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United States Patent Application 20180102860
Kind Code A1
EMMANUEL; Joseph Amalan Arul ;   et al. April 12, 2018

INTERFERENCE TEST SETUP SYSTEMS, STRUCTURES AND PROCESSES

Abstract

Disclosed are methods and systems for interactive dynamic interference testing of wireless environments, which can emulate wireless traffic for multiple homes, apartments and offices. The emulated wireless environment can emulate a wide variety of 802.11 traffic, as well as other types of traffic. Some embodiments can also control any of the power level of interference, as well as the attenuation between devices, such as between access points and clients. The system and method can be used to monitor the performance of a device under test (DUT) under one or more interference conditions, and can be used to evaluate and modify the dynamic behavior of the DUT and other devices under different operating scenarios.


Inventors: EMMANUEL; Joseph Amalan Arul; (Cupertino, CA) ; AMINI; Peiman; (Mountain View, CA)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

NETGEAR, Inc.

San Jose

CA

US
Family ID: 1000002664823
Appl. No.: 15/594417
Filed: May 12, 2017


Related U.S. Patent Documents

Application NumberFiling DatePatent Number
62406325Oct 10, 2016

Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: H04B 17/0085 20130101; H04B 17/345 20150115
International Class: H04B 17/345 20060101 H04B017/345; H04B 17/00 20060101 H04B017/00

Claims



1. A system for testing a wireless device under test (DUT), comprising: a test region; an interference set that is configured to provide a plurality of wireless signals with respect to the DUT; a mechanism for setting one or more operating parameters for any of the DUT and the interference set, for one or more interference test conditions; a mechanism for monitoring the dynamic behavior of the DUT with respect to the interference set under each of the interference test conditions; a mechanism for monitoring the dynamic behavior of the interference set with respect to the DUT under each of the interference test conditions; and a mechanism for modifying a dynamic operating parameter of any of the interference set and the DUT, based on the monitored dynamic behavior.

2. The system of claim 1, wherein the modified dynamic operating parameter includes a modification of packet length corresponding to any of input signals for receipt by the DUT or output signals for transmission from the DUT.

3. The system of claim 2, wherein the modification of packet length is a decrease in the packet length in response to an increased level of detected interference.

4. The system of claim 2, wherein the modification of packet length is an increase in the packet length in response to a decreased level of detected interference.

5. The system of claim 1, wherein the modified dynamic operating parameter includes a modification of a rate control parameter of the DUT.

6. The system of claim 1, wherein the DUT comprises any of a wireless access point (AP) and a wireless bridge.

7. The system of claim 1, wherein the interference set includes any of an access point (AP), a wireless bridge, and a client device.

8. The system of claim 1, wherein the interference set includes any of an appliance, a toy, a baby monitoring device, a gaming system, a mobile phone, a computer, a printer, and a security device.

9. The system of claim 1, wherein the interference set includes any of 802.11 wi-fi traffic, traffic other than 802.11 wi-fi traffic, and any combination thereof.

10. The system of claim 1, further comprising: a mechanism for controlling power level of one or more wireless signal transmissions for the interference set.

11. The system of claim 1, further comprising: a mechanism for controlling attenuation of at least a portion of the interference set.

12. The system of claim 7, wherein the controlled attenuated portion of the interference set includes attenuation between an access point (AP) and a client device.

13. The system of claim 1, further comprising: an antenna matrix that includes one or more antennas that extend from the interference set into the test chamber.

14. The system of claim 1, further comprising: an antenna that extends from the DUT into the test chamber.

15. The system of claim 1, wherein any of the interference set and the DUT is located within a shield box.

16. The system of claim 1, wherein the interference test set is controllable to simulate any of different times of day, different times of week, and different times of activity.

17. The system of claim 1, wherein the modified dynamic operating parameters of the DUT includes instructions for modifying transmit or receive parameters for the DUT to either increase performance when detected interference exceeds a predetermined threshold, or when detected interference is less than or equal to a lower interference threshold, returning any of the transmit or receive parameters toward common settings.

18. The system of claim 1, wherein the modified dynamic operating parameters of the DUT includes instructions for detecting a destination address in a header field of a received wireless signal; and using the detected destination address for any of dropping packet reception of the received wireless signal, or listening in parallel to other packets.

19. The system of claim 1, wherein the modified dynamic operating parameters of the DUT includes instructions for detecting any of request to send (RTS) and clear to send (CTS) mechanisms of packets for a received wireless signal from a local device that is not of interest; and as a result of the detecting, either not listening to an entire exchange from the local device, or keeping reception of the DUT in a detection mode for packets received from the local device that the DUT is interested in.

20. A method for testing a wireless device under test (DUT), comprising: establishing an interference set to provide a plurality of wireless signals with respect to the DUT within a test chamber; setting one or more operating parameters for any of the DUT and the interference set for one or more interference test conditions; monitoring the dynamic behavior of the DUT with respect to the interference set under each of the interference test conditions; monitoring the dynamic behavior of the interference set with respect to the DUT under each of the test conditions; and modifying one or more operating parameters of any of the interference set and the DUT, based on the monitored dynamic behaviors.

21. The method of claim 20, wherein the modifying the dynamic operating parameter includes modifying a packet length corresponding to any of input signals received by the DUT or output signals transmitted from the DUT.

22. The method of claim 21, wherein the modifying the packet length is a decrease in the packet length in response to an increased level of detected interference.

23. The method of claim 21, wherein the modifying the packet length is an increase in the packet length in response to a decreased level of detected interference.

24. The method of claim 20, wherein the modifying the dynamic operating parameter includes a modification of a rate control parameter of the DUT.

25. The method of claim 20, further comprising: retesting any of the dynamic behavior of the DUT and the dynamic behavior of the interference set after the modifying the operating parameters of any of the interference set and the DUT.

26. The method of claim 20, further comprising: configuring the DUT to dynamically respond to changing interference conditions during subsequent operation of the DUT.

27. The method of claim 20, wherein the DUT comprises any of a wireless access point (AP) and a wireless bridge.

28. The method of claim 20, wherein the interference set includes any of an access point (AP), a wireless bridge, and a client device.

29. The method of claim 20, wherein the interference set includes any of an appliance, a toy, a baby monitoring device, a gaming system, a mobile phone, a computer, a printer, and a security device.

30. The method of claim 20, further comprising: controlling output power of one or more wireless signal transmissions for the interference set.

31. The method of claim 20, further comprising: controlling attenuation of at least a portion of the interference set.

32. The method of claim 31, wherein the attenuation of at least a portion of the interference set includes controlling attenuation between an access point (AP) and a client device.

33. The method of claim 20, wherein the modifying of the dynamic operating parameters of the DUT includes any of: modifying transmit or receive parameters for the DUT to increase performance when detected interference exceeds a predetermined threshold: or returning any of the transmit and receive parameters toward common settings when detected interference is less than or equal to a lower interference threshold.

34. The method of claim 20, wherein the modifying of the dynamic operating parameters of the DUT includes modifying instructions for: detecting a destination address in a header field of a received wireless signal; and using the detected destination address for any of dropping packet reception of the received wireless signal, or listening in parallel to other packets.

35. The method of claim 20, wherein the modifying of the dynamic operating parameters of the DUT includes modifying instructions for: detecting any of request to send (RTS) and clear to send (CTS) mechanisms of packets for a received wireless signal from a local device that is not of interest; and as a result of the detecting, either not listening to an entire exchange from the local device, or keeping reception of the DUT in a detection mode for packets received from the local device that the DUT is interested in.

36. The method of claim 20, wherein the modifying of the dynamic operating parameters of the DUT includes modifying instructions for: detecting a rogue access point (AP) that gets more packets through than the device under test (DUT); and fully or partially ignoring the detected rogue AP.

37. A method for operating a wireless device in a wireless interference environment, comprising: monitoring wireless communication performance of the wireless device in the wireless interference environment; when the monitored wireless communication performance of the wireless device exceeds a predetermined threshold, dynamically modifying any of transmit and receive dynamic operating parameters for the wireless device; and repeating the monitoring of the wireless communication performance of the wireless device in the wireless interference environment using the modified dynamic operating parameters.

38. The method of claim 37, wherein the modifying any of the transmit or the receive dynamic operating parameters for the wireless device includes modifying a packet length corresponding to any of input signals received by the wireless device or output signals transmitted from the wireless device.

39. The method of claim 38, wherein the modifying the packet length is a decrease in the packet length in response to an increased level of detected interference.

40. The method of claim 38, wherein the modifying the packet length is an increase in the packet length in response to a decreased level of detected interference.

41. The method of claim 37, wherein the modifying any of the transmit or the receive dynamic operating parameters for the wireless device includes a modification of a rate control parameter of the wireless device.

42. The method of claim 37, further comprising: when the monitored wireless communication performance of the wireless device is less than or equal to a lower interference threshold, modifying any of transmit and receive dynamic operating parameters toward default dynamic operating parameter settings.

43. The method of claim 37, wherein the modifying of the dynamic operating parameters of the wireless device includes any of: modifying transmit or receive parameters for the DUT to increase performance when detected interference exceeds a predetermined threshold: or returning any of the transmit and receive parameters toward common settings when detected interference is less than or equal to a lower interference threshold.

44. The method of claim 37, wherein the modifying of the dynamic operating parameters of the wireless device includes modifying instructions for: detecting a destination address in a header field of a received wireless signal; and using the detected destination address for any of dropping packet reception of the received wireless signal, or listening in parallel to other packets.

45. The method of claim 37, wherein the modifying of the dynamic operating parameters of the wireless device includes modifying instructions for: detecting any of request to send (RTS) and clear to send (CTS) mechanisms of packets for a received wireless signal from a local device that is not of interest; and as a result of the detecting, either not listening to an entire exchange from the local device, or keeping reception of the wireless device in a detection mode for packets received from the local device that the wireless device is interested in.

46. The method of claim 37, wherein the modifying of the dynamic operating parameters of the wireless device includes modifying instructions for: detecting a rogue access point (AP) that gets more packets through than the wireless device; and fully or partially ignoring the detected rogue AP.

47. The method of claim 37, wherein the wireless device is a device under test (DUT).

48. The method of claim 37, further comprising: transmitting information regarding the monitored wireless communication performance of the wireless device to an interference test system for remote testing of a corresponding device under test (DUT) using the transmitted information.

49. The method of claim 37, further comprising: receiving information from an interference test system as a result of testing a device under test (DUT) in a remote interference test environment; and updating one or more operating parameters of the wireless device using the received information.
Description



CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This Application claims priority from U.S. Provisional Application No. 62/406,325, filed Oct. 10, 2016, which is incorporated herein in its entirety by this reference thereto.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0002] At least one embodiment of the present invention pertains to systems and processes for interference testing within wireless environments. At least one embodiment of the present invention pertains to systems and processes for dynamic modification of one or more operating parameters of a wireless device in a wireless environment.

BACKGROUND

[0003] Wi-Fi devices are often set up or otherwise configured based on an assumption that the surrounding wireless environment includes little or no interference, and that neighboring wireless devices are also Wi-Fi devices, which operate in an expected manner.

[0004] However, many wireless devices that generally comply with IEEE 802.11 standards do not fully or partially implement enhanced distributed channel access (EDCA) 802.11 standards, and are often not "fair" in how they operate in wireless environments that are shared with other devices.

[0005] As well, some wireless devices that generally comply with IEEE 802.11 standards do not have good receivers, and as such, do not adequately detect other communication packets in densely populated areas.

[0006] In addition, non Wi-Fi interference often occurs in Wi-Fi bands that have different protocols and physical layers, such as associated with any of Bluetooth devices that operate with respect to IEEE 802.15.4 standards, e.g., baby monitors, intercoms, or other commonly used devices.

[0007] New protocols are being introduced for 802.11 bands, which do not follow 802.11 back off and rate control mechanisms, such as for long-term evolution (LTE) devices that operate in unlicensed spectrum (LTE-U), which use carrier-sensitive adaptive transmission (CSAT) to sense other users, and can adjust on/off LTE cycling, or LTE-LAA, such as to abide by region specific "listen before talk" (LBT) policy, such as to sense channel availability, and subsequently adjust on/off LTE cycling.

[0008] Wireless devices are often configured to increase back-off when they detect interference, which often does not help when the devices share a medium with other devices.

[0009] As well, data rates can drop as a function of rate control for a wireless device. As a result, when the length of packets increases in time, the performance can decrease, because the increased length of packets inherently increases the probability of collisions.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0010] One or more embodiments of the present invention are illustrated by way of example and not limitation in the figures of the accompanying drawings, in which like references indicate similar elements.

[0011] FIG. 1 is a schematic view of an illustrative wireless environment having a plurality of buildings and related infrastructure located within a region in which a variety of wireless devices operate, and in which operation of a device can be adversely effected by interference.

[0012] FIG. 2 is a schematic view of an illustrative wireless environment associated with a residential, commercial or industrial building, in which operation of a device can be adversely effected by interference from local and/or external sources.

[0013] FIG. 3 is a schematic diagram of an illustrative embodiment of an illustrative interference test system that can be configured to provide interference testing and monitoring.

[0014] FIG. 4 is a schematic diagram of an alternate illustrative embodiment of an interference test system.

[0015] FIG. 5 is a schematic diagram of further alternate illustrative embodiment of an interference test system.

[0016] FIG. 6 is a partial cutaway view of an illustrative interference test environment for DUT interference testing.

[0017] FIG. 7 is a flowchart of an illustrative method for DUT interference testing.

[0018] FIG. 8 is an illustrative schematic view of one or more test parameters that can be implemented to conduct interference testing and monitoring of a device under test (DUT).

[0019] FIG. 9 is a schematic view of an illustrative wireless device.

[0020] FIG. 10 is a flowchart of an illustrative method for establishing or updating dynamic performance parameters to a wireless device based on the results of enhanced interference testing.

[0021] FIG. 11 is a flowchart of an illustrative method for testing dynamic behavior of devices in an interference environment.

[0022] FIG. 12 is a flowchart of an illustrative method for dynamically modifying the operating parameters of a wireless device based on the detection of interference conditions.

[0023] FIG. 13 is a high-level block diagram showing an example of a processing device that can represent any of the systems described herein.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0024] References in this description to "an embodiment", "one embodiment", or the like, mean that the particular feature, function, structure or characteristic being described is included in at least one embodiment of the present invention. Occurrences of such phrases in this specification do not necessarily all refer to the same embodiment. On the other hand, the embodiments referred to also are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

[0025] Disclosed are methods and systems for interactive dynamic interference testing of wireless environments, which can emulate wireless traffic for multiple homes, apartments and offices. The emulated wireless environment can emulate a wide variety of 802.11 traffic, as well as other types of traffic. Some embodiments can also control any of the power level of interference, as well as the attenuation between devices, such as between access points and clients. The system and method can be used to monitor the performance of a device under test (DUT) under one or more interference conditions, and can be used to evaluate and modify the dynamic behavior of the DUT and other devices under different operating scenarios.

[0026] For instance, some embodiments of the systems and methods disclosed herein provide an enhanced testing environment for wireless devices, which provides adjustable interference conditions for testing of a device under test (DUT), performance monitoring of the DUT within one or more interference conditions, as well as dynamic adjustment of operational parameters for the DUT, wherein the operation of the DUT, or that of another wireless device, can be improved, such as during a test session, or before retesting under the same or different interference conditions.

[0027] In certain embodiments, the techniques introduced here provide dynamic adjustment of a wide variety of operational parameters for the DUT or related wireless devices, including any of rate control parameters, transmitter operation parameters, and receiver operation parameters.

[0028] FIG. 1 is a schematic view of an illustrative wireless environment 10 having a plurality of buildings 12 and related infrastructure 16 located within a region 14, e.g., a populated residential, business or industrial environment 14, in which a variety of wireless devices 18,20,22 operate, and in which operation of a device 18,20,22 can be adversely effected by interference.

[0029] An illustrative building, e.g., a residence or business 12, seen in FIG. 1 is located in a populated area 14, in which an access point 18 and one or more devices 20 are configured to operate. For example, a wide variety of access points 18 and devices 20 are commonly used within a residential, business or industrial environment 14, in which many of the devices 18,20,22 are configured to send and/or receive wireless signals 66 (FIG. 2), such as between devices 20, and or between a wireless device 20 and an access point 18, either directly or through a wireless bridge 22. As well, numerous other devices, such as appliances, remote controllers, toys, consumer electronics, security systems, heaters, ventilation and/or air conditioning (HVAC) units, vehicles, and/or tools that commonly operate within a residential business or industrial environment 14 can often interfere with wireless communication.

[0030] The illustrative wireless environment 14 seen in FIG. 1 also includes numerous neighboring buildings 12, which can similarly include one or more access points 18, bridges 22, and a wide variety of devices 20, such as those that are configured to operate wirelessly within the environment, as well as other devices and/or appliances 20 that can contribute to interference 80 (FIG. 2). Some wireless environments 12 can include one or more wireless bridges 22, such as to extend the range between wireless devices 20 and an access point 18. In some wireless environments 14, one or more access points 18 can be configured as bridges 22, such as between access points, or as a connection 62 (FIG. 2) between an access point 18 and a router 63 (FIG. 2) for connection to an external network 62 (FIG. 2).

[0031] Interference 80 can also arise from other sources 78 (FIG. 2), such as from the use of mobile devices, vehicles, equipment, and/or even from the infrastructure 16 itself, e.g., utility delivery, utility monitoring, content reception and transmission, community routers, etc.

[0032] FIG. 2 shows an illustrative local wireless environment 60 associated with a building or property 12, in which operation of a device, such as an access point 18, a wireless bridge 22, or other wireless device 20, can be adversely effected by interference from any of local or external sources. The illustrative building 12 seen in FIG. 2, such as located within a populated area 14 (FIG. 1), includes a wireless access point 18, which is connected 62 to an external network 64, such as through a router 63.

[0033] The illustrative access point 18 seen in FIG. 2 is configured to communicate with wireless devices 20 over a Wi-Fi network 84, such as directly or through an intermediate bridge 22, using wireless signals 66, such as by transmitting a downlink signal 68 to a wireless device 20, and/or by receiving an uplink signal 70 from the wireless device 20. While some wireless devices 20, e.g., 20a, are specifically configured to communicate over a single Wi-Fi network 84, other devices 20 can be configured to operate over one or more available channels, e.g., 3G, 4G, LTE, etc.

[0034] As further illustrated in FIG. 2, a local environment 60 can often include a wide variety other devices 20 that can communicate 66 with other devices 20, directly and/or through an access point 18. For instance, such devices can include any of entertainment systems and gaming devices 20b, security systems, HVAC controllers, ZigBee devices (IEEE 802.15 devices), and local wireless monitors 20c and receivers 20d, e.g., baby monitoring systems. As well, other devices 74 can contribute unintended signals 76 to a local environment, even without intended wireless communication. For example, microwave ovens 74 and/or other appliances or tools are often operated in residential and/or business environments 14, and can produce signals 76 during use that can interfere with the wireless operation of other devices 18,20,22.

[0035] As also seen in FIG. 2, interference signals 80 from one or more external sources 78 can cause further interference within a local environment 60, just as the operation of devices 18,20,22,74 in the local environment 12 can result in interference that can be problematic for wireless operation in neighboring local environments 60.

[0036] As seen in FIG. 1 and FIG. 2, the specific environment 14,60 in which wireless devices 18,20,22 are required to operate can be extremely varied, such that interference experienced by the devices 18,20,22 can often result in the loss or incomplete transmission or reception of downlink signals 68 and/or uplink signals 70.

[0037] A specific environment in which a device 18,20,22 operates can change significantly over time, both in the near term (e.g., time of day, day of the week, time of year, etc.) or in the long term, such as with the introduction of more and different devices and/or communication standards, which can contribute to interference.

[0038] For example, within a business environment 10, numerous devices 20, such as computers, printers, copiers, are often powered and operated during limited hours of operation during a business day, while many of these devices 20 are powered off at other times, such as at night, and/or on weekends. While some devices 20 can be powered during other times, they may not require bandwidth for receiving and/or transmitting wireless signals during such downtime. Some devices are often required to be used at all times in a business environment, such as for HVAC systems, refrigerators, security and monitoring systems, servers and/or access points 18. Other devices are commonly used as needed during active business hours, such as microwave ovens, copiers, printers, and/or tools.

[0039] The operating environment within a residence 12 can also change significantly, such as based on the requirements, habits and interests of the occupants. For instance, an illustrative residence 12 can include one or more access points 18, one or more bridges 22, computers, wireless phones, entertainment systems, and gaming consoles. In some households, one or more of the occupants can leave the residence during work and/or school hours. At other times, many of the occupants can be at home, and increase their use of wireless devices. In multiple-family buildings, the local interference 80 can increase significantly, in which some devices 20 are operated on an as-needed basis, while other devices 20 are powered continuously.

[0040] Furthermore, a local wireless environment 60 can suffer from external interference 80 (FIG. 2) caused by the operation of other stationary and/or mobile sources, besides those related to neighboring buildings 12.

[0041] FIG. 3 is a schematic diagram of an illustrative embodiment of an interactive dynamic interference test setup system 100, e.g., 100a, which can emulate traffic from high-density environments 14, 60, such as experienced around multiple homes, apartments and/or offices 12, which can include a multitude of Wi-Fi devices 18,20,22 and non-Wi-Fi devices, e.g., 74 (FIG. 2). The illustrative test system 100a seen in FIG. 3 includes a device under test (DUT) 110, such as controlled 106 by a DUT controller 112 and monitored by a DUT monitor 114, in which the illustrative DUT 110 can be similar to a wireless device 20, a wireless access point 18, or a wireless bridge 22, as seen in FIG. 1 and FIG. 2.

[0042] The illustrative test system 100a seen in FIG. 3 also includes an interference set 120, such as controlled by an interference set controller 122 and monitored 108 by an interference set monitor 124. While the illustrative interference set controller 122 and interference set monitor 124 are shown as discrete components, in some system embodiments, the functions of the interference set controller 122 and interference set monitor 124 can be performed by an integrated system controller. Furthermore, in some system embodiments 100, the functions of the interference set controller 122 and interference set monitor 124 can be performed with a combined system controller that can also perform DUT control 112 and/or monitoring 114.

[0043] The interference set 120 seen in FIG. 3 can be used to emulate one or more wireless signals 66 or other interference signals 76,80 (FIG. 2) within a test region 103, such as related to devices 20 which can cause interference for the DUT 110, or which may be adversely affected by interference from the DUT 110.

[0044] The illustrative DUT 110 seen in FIG. 3 can be located within a shield box 116, such as located outside or inside the test region 103 of a test enclosure 102. The illustrative interference test system 100a seen in FIG. 3 also includes a DUT antenna 104 that extends from the DUT 110 into the test region 103, such as to send and receive wireless signals 66, as well as other interference signals 160 during interference testing.

[0045] The illustrative interference set 120 seen in FIG. 3 is established with respect to the test system 100a, to controllably provide a variety of interference conditions with which to test one or more DUTs 110. As seen in FIG. 3, the interference set 120 can be powered and controlled through an interference set controller 122 under testing conditions to provide controlled interference 160, and the operation of the interference set 120 can be monitored by an interference set monitor 124. In some embodiments of the test system 100, the interference controller 122 and the interference monitor 124 can implemented by an integrated interference controller 122 and monitor 124. Furthermore, the control parameters and monitored performance can be captured, stored and/or displayed, such as for analysis by testing personnel U.

[0046] The illustrative interference set 120 seen in FIG. 3 can be located within a shield box 130, such as located outside or inside the test region 103 of a test enclosure 102. The illustrative interference test system 100a seen in FIG. 3 also includes an array 136 of antennas 138, e.g., 138a-138d, that extends from the interference set 120 into the test region 103, such as to send and receive wireless signals 66, as well as to apply one or more interference signals 140 during interference testing.

[0047] FIG. 4 is a schematic diagram of an alternate illustrative embodiment of a dynamic interference system 100, e.g., 100b, which can emulate traffic from high density wireless communication environments 14,60, such as experienced around multiple homes apartments and/or offices. The illustrative interference test system 110b can include a multitude of Wi-Fi devices, e.g., 18,20,22, and non Wi-Fi devices, e.g., 74 (FIG. 2). While the interference set 120 itself can be operated such as shown in FIG. 3, such as to emulate one or more devices, the interference test system 100, such as seen in FIG. 4, can be configured to separately introduce wireless traffic from other sources, such as from other devices 20, access points 18, and/or bridges 22, either to communicate with the DUT 110, or to apply interference signals 140 within the test region 103.

[0048] In the test system 100b seen in FIG. 4, the additional devices 20, e.g., 20a-20g, access points 18, e.g., 18a-18d, and/or bridges 22 e.g., 22a-20c, can be located within the test enclosure 102, such as within shield boxes 130 (FIG. 3), or can be located externally to the test enclosure 102, with antennas, e.g., 138 extending into the test region 103 (FIG. 3).

[0049] The illustrative additional device 20 seen in FIG. 4 can be controlled by a device controller 132 and monitored by a device monitor 134, and can be used to provide one or more wireless signals 66 within the test region 103, such as for any of communicating with the DUT 110, applying interference signals 140 within the test region 103, or for tracking interference at the device 20 that may be caused by operation of the DUT 110.

[0050] The illustrative test system 100b seen in FIG. 4 can also include an access point (AP) 18, such as controlled by a AP controller 142 and monitored by a AP monitor 144. The illustrative test system 100b seen in FIG. 4 can also include a wireless bridge 22, such as controlled by a bridge controller 152 and monitored by a bridge monitor 154. The access point 18 and/or the bridge 22 can be configured for communication with the DUT 110, and/or can be configured for configured with the interference set 120, the device 20, and/or with each other.

[0051] FIG. 5 is a schematic diagram of an illustrative embodiment of a further dynamic interference test setup system 100, e.g., 100c, which can emulate traffic from high-density environments 14, 60, such as experienced around multiple homes, apartment structures, and/or offices 12, and which can include a multitude of Wi-Fi devices, e.g., 18,20,22 and non-Wi-Fi devices, e.g., 74 (FIG. 2). The illustrative test system 100c seen in FIG. 5 can include one or more devices under test 110, e.g., 110a-110e, one or more interference sets 120, e.g., 120a-120f, one or more other devices 20, e.g., 20a-20g, one or more access points 18, e.g., 18a-18d, and one or more bridges 22, e.g., 22a-22c.

[0052] In some embodiments of the interference test system 100, such as seen in FIGS. 3-5, the interference sets 120 can integrate the transmission and/or reception of wireless signals 66 contributed by the other devices 20, access points 18, and/or bridges 22. For example, wireless signals corresponding to one or more devices 18,20,22 can be controllably introduced into a test region 103 though one or more antennas 138, e.g., 138a-138d (FIG. 5) operating on one or more bands.

[0053] The illustrative test systems seen in FIG. 4 and FIG. 5 can be implemented with a test enclosure 102 having a test region 103 defined within, which provides an environment for controlled interference testing of one or more DUTs 110. As seen in FIG. 4 and FIG. 5, each device under test (DUT) 110, such as an access point 18, a bridge 22, or a wireless device 20, can be powered and controlled through a DUT controller 112, under testing conditions that can include controlled interference 140, wherein the operation of each DUT 110 can be monitored by a DUT monitor 114. In some embodiments of the test system 100, the DUT controller 112 and the DUT monitor 114 can implemented by an integrated controller 112 and monitor 114, which in some embodiments can be used to control and monitor additional devices under test DUT 110. Furthermore, the control parameters and monitored performance can be captured, stored and/or displayed, such as for analysis by testing personnel U.

[0054] The interactive dynamic interference test setup system 100, e.g., 100a-100c can be used to develop, operate, evaluate and modify the hardware and/or operating parameters of wireless devices 18,20,22, such as to meet the demands of a wide-variety of operating environments 10,60. As a result of such iterative interference testing of a device under test (DUT) 110, such as during development, the hardware and/or operation of subsequent devices 110, i.e., production units, can be configured and/or updated to meet and/or exceed performance specifications.

[0055] The illustrative interference test systems 100a-100c seen in FIGS. 3-5 can be configured to run different types of traffic on one or more interference sets 120, and can control the power level of applied interference 140. The illustrative interference systems 100a-100c can also control the attenuation between access points (AP) 18 and client devices 20, while monitoring the performance of one or more devices under test (DUTs) 110. In some embodiments, the test system 100 can implement interference by creating multiple sets of access points (APs) 18 and bridges 22 on various channels, and then running traffic between each AP 18 and bridge 22. Each AP 18 and bridge 22 can be located in a shield box 130 (FIG. 3) such as within the test chamber 102 or located externally to the test chamber 102 and connected to a corresponding antenna structure 136. The test system 100 can independently manage each set 120, such as to emulate crowded network environment 14,60 in a home or office.

[0056] The interference test system 100, e.g., 100a-100c, can control attenuation between the shield box 130 and the DUT 110, such as to control the simulated distance of wireless signals 66 that correspond to an interference set 120 and the DUT 110. The interference test system 100 can also control attenuation between the DUT 110 and an uplink side 70 of a wireless link 66, to test and evaluate DUT performance for clients at different distances, and can run full rate vs. range (RvR) testing on the DUT 110, to evaluate the effect of interference 140.

[0057] The interference test system 100 can also check the dynamic behavior of the DUT 110. For instance, the system 100 can inject interference signals 140, e.g., 66,72,74,80 for a duration, after which time the interference 140 is removed, wherein it can be determined how the DUT 110 recovers from the interference event.

[0058] In some embodiments, different modulation and coding schemes (MCS) can be run with applied interference 140, to simulate different types of clients and different distances, to determine the effects. In some embodiments, the test system 100 can also measure other parameters such as packet error rate (PER) and/or delay, to see how the DUT 110 behaves in different interference scenarios.

[0059] As noted above, a wide variety of supplementary devices often operate in different environments 12, 60, which are not necessarily configured to wirelessly communicate through a local network, but can nonetheless interfere with the proper operation of other devices 18,20. For instance, microwave ovens 74 are commonly used in a home or office environment, on an as needed basis. During operation, which can include one or more modes, spurious signals from such a supplementary device can adversely affect the transmission and/or reception of communication packets between devices 18,20.

[0060] Therefore, some embodiments of the interference testing system 100 provide a wide variety of different interference scenarios with which a device can be tested. As well, the some embodiments of the interference testing system 100 provide a wide variety of methods by which a device under test (DUT) 110 can be adjusted or altered in function, to test how the device functions, to determine whether the communication performance of the DUT 110 is improved or not, ad/or to determine if the operation of other neighboring devices has been changed based on the modified operation of the DUT 110.

[0061] FIG. 6 is a partial cutaway view 200 of an illustrative interference test environment 12 for DUT setup and testing, e.g., 300 (FIG. 7), 500 (FIG. 8), 700 (FIG. 10), 800 (FIG. 10). In some embodiments of the test chamber 12, any of the DUT 110 or the matrix 136 of antennas 138, e.g., 138a-138d, can be moveable 208 in relation to each other. For example, as seen in FIG. 6, a movement mechanism 206 may preferably provide controlled movement 208 of a device under test DUT 110 in one or more directions 202, e.g., such as comprising movement 208 in an X-direction 202x, in a Y-direction 202y, and/or in a Z-direction 202z. The illustrative test chamber 12 seen in FIG. 6 includes a DUT region 204a, such as defining the interior interference test region 103, an interconnection region 204b, such as for connection to one or more interference sets 120 and other devices 18,20,22, and a control region 204c. The illustrative test chamber 12 seen in FIG. 6 can also include shielding 210 and user access 214.

[0062] FIG. 7 is a flowchart of an illustrative method 300 for interference testing. As needed, the illustrative method 300 can include the establishment or set up 302 of an interference test environment 12, such as for testing a device 110 to be tested under a conditions having controlled interference sets 120.

[0063] As seen in FIG. 7, a device DUT 110 to be tested is connected to or otherwise installed 304 within the test environment 12. As also seen in FIG. 7, a test mode can be set up 306, wherein the device DUT 110 and/or the interference set up 120 can be initialized or otherwise set 306 to operate with a controlled set of parameters. For instance, the DUT 110 can be initialized to for any of operating bands, operating modes, transmission or receive parameters, and/or handshaking procedures. As well, one or more interference sets 120 and/or the operation of other devices 20,18,22 can be controlled, such as to define a specific interference environment 102.

[0064] For a specific interference set up, an interference test can then be performed 308 on a DUT 110, e.g., a prototype, pre-production unit or a production unit 110, such as to test one or more steady state or dynamic conditions with which the DUT 110 or subsequent device, e.g., a production device 20, access point 18, or bridge 22 may be subjected to in a "real-world" environment. During testing 308, the operation of the DUT 100 can be monitored, such as to gather operating data. The results of the interference test 308 can be compared 310 to one or more standards, and/or can be compared to the relative performance of other interference tests 308.

[0065] As seen in FIG. 7, if the interference performance of the device DUT 110 does not 312 meet a standard 310 for a specific interference test 308, the interference test method 300 can provide an output 314 to indicate the failure 312, and can proceed 316 to determine 320 if there are any remaining or alternate tests 308 to be performed. If so 322, one or more parameters for the DUT 110 and/or test environment 102 can be modified 324, to set up an updated test mode 306 before retesting 308.

[0066] As also seen in FIG. 7, if the interference performance of the device DUT meets 318 a specific standard 310 for the interference test 308, the illustrative interference test method 300 can provide and/or store the results of the current interference test 308, and can proceed to determine 320 if there are any remaining or alternate tests 308 to be performed. If so 322, one or more parameters for the DUT 110, interference test set 120 and/or test environment 102,120 can be modified 324, to set up an updated test mode 306 before retesting 308.

[0067] As further seen in FIG. 7, if there are no remaining tests 326, the system 100, such as through the device monitor 114 and/or interference set monitor 124, can store, provide and/or output 328 the results of the suite of tests 308.

[0068] FIG. 8 is s schematic block diagram 500 showing one or more illustrative test mode parameters 502, e.g., 502a-502k, that can be implemented to set up 306 (FIG. 7) one or more interference test modes during interference testing 300 of a DUT 110. For instance, the test system 100 can be set up 502a with different types of traffic for one or more interference sets 120. As well, the test system 100 can be adjusted to control 502b power levels for one or more devices within the test environment 102, such as for the DUT 110, for one or more signals corresponding to an interference set 120, or for one or more other devices, e.g., 18, 20,22. For some testing, the attenuation can be controlled 502c, such as between access points 18 and client devices 20. In addition to setting up or adjusting an interference set 120, one or more actual devices, e.g., 18, 20, 22, can also be set up, added, or removed 502d. For some testing 300, simulated device signals can be set up or modified 502e. In some testing, the specific mode or operating parameters for the DUT 110 or for other devices are controlled or modified 502f. As well, other parameters can be set or modified 502k, such as before, during, or after other testing 300.

[0069] FIG. 9 is a schematic view 600 of an illustrative wireless device 600, such as representing an access point 18, a bridge 22, a device under test 110, or other wireless device 20. For instance, an illustrative wireless device 600 can include functional components within a housing 602, and an internal or external antenna or antenna port 612 for wireless communication 66. The illustrative wireless device 600 includes a processor 604 in communication with a memory 606, which typically stores operating parameters 608 for the wireless device 600. The dynamic operating parameters 608 can be implemented across one or more layers of the operating system of wireless devices 600, e.g., 18,20,22,110.

[0070] The illustrative DUT 110 seen in FIG. 9 also includes a transceiver module 610 between the processor 604 and the antenna 612, for processing incoming and outgoing communication signals. A power module 614 and corresponding port 616 provide power for the DUT 110. The illustrative DUT 110 seen in FIG. 9 also includes a port 618 and a user interface 620, such as for initial set up, interference testing, or subsequent use or updating.

[0071] FIG. 10 is a flowchart of an illustrative method 700 for establishing or updating dynamic performance parameters to a wireless device, e.g., an access point 18, a wireless bridge 22, a DUT 110, or other wireless device 20, based on the results of enhanced interference testing. The illustrative method 700 seen in FIG. 10 shows the determination 702 of desired dynamic operating parameters for such a wireless device, such as based on the intended use of a DUT 110, or based on the results of prior interference testing. The dynamic operating parameters for the DUT 110 are established or updated 704, such as through interaction with the DUT processor 604 through port 618 and/or through interface 620 (FIG. 9). The DUT 110 can then either be deployed 706, such as for operation in a real-world environment 10,60, or can be subjected 708 to further testing and development. As also seen in FIG. 10, the process 700 can proceed 710 to subsequently monitor and/or test a device, such as the DUT 110 or a related wireless device (e.g., a production device), such as based on operational experience in a real-world environment 10,60, and can then be returned 712 to service.

[0072] While the illustrative method 700 seen in FIG. 10 can be implemented to test a device under test 110, the method 700 can readily be used as a test bed to establish or update parameters to be applied in other production devices 18,20,22. For instance, the results of DUT interference testing 700 can subsequently be used to establish operating parameters 608 of production devices, e.g., 18, 20, 22, and/or can be used to establish updated parameters, such as based on knowledge gained from testing, which can then be sent to update the operating parameters 608 of deployed devices, and/or can be used to establish the design basis for new wireless devices, e.g., 18, 20, 22. In some embodiments, the interference test system can be configured to receive 710 interference and/or related performance information from production devices 18, 22 or 20 that are in operation in a real-world environment. For instance, in some embodiments, statistical information can be captured from a device being operated by a customer user, such as based on a customer licensing agreement. In some embodiments, statistical information can be collected in operation logs, which can be communicated, e.g., pushed or pulled, from one or more remote wireless devices, with or without customer interaction. The received 710 information can then be used for subsequent testing, troubleshooting, and/or development, such as for emulating one or more conditions that were experienced by one or more remote devices, iteratively conducting testing 708 using the emulated conditions on a related DUT 110, and if needed, modifying the operating parameters of the DUT 110, to improve the dynamic performance of the DUT 110. After such testing and modification, the system can be used to establish modified operating parameters for one or more related devices, i.e., installed devices and/or subsequent production devices, after which the modified operating parameters can be used to update e.g., such as by 712 (FIG. 10), the software and/or firmware of the related wireless devices, which can then be returned to service, e.g., 706 (FIG. 10).

[0073] FIG. 11 is a flowchart of an illustrative method 800 for testing dynamic behavior of devices 18,20, 22,110 in a simulated interference environment 10,60, such as within a test environment 102. The illustrative method 800 seen in FIG. 10 includes setting 802 parameters to simulate an interference environment 10,60. For instance, the operating parameters of the DUT 110 can be set or updated 804a, while the operating parameters of the interference set 120 can also be set or updated 804b. As well, the parameters of other devices 18,20,22 that are included in the test environment 12 can be set and/or confirmed 804c, and other test parameters can be set or changed 804d as desired (e.g., power levels, attenuation, distance, shielding, etc.).

[0074] After setup 802, dynamic testing 806 can be performed, such as to determine 808a the dynamic behavior of the DUT 110, and/or to determine the dynamic behavior 808b of the interference set 120 or other devices, 18,20,22. After testing, if it is determined 810 that further tests 806 are required 812, the method can return 814 to update the setup 802 of one or more test parameters 804. Once the testing 806 is considered to be complete 816, the test results can be output 820, such as to establish and/or update 822 operating parameters 608 (FIG. 9). In addition to the establishment of steady-state operating parameters 608, the results of dynamic testing 806 can be used to program the dynamic behavior of the DUT 110 or related devices 18,20,22, such as to include operating parameters 608 that are responsive to a dynamic interference conditions 140.

[0075] The interference test systems 100 and corresponding methods 300,700,800 can readily be configured to provide an interactive dynamic interference test setup to emulate traffic from high-density environments 14,60, such as experienced around multiple homes, apartments and/or offices, which often include a multitude of Wi-Fi and non Wi-Fi devices 20. The interference test system 100 can be configured to run different types of traffic on different interference sets 120, and can control the power level 502 of applied interference 140. The interference test systems 100 can also control the attenuation 502c between access points (AP) 18 and client devices 20, while monitoring the performance of device under test (DUT) 110.

[0076] In some embodiments, the interference test system implements interference 140 by creating multiple sets of access points (APs) 18 and bridges 22 on various channels, and then running traffic between each AP 18 and bridge 22. Each AP 18 and bridge 22 can be located in shield boxes 130, to independently manage each set, such as to emulate crowded network environment in a home or office. The system 100 can control attenuation 502c between each shield box 130 and the DUT 110, such as to control the simulated distance between a corresponding interference set 120 and the DUT 110. The system 100 and method 300 can also control attenuation between the DUT 110 and opposite side of a wireless link 66, to test and evaluate DUT performance for client devices 20 at different distances, and can run full rate vs. range (RvR) testing on the DUT 110, to evaluate the effect of interference 140.

[0077] The interference test system 100 and corresponding methods 300,700,800 can also check the dynamic behavior of the DUT 110. For instance, the interference test system 100 and method 300 can inject a specific interference event 140 for a duration of time, after which time the specific interference event 140 is removed, wherein it can be determined how the DUT 110 recovers from the interference event 140.

[0078] In some embodiments, different modulation and coding schemes (MCS) can be run with the applied interference 140, to simulate different types of client devices 20 and different distances, to determine the effects. The interference test system 100 and corresponding methods 300,700,800 can also measure other parameters such as packet error rate (PER) and/or delays, to see how the DUT 110 behaves in different interference scenarios 140.

[0079] As seen in FIG. 4 and FIG. 5, one or more other devices 20 can be operated with the test environment 102, such as to function as part of an interference environment, or to be tested as devices under test 110. Such devices 20 can include any of Wi-Fi devices, and/or non-Wi-Fi devices, such as cordless phones, Bluetooth devices, baby monitors, devices operating in cellular bands, appliances, computers, printers, radio-controlled devices, and/or tools. For instance, 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz base stations or cordless phones or remote controllers are common devices that can readily be operated or tested with the interference test system 100 and corresponding methods 300,700,800. As well, one or more hardware or operating parameters and protocols can be tested for different devices.

[0080] In some system embodiments 100, the interference sets 120 can be configured to generate signals for one or more devices in a simulated wireless environment. As well, in some system embodiments 100, the interference sets 120 can be configured to incorporate signals from actual devices that operate over different operating modes, e.g., microwave ovens and/or baby monitors. For instance, different modes of baby monitor operation, such as stand-by, voice-activated output signals, system test, music modes, and/or voice return signals can be incorporated within a suite of testing modes 306. Similarly, different modes of microwave oven operations can be tested, such as to coincide with oven used during typical hours, such as lunch time (e.g., 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM, dinner time (e.g., 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM), snack times (e.g., 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM and 8:00 PM to 11:00 PM), etc.

[0081] Some embodiments of the interference test system 100 and corresponding methods 300,700,800 can be used to test, switch and/or alter a mode of operation of a device under test 110, based on steady state or dynamic operation of other devices within the simulated wireless environment 10,60. For example, it may be determined during testing that the packet length of an output signal 70 or an input signal 68 should be shortened in an environment 10,60 having high levels of interference, such as during peak periods, to increase signal reception), or can be lengthened in an environment having lower levels of interference, such as during off-peak periods, to increase throughput.

[0082] As well, some embodiments of the interference test system 100 and corresponding methods 300,700,800 can be used to test, switch and/or alter a mode of operation of a DUT 110, such as to alter an initialization or handshaking with other another device, and/or to alter the operation band or mode of a neighboring device. In this manner, some embodiments of the interference test system 100 and corresponding methods 300,700,800 can be used to test the dynamic performance of a DUT 110, such that in situ intelligence can be established for a device to be implemented in a real-world environment 14,60, which can change the operation of local device 18,20,22, or prompt other devices to operate cooperatively, such that all of the devices within a wireless environment 14,60 can operate without detriment to other devices.

[0083] During and as a result of interference testing 300,700,800, the interference test system can readily be used to provide dynamic adjustment for a device under test 110, such as to establish dynamic operation parameters 608 for a production device 18,20,22 in a real-world interference environment 10,60, e.g., to dynamically adjust any of rate control, power level, transmitter operation, and receiver operation.

[0084] FIG. 12 is a flowchart of an illustrative method for dynamically modifying the operating parameters of a wireless, i.e., WLAN device 600, e.g., 18,20,22,110, based on the detection of interference conditions. For instance, a wireless device 600 can be configured to begin upon power up to operate in a wireless environment 10,60 using default or preset communication parameters 608. In a typical embodiment, an access point 18, bridge 22 or other wireless device 20,110 can include one or more default settings with which to initialize wireless communication, and can include one or more previously established settings 608, such as settings that were established during initial installation of the device 600.

[0085] Upon startup 902 using default operation parameters 608, the processor 604 associated with the wireless device 600 can determine or detect 904 local interference conditions 140 that limit wireless reception and/or transmission of wireless signals 66. The illustrative device 600 can also determine 906 if the current interference conditions are substantial enough, such as compared to one or more predetermined thresholds, to require dynamically adjusting or modifying 914 one or more operating parameters 608 of the device 600. If not, 908, the device 600 can continue 910 to operate using previously established operation parameters. If the current interference conditions are determined 906 to be substantial 912, the device 600 can be configured to modify 914 one or more operation parameters 608, and then operate 916 the device 600 using the modified parameters 608, after which time the device 600 is configured to return 918 to the determination 906 of the current interference conditions. During subsequent operation 916, if it is determined 904,906 that the local interference has increased, decreased, or otherwise changed, the device 600, as controlled by the processor 604 and parameters 608, can again modify the dynamic operating parameters 608, such as to optimize wireless communication 66 under the changing interference conditions 140.

[0086] The dynamic adjustment 916 of operating parameters 608 can be used to increase and/or optimize the performance of a production device 18,20,22 in a real-world home and office environment 10,60, such as by modifying the standard procedure of the production device 18,20,22, i.e., to improve transmit and/or receive results in an environment 14,60 otherwise having low throughput (TPUT), or no TPUT with large delay.

[0087] For example, many wireless devices that generally comply with enhanced distributed channel access (EDCA) 802.11 standards do not have good receivers, and as such, do not adequately detect other packets in densely populated areas. Standard EDCA operation can often result in extremely large back offs. As well, commonly used rate control can result in low rates, larger packets, and decreased performance.

[0088] The assumption that neighboring devices 20 behave according to 802.11 specification is often not valid due to several reasons, such as due to poor 802.11 implementation, standards other than 802.11, or the use of modified 802.11 procedures.

[0089] As a result of testing of DUTs 110 in controlled and uncontrolled interference environment 102 provided by the interference test system 100 and corresponding methods 300,700,800, the operating parameters of production device 18,20,22 can be dynamically modified, to improve performance for wireless transmission and/or reception.

[0090] While the system 100 and methods 300,700,800 can be implemented to dynamically modify transmit and receive parameters when interference is detected, to improve performance, the system 100 and methods 300,700,800 can also be implemented to provide dynamic operating parameters 608 that revert back to common settings, such as when there is little or no interference.

[0091] As discussed above, some 802.11 devices do not fully or partially implement 802.11 EDCA and are not "fair" in how they operate in a shard environment. As well, some 802.11 devices 20 do not have good receivers, and do not hear other communication packets in densely populated area 10,60. Furthermore, there are non Wi-Fi interference in Wi-Fi bands which have different protocols and physical layers e.g., Bluetooth devices, 802.15.4 compliant devices, analog baby monitors, etc. As well, some devices operate in 802.11 bands that do not follow 802.11 back off and rate control mechanisms (LTE-U, LTE-LAA) etc. Many wireless devices are configured to increase back off when they detect interference, which does not help when they are sharing a wireless environment 14,60 with one or more problematic devices. Data rates are often dropped during rate control by a wireless device, and as result, the length of packets can continue to increase over time, which make performance even worse as it increases the probability of collision. As well, packet sizes are commonly not modified when interference is detected. As a result, packet sizes that would otherwise optimize wireless performance are not commonly used.

[0092] While some software and hardware solutions are currently available for wireless devices that operate in a wireless local area network (WLAN), which allow some settings for such wireless devices to be changed to improve performance, the interference system 100 and corresponding methods 300,700,800,900 extend beyond what is already available, such as to provide enhanced wireless performance and dynamic response to changing interference conditions. Beyond basic interference detection, the interference test system 100 and corresponding methods 300,700,800,900 can include enhanced interference detection and one or more dynamic responses, which in some embodiments is applied on top of what is already available in driver or application layers.

[0093] Enhanced Interference Detection.

[0094] While the duty cycle for a WLAN device includes a basic service set (BSS) for operating within an environment that can include both Wi-Fi and non Wi-Fi traffic, some embodiments of the interference test system 100 and corresponding methods 300,700,800,900 can utilize remaining portions of the available duty cycle to detect interference 140. For instance, the detection of long back offs without successful packet transition, or the tracking of the number of successful packet transmissions, when there is interference 140, can be used to detect interference. In some embodiments, the scanning channels on the same band or an adjacent band can be used to detect the current interference conditions 140.

[0095] Implementation of Receiving (Rx) Solutions.

[0096] In some embodiments implemented using the interference test system and corresponding methods 300,700,800, the processor 604 of a wireless device 600 can include instructions to detect the destination address in MAC header field of a received wireless signal 66, e.g., a downlink signal 68 or an uplink signal 70, and use the detected destination address, in heavy interference environment 10,60, to either drop the packet reception, or to listen in parallel to other packets when applicable. This operation can be used to detect the correct incoming packet associated with a received signal 66, which may arrive at the middle of another competing signal in the interference environment 16,60.

[0097] For some wireless protocols (e.g., IEEE 802.11), the device 600 and processor 604 are configured to detect request to send (RTS) and/or clear to send (CTS) mechanisms of packets for a wireless signal 66 that are not of interest, and as a result of such a detection, either not listening to whole exchange, or keeping the local receiver (e.g., transceiver 610 (FIG. 9)) in detection mode, for packets that the local device 600 is interested in.

[0098] In some embodiments, the device 600 and processor 604 can be configured to configured to dynamically detect rogue access points 18 that receive significantly more communication packets than the local device 600, and then ignore those access points 18, either completely or partially, when applicable. For instance, an access point 18 can be considered to be rogue when it receives more than a detected percentage (e.g., X percent) of a local wireless medium, while the local device 600 receives no more than Y percentage of the local wireless medium.

[0099] In some embodiments, the device 600 and processor 604 can be configured to configured to detect the local operation of non Wi-Fi devices 20, such as operating as unlicensed spectrum (e.g., LTE-U) in a local wireless environment 14,60, and subsequently ignoring such devices, either completely or partially, such as when the device 600 gets more airtime than the local non wi-fi device, e.g., 20, or unless the neighboring non wi-fi device 20 gets more airtime than a predetermined percentage of the local device 600.

[0100] In some embodiments, the wireless device 600 and processor 604 can be configured to configured to make packets of clients smaller in size, when the WLAN device is an access point 18 or a link owner, such as by deleting a block acknowledgement (BA) agreement, and making new BA agreement having a shorter receive BA window size. In such a scenario, the BA receiver window size can dynamically be changed during association, such as when a client receive signal strength indicator (RSSI) is higher than a threshold and the uplink or downlink traffic is low, or when a client queue is larger than a predetermined threshold.

[0101] In some embodiments, the WLAN device 600 and processor 604 can be configured to configured to drop the acknowledge (ACK) rate of the client, when WLAN device 600 is an access point 18.

[0102] In some embodiments, the WLAN device 600 and processor 604 can be configured to configured to de-authorize a client device 20, and the reauthorize back. In some such embodiments, this is done only when client receive signal strength indicator RSSI is higher than a predetermined threshold, and the uplink or downlink traffic is low, or when a client queue is determined to be larger than a predetermined threshold.

[0103] Implementation of Transmission (Tx) Solutions.

[0104] In addition to dynamic interference detection and enhanced reception for a WLAN 600 that operates in a wireless environment 10, 60, some embodiments of the WLAN device 600 and processor 604 can be configured to alter the transmission properties of the local device 600 as a dynamic response to changing interference conditions 140. The specific dynamic response can be based on whether the WLAN device 600 operates as an access point 18, as a wireless bridge 22, or as another type of wireless device 20.

[0105] For instance, in some embodiments, the WLAN device 600 can be configured to change its rate control mechanism in response to detected interference 140, such as by changing the rate control based on a different algorithm when operating under high interference conditions 140, as compared to an algorithm that is used under low or non-interference conditions. In some embodiments, the WLAN device 600 is configured to drop the rate when packet error rate (PER) is higher than a predetermined threshold, as compared non-interference scenario.

[0106] In wireless operating environments, use of the higher modulation and coding schemes (MCS) requires very good signal-to-noise (SNR) modulation, while the use of lower MCS can result in longer communication packets too long, which increases the chance of collisions, resulting in signal loss. As such, some embodiments, the local device are configured to limit the use of highest and lowest MCS.

[0107] In some embodiments, the local device is configured to dynamically compare the packet error rate (PER) of higher and lower modulation and coding schemes (MCS), wherein if the lower MCS results in a higher packet error rate (PER), the local device is configured to use the higher MCS.

[0108] In some embodiments, the local device can be configured to dynamically increase retries, and/or decrease the size of communication packets, when increased interference is detected.

[0109] As well, some embodiments, the local device can be configured to dynamically drop the data rate of acknowledgement (ACK) frames when helpful. ACK frames are typically short packets, having headers that make up a substantially large percentage of the length of the packet. As such, dynamically lowering lower the rate of acknowledgement (ACK) frames can improve the net throughput of the local device in some high interference environments 10,60.

[0110] In some embodiments, the local device can be configured to dynamically modify enhanced distributed channel access (EDCA) 802.11 parameters, such as when rogue interference from rogue access points 22 is detected, and/or when the local wireless environment 10,60 is determined to be busier than a predetermined threshold (e.g., Z percentage more than a stored value). The dynamic modification of EDCA parameters can enable the local device to be more aggressive in getting on the air, i.e., establishing wireless communication).

[0111] In some embodiments, the local device can be configured to dynamically modify operation when a determined interference duty cycle is larger than a predetermined percentage, such as by not using aggregated MAC service data units (AMSDU).

[0112] In some embodiments, the local WLAN device 600 can be configured to dynamically react to specific interference conditions, such as when one or more rogue access points (APs) 18 are detected that do not back off, or when the duty cycle of an interfering device is high. Upon the detection of such dynamic conditions, the local device can be configured to not use request to send (RTS) and/or clear to send (CTS) mechanisms that would otherwise be used under low interference conditions, and can proceed to send data packets as soon as it is possible to do so.

[0113] In some embodiments, the WLAN device 600 can be configured to take other actions in response to detected heavy interference conditions 140, such as by refraining from beamforming under conditions in which beamforming training cannot be done correctly, or when or beamforming training does not happen successfully, due to collisions. Other actions that can be configured by the WLAN device 600 under high interference conditions can include refraining from Multiple Input-Multiple Output (MIMO) transmission, or decreasing an allowed number of multi-users (MU).

[0114] FIG. 13 is a high-level block diagram showing an example of a processing device 1100 that can be a part of any of the systems described above, such as the test controllers 112,122,132,142,152, test monitors 114,124,134,144,154, or the device processor 604 and memory 606. Any of these systems may be or include two or more processing devices such as represented in FIG. 13, which may be coupled to each other via a network or multiple networks.

[0115] In the illustrated embodiment, the processing system 1100 includes one or more processors 1102, memory 1104, a communication device 1106, and one or more input/output (I/O) devices 1108, all coupled to each other through an interconnect 1110. The interconnect 1110 may be or include one or more conductive traces, buses, point-to-point connections, controllers, adapters and/or other conventional connection devices. The processor(s) 1102 may be or include, for example, one or more general-purpose programmable microprocessors, microcontrollers, application specific integrated circuits (ASICs), programmable gate arrays, or the like, or a combination of such devices. The processor(s) 1102 control the overall operation of the processing device 1100. Memory 1104 may be or include one or more physical storage devices, which may be in the form of random access memory (RAM), read-only memory (ROM) (which may be erasable and programmable), flash memory, miniature hard disk drive, or other suitable type of storage device, or a combination of such devices. Memory 1104 may store data and instructions that configure the processor(s) 1102 to execute operations in accordance with the techniques described above. The communication device 1106 may be or include, for example, an Ethernet adapter, cable modem, Wi-Fi adapter, cellular transceiver, Bluetooth transceiver, or the like, or a combination thereof. Depending on the specific nature and purpose of the processing device 1100, the I/O devices 1108 can include devices such as a display (which may be a touch screen display), audio speaker, keyboard, mouse or other pointing device, microphone, camera, etc.

[0116] Unless contrary to physical possibility, it is envisioned that (i) the methods/steps described above may be performed in any sequence and/or in any combination, and that (ii) the components of respective embodiments may be combined in any manner.

[0117] The interference test set-up and techniques introduced above can be implemented by programmable circuitry programmed/configured by software and/or firmware, or entirely by special-purpose circuitry, or by a combination of such forms. Such special-purpose circuitry (if any) can be in the form of, for example, one or more application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs), programmable logic devices (PLDs), field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), etc.

[0118] Software or firmware to implement the techniques introduced here may be stored on a machine-readable storage medium, e.g., a non-transitory computer-readable medium, and may be executed by one or more general-purpose or special-purpose programmable microprocessors. A "machine-readable medium", as the term is used herein, includes any mechanism that can store information in a form accessible by a machine (a machine may be, for example, a computer, network device, cellular phone, personal digital assistant (PDA), manufacturing tool, or any device with one or more processors, etc.). For example, a machine-accessible medium includes recordable/non-recordable media, e.g., read-only memory (ROM); random access memory (RAM); magnetic disk storage media; optical storage media; flash memory devices; etc.

[0119] Note that any and all of the embodiments described above can be combined with each other, except to the extent that it may be stated otherwise above or to the extent that any such embodiments might be mutually exclusive in function and/or structure.

[0120] Although the present invention has been described with reference to specific exemplary embodiments, it will be recognized that the invention is not limited to the embodiments described, but can be practiced with modification and alteration within the spirit and scope of the appended claims. Accordingly, the specification and drawings are to be regarded in an illustrative sense rather than a restrictive sense.

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