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Researchers Submit Patent Application, “Communications Device, Infrastructure Equipment And Methods For Receiving Downlink Control Information”, for Approval (USPTO 20190230641): Sony Corporation

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08/14/2019 | 05:54pm EDT

2019 AUG 14 (NewsRx) -- By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Daily Asia Business -- From Washington, D.C., NewsRx journalists report that a patent application by the inventor WEBB, Matthew William (Basingstoke, GB), filed on February 22, 2019, was made available online on July 25, 2019.

The patent’s assignee is Sony Corporation (Tokyo, Japan).

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: “The present invention relates to communications devices, infrastructure equipment, mobile communications systems and methods for receiving downlink control information at a communications device transmitted from a mobile communications network.

“Certain classes of telecommunications device, such as MTC devices (e.g. semi-autonomous or autonomous wireless communication terminals), support ‘low capability’ communication applications that are characterised, for instance, by the transmission of small amounts of data at relatively infrequent intervals. It is preferable that MTC devices are constructed so that individually they represent little burden on telecommunications networks and thus can be deployed in greater numbers than equivalent ‘full capability’ terminals in the same networks.

“In many scenarios, it is preferable to provide terminals dedicated to such ‘low capability’ communication applications with a simple receiver unit (or transceiver unit) having capabilities more commensurate with the amount of data likely to be transmitted to (or from) the terminal. This more limited capability contrasts with the capabilities of the conventional mobile telecommunications terminals, such as smartphones, which share access to the same telecommunications networks.

“Fourth generation mobile communications systems are being developed in accordance with Long Term Evolution (LTE) standards by the Third Generation Project Partnership (3GPP). In conventional LTE, at least some of the resource elements (REs) comprising a control region are defined by specification to form a number of so-called control channel elements (CCEs) or enhanced control channel elements (ECCEs). A physical downlink control channel (PDCCH), for providing control information to devices, comprises a number of CCEs. An enhanced physical downlink control channel (EPDCCH), for providing control information to devices, comprises a number of ECCEs. The number of CCEs or comprising a particular PDCCH or EPDCCH depends on an aggregation level determined by an eNB of an LTE mobile communications network (see later for discussion of aggregation levels). A UE must search through some number of the (E)CCEs in the control region to determine if there are any that comprise PDCCHs containing control information pertinent to the UE. Some CCEs are searched by all UEs, these CCEs comprising a so-called common search space (CSS), and some (E)CCEs are not searched by all UEs, these (E)CCEs comprising so-called UE-specific search spaces (UESS). A (E)CCE may be part of more than one search space. Typically, (E)PDCCHs comprising (E)CCEs in the common search space contain information relevant to all UEs in a cell and (E)PDCCHs comprising (E)CCEs in a UE-specific search space contain information relevant only to one UE.

“As will be appreciated it is desireable for communications devices and particularly but not exclusively reduced capability or MTC type devices to be arranged to consume as little power as possible in order to conserve power and therefore battery life and for the implementation of the device to possible with low complexity so that the modem can have low cost.”

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, NewsRx correspondents also obtained the inventor’s summary information for this patent application: “According to embodiments of the present technique a communications device can be to transmit data to or receive data from a mobile communications network. The communications device comprises a transmitter unit adapted to transmit data to the mobile communications network via a wireless access interface provided by the mobile communications network and a receiver unit adapted to receive data from the mobile communications network via the wireless access interface and a controller. The wireless access interface includes a plurality of time divided temporal units and in each temporal unit a down-link control channel and a down-link shared channel The temporal units may for example be sub-frames of an LTE carrier. The controller is configured to control the receiver unit to receive downlink control channel information transmitted by the mobile communications network in one or more control channel elements of the downlink control channel in one of the temporal units of the wireless access interface. The one or more control channel elements in which the downlink control channel information is transmitted is one of a plurality of sets of possible control channel elements in which the mobile communications network can transmit the downlink control information in one of the temporal units of the wireless access interface for communications devices to search for the downlink control information in each of the plurality of possible sets of control channel elements. The controller is configured for the communications device to control the receiver unit to receive the downlink control channel information by searching the downlink control channel in a predetermined sub-set of the plurality of possible sets of control channel elements in one or more of the temporal units of the wireless access interface according to a fixed aggregation level.

“It is known in some communications systems such as LTE communications systems to provide an arrangement in which downlink control information (DCI) is transmitted in one of a plurality of possible sets of control channel elements (CCEs). The plurality of possible sets of CCEs can be considered as being divided into sub-sets, each of the sub-sets providing sets of CCE which are determined in accordance with a certain aggregation level (AL), which defines a number of repetitions of the DCI information in the downlink control channel The ALs are set in accordance with an estimated coverage, because the CCEs are aggregated so that the number of CCEs in an AL is proportional to the ability of a receiver to detect the DCI message. However a communications device must be configured to search all possible combinations of CCEs for each possible ALs. The greater the search space which the communications device must perform, the greater the power consumed.

“Embodiments of the present technique can therefore provide an arrangement in which a predetermined sub-set of the possible sets of CCEs is selected for a particular aggregation level to communicate the DCI for communications devices which are configured in accordance with the present technique. A communications device configured in accordance with the present technique may be one of a class of communications devices, which may for example be reduced capability devices. Therefore by setting a predetermined sub-set of the possible sets of CCEs in which to transmit the DCI message, the communications device need only search this predetermined sub-set of the possible sets of CCEs. As a result there is a proportional reduction in the amount of power consumed by the receiver unit, thereby increasing battery life for the device. The predetermined set of CCEs may be defined in accordance with a specification for a communications system or may be configured by the mobile communications network. In some example the mobile communications network first identifies that the communications device is one which is configured to operate with a reduced search space and then to transmit the DCI using only a set from the predetermined sub-set of the possible sets of CCEs providing one or more CCEs according to a fixed aggregation level. In another example the communications device is configured to receive the downlink control channel information by searching for the downlink control channel information in either the predetermined sub-set of the plurality of possible sets of control channel elements in one of more of the temporal units according to the fixed aggregation level or a second sub-set of possible sets of the control channel elements which is selected from the plurality of sets of the possible control channel elements in one or more temporal units according to a configurable aggregation level. According to these embodiments the mobile communications network may provide an indication to the communications device of one or both of the predetermined sub-set of possible CCEs or the second configurable sub-set of possible CCEs, whereby the DCI is transmitted in either a set of CCEs from either the predetermined sub-set of the sets of CCEs or the second sub-set of possible CCEs.

“Various further aspects and embodiments of the invention are defined in the appended claims, including but not limited to, a mobile communications system, an infrastructure equipment or network element for communicating data to and/or from communications devices and a method of communicating data to and/or from mobile communications devices in a mobile communications system.”

The claims supplied by the inventors are:

“1. A communications device for transmitting data to or receiving data from a mobile communications network, the communications device comprising: circuitry configured to transmit data to the mobile communications network via a wireless access interface provided by the mobile communications network; receive data from the mobile communications network via the wireless access interface, the data provided in a radio frame that is divided into a plurality of time divided temporal units with a downlink control channel and a downlink shared channel included in each temporal unit; and receive downlink control channel information transmitted by the mobile communications network in one or more control channel elements of the downlink control channel included in the radio frame, wherein the one or more control channel elements in which the downlink control channel information is transmitted is one of a plurality of sets of possible control channel elements in which the mobile communications network can transmit the downlink control information in one of the temporal units of the radio frame for the communications device to search for the downlink control information in each of the plurality of possible sets of control channel elements, wherein the circuitry is configured to receive the downlink control channel information by searching the downlink control channel in a search space that includes at least one of (i) a predetermined sub-set of the plurality of possible sets of control channel elements in one or more of the temporal units of the radio frame according to a fixed aggregation level, and (ii) a second sub-set of possible control channel elements which is selected from the plurality of possible sets of the control channel elements in one or more temporal units according to a configurable aggregation level.

“2. The communications device of claim 1, wherein the circuitry is configured to receive an indication, from the mobile communications network, of the second sub-set of possible sets of control channel elements for the one or more temporal units of the radio frame providing the configurable aggregation level.

“3. The communications device of claim 1, wherein the one or both of the predetermined sub-set of the plurality of possible sets of control channel elements or the second sub-set of the possible sets of the control channel elements is common for one or more other communications devices.

“4. The communications device of claim 1, wherein the one or both of the predetermined sub-set of the plurality of possible sets of control channel elements or the second sub-set of the possible sets of the control channel elements is specific to the communications device.

“5. The communications device of claim 1, wherein each of the control channel elements of the predetermined sub-set of the plurality of possible sets of control channel elements or the second sub-set of the possible sets of the control channel elements each comprise enhanced control channel elements of an enhanced downlink control channel.

“6. The communications device of claim 1, wherein the one or both of the predetermined sub-set of the plurality of possible sets of control channel elements or the second sub-set of the possible sets of the control channel elements changes from one of the plurality of possible sets of control channel elements to another of the plurality of possible sets of control channel elements from one of the temporal-units to another.

“7. The communications device of claim 1, wherein the searching for the downlink control channel information in the predetermined sub-set of the plurality of possible sets of control channel elements according to the fixed aggregation level comprises searching a set of one or more control channel elements from the sub-set of possible sets of control channel elements in a temporal unit of the wireless access interface.

“8. A method of receiving down link control information at a communications device from a mobile communications network, the method comprising: receiving, via a wireless access interface, downlink control channel information transmitted by the mobile communications network in one or more control channel elements of a downlink control channel of a radio frame a plurality of temporal units, the wireless access interface being provided by the mobile communications network for transmitting data to or receiving data from the communications device, the radio frame being divided into a plurality of time divided temporal units with the downlink control channel and a downlink shared channel included in each temporal unit, wherein the one or more control channel elements in which the downlink control channel information is transmitted is one of a plurality of sets of possible control channel elements in which the mobile communications network can transmit the downlink control information in one of the temporal units of the radio frame for the communications devices to search for the downlink control information in each of the plurality of possible sets of control channel elements, wherein the receiving comprises searching for the downlink control channel information by searching in a search space that includes at least one of (i) a predetermined sub-set of the plurality of possible sets of control channel elements in the downlink control channel for one or more of the temporal units of the radio frame according to a fixed aggregation level, and (ii) a second sub-set of possible control channel elements which is selected from the plurality of possible sets of the control channel elements in one or more temporal units according to a configurable aggregation level.

“9. The method of claim 8, further comprising: receiving an indication, from the mobile communications network, of the second sub-set of possible sets of control channel elements for the one or more temporal units of the radio frame providing the configurable aggregation level.

“10. The method of claim 9, wherein the one or both of the predetermined sub-set of the plurality of possible sets of control channel elements or the second sub-set of the possible sets of control channel elements is common for one or more other communications devices.

“11. The method of claim 8, wherein the one or both of the predetermined sub-set of the plurality of possible sets of control channel elements or the second sub-set of the possible set of control channel elements is specific to the communications device.

“12. The method of claim 8, wherein each of the control channel elements of the one or both of the predetermined sub-set of the plurality of possible sets of control channel elements or the second sub-set of the possible sets of control channel elements is an enhanced control channel element of an enhanced downlink control channel.

“13. The method of claim 8, wherein the one or both of the predetermined sub-set of the plurality of possible sets of control channel elements or the second sub-set of the possible sets of control channel elements changes from one set of the plurality of control channel elements to another set of the plurality of control channel elements from one of the time-units to another.

“14. The method of claim 8, wherein the searching for the downlink control channel information in the predetermined sub-set of the plurality of possible sets of control channel elements according to the fixed aggregation level comprises searching a set of one or more control channel elements from the sub-set of possible sets of control channel elements in a temporal unit.

“15. Circuitry for a communications device for transmitting data to or receiving data from a mobile communications network, the circuitry configured to: receive, via a wireless access interface, downlink control channel information transmitted by the mobile communications network in one or more control channel elements of a downlink control channel of a radio frame a plurality of temporal units, the wireless access interface being provided by the mobile communications network for transmitting data to or receiving data from the communications device, the radio frame being divided into a plurality of time divided temporal units with the downlink control channel and a downlink shared channel included in each temporal unit, wherein the one or more control channel elements in which the downlink control channel information is transmitted is one of a plurality of sets of possible control channel elements in which the mobile communications network can transmit the downlink control information in one of the temporal units of the radio frame for the communications devices to search for the downlink control information in each of the plurality of possible sets of control channel elements, wherein the receiving comprises searching for the downlink control channel information by searching in a search space that includes at least one of (i) a predetermined sub-set of the plurality of possible sets of control channel elements in the downlink control channel for one or more of the temporal units of the radio frame according to a fixed aggregation level, and (ii) a second sub-set of possible control channel elements which is selected from the plurality of possible sets of the control channel elements in one or more temporal units according to a configurable aggregation level.

“16. The circuitry of claim 15, wherein the circuitry is further configured to receive an indication, from the mobile communications network, of the second sub-set of possible sets of control channel elements for the one or more temporal units of the radio frame providing the configurable aggregation level.

“17. The circuitry of claim 15, wherein the one or both of the predetermined sub-set of the plurality of possible sets of control channel elements or the second sub-set of the possible sets of control channel elements is common for one or more other communications devices.

“18. The circuitry of claim 15, wherein the one or both of the predetermined sub-set of the plurality of possible sets of control channel elements or the second sub-set of the possible set of control channel elements is specific to the communications device.

“19. The circuitry of claim 15, wherein each of the control channel elements of the one or both of the predetermined sub-set of the plurality of possible sets of control channel elements or the second sub-set of the possible sets of control channel elements is an enhanced control channel element of an enhanced downlink control channel.

“20. The circuitry of claim 15, wherein the one or both of the predetermined sub-set of the plurality of possible sets of control channel elements or the second sub-set of the possible sets of control channel elements changes from one set of the plurality of control channel elements to another set of the plurality of control channel elements from one of the time-units to another.”

For additional information on this patent application, see: WEBB, Matthew William. Communications Device, Infrastructure Equipment And Methods For Receiving Downlink Control Information. Filed February 22, 2019 and posted July 25, 2019. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PG01&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=%2220190230641%22.PGNR.&OS=DN/20190230641&RS=DN/20190230641

(Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world.)

Copyright © 2019 NewsRx LLC, Daily Asia Business, source Geographic Newsletters

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