell, flip, slider or twist structure;—determining whether the device is a handheld multimedia terminal or a smart phone.

Embodiment 35

The method of any of embodiments 22 to 34, wherein the method further includes determining a communication standards operated by the multifunction wireless device.

Embodiment 36

The method of any of embodiments 22 to 35, wherein the method further includes determining at least one input impedance, impedance bandwidth, gain efficiency, and radiation pattern for the multifunction wireless device.

Embodiment 37

The method of any of embodiments 22 to 36, wherein the method further includes determining the presence of other electronic modules or subsystems in a vicinity of the antenna system within the multifunction wireless device.

Embodiment 38

The method of any of embodiments 22 to 37, wherein the method further includes defining at least one complexity factor for the antenna system as a function of the antenna contour subjected to representative analysis at multiple levels of scalar graduations.

Embodiment 39

The method of any of embodiments 22 to 38, wherein the step of defining at least two complexity factors for an antenna system includes the steps of defining a gross complexity factor of a select RF performance of the antenna system and defining a fine complexity factor of said RF performance of the antenna system.

Embodiment 40

The method of any of embodiments 22 to 39, wherein the method further includes generating a series of iteration steps resulting in altering the antenna element configuration and including the step of subsequently evaluating the alteration relative to said complexity factors.

Embodiment 41

The method of embodiment 40, wherein the series of iteration steps include removing at least one section of the antenna system and/or introducing slots in the antenna element to create different paths for current flowing on the antenna element to therein support multiple RF radiation modes and imparting mechanical changes necessitating additional iteration steps altering the antenna element for fine tuning the at least two complexity factors thereof.

Embodiment 42

The method of embodiment 41, wherein the mechanical changes include adding additional slots to the antenna element affecting the complexity factors and adding indentations to the antenna element.

Embodiment 43

The method of embodiment 42, wherein the step of adding indentations includes adding the indentations to the antenna element in the proximity of a feeding point.

Embodiment 44

The method of embodiment 42 or 43, wherein the step of adding indentations includes adding the indentations at the proximity of antenna grounding points.

Embodiment 45

The method of any of embodiments 40 to 44, wherein it is determined if the antenna contour remains within the target region and iteration steps are performed altering the antenna element for the fine tuning of the at least two complexity factors therefrom and de-tuning the antenna element in its upper frequency band by imparting a slot inset antenna element to increase an electrical length of said antenna element to selectively restore select ones of said at least two complexity factors.

Embodiment 46

The method of any of embodiments 22 to 45, wherein the method further includes one, two three or more or all of the following steps:—modifying the antenna contour to create one, two, three or more segments shorter than at least one-fifth of a free-space wavelength corresponding to the lowest frequency band of specified RF operation,—modifying the antenna contour to create one, two three or more segments shorter than at least one-tenth of said free-space wavelength corresponding to the lowest frequency band of the specified RF operation;—modifying the antenna contour to create one, two, three or more segments shorter than at least one-twentieth of said free-space wavelength corresponding to the lowest frequency band of said specified RF operation.

Embodiment 47

The method of any of embodiments 22 to 46, wherein the step of defining at least two complexity factors for the antenna system includes creating a first, a second, and a third grid of substantially square cells placed on an antenna rectangle, the grids having a size and aspect ratio for the cells of each one being determined by the size and aspect ratio of the antenna rectangle itself, wherein the grids are selected to span a range of levels of scale corresponding to two octaves, wherein a cell of a first grid is half the size of a cell of a second grid, and a cell of a third grid is half the size of a cell of said second grid, wherein the cell is one-fourth the size of a cell of the first grid, and further wherein the range of scales of two octaves provides sufficient variation in the size of the cells across said grids as to capture a functional relationship defined by the courser feature of the antenna contour relative to finer ones thereof. In some embodiments of the invention, the second grid is sized so that the size of the cell therein and its aspect ratio are chosen so that said antenna rectangle is perfectly tessellated with an odd number of columns and an odd number of rows.

Embodiment 48

The method of embodiment 47, wherein the step of defining the cells further includes the step of defining a series of columns and rows of cells of the second grid tessellating the antenna rectangle and selected to produce a substantially square cell manifesting an aspect ratio approaching unity and wherein one of said complexity factors is computed by counting the number of cells of said first grid that are at least partially inside the antenna rectangle and include at least a point of the antenna contour and the number of cells in said second grid that are completely inside said antenna rectangle and include at least a point of the antenna contour pursuant to a predefined formulaic relationship.

Embodiment 49

System, as for example a computer system, adapted to perform the methods of any of embodiments 22 to 48.

The previous Detailed Description is of embodiment(s) of the invention. The scope of the invention should not necessarily be limited by this Description. The scope of the invention is instead defined by the following claims and the equivalents thereof.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification343/702, 343/700.0MS
International ClassificationH01Q9/04, H01Q1/24, H01Q5/00
Cooperative ClassificationH01Q9/0407, H01Q1/36, H01Q9/0421, H01Q1/243, H01Q5/0058, H01Q5/0072
European ClassificationH01Q1/36, H01Q5/00M, H01Q5/00K2C4A2, H01Q9/04B2, H01Q9/04B, H01Q1/24A1A
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Feb 27, 2009ASAssignment
Owner name: FRACTUS, S.A., SPAIN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:MUMBRU, JOSEP;BALIARDA, PUENTE;ILARIO, JORDI;REEL/FRAME:022332/0492
Effective date: 20090203