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JP2006222969

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This translation is machine-generated. It cannot be guaranteed that it is intelligible, accurate,
complete, reliable or fit for specific purposes. Critical decisions, such as commercially relevant or
financial decisions, should not be based on machine-translation output.
DESCRIPTION JP2006222969
A communication system for a vehicle is disclosed. A communication system includes a
microphone array having a plurality of microphones mounted in a vehicle to receive an acoustic
signal and convert the acoustic signal to an electrical signal. An antenna is mounted in close
proximity to the microphone array. The antenna communicates radio frequency signals to the
wireless device. The communication system also includes a controller having a first input
electrically coupled to the at least one microphone in the microphone array and a second input
electrically coupled to the antenna. The controller processes the electrical signal and transmits
the processed electrical signal to the antenna. [Selected figure] Figure 2
Vehicle communication
[0001]
The present invention relates to vehicle communication.
[0002]
The car does not use a hand with a remote microphone located in the car to receive the acoustic
signal and an antenna as part of a wireless RF link to connect hardware components on the user's
mobile phone Includes a mobile system.
The car's sound system plays back the audio signal received by the mobile phone.
04-05-2019
1
[0003]
The present invention relates to communication systems. The present invention provides a
microphone array permanently mounted in a vehicle in a manner that reduces installation labor
and / or material costs for the microphone and antenna assembly, wherein the array is a single
array. The microphone element may consist of a microphone element or a plurality of
microphone elements, which also relates to a method and apparatus for packaging a microphone
or microphone capsule) and an antenna. Each of the microphones operating in the multiple
element array receives an acoustic signal. The signal may be processed in such a way as to
provide an emphasis on the acoustic signal originating from a particular location.
[0004]
One aspect of the present invention is a microphone and antenna element in such a manner as to
facilitate coupling of multiple leads to a single cable travel or branch of a vehicle wiring harness
for connection to a central controller. Including co-locating. Other alternative embodiments
include mounting both the antenna and the microphone close to each other or in the same
housing, or modulating the electrical signals from multiple microphone elements on the same
lead, Alternatively, it involves modulating the electrical signals from multiple microphone
elements and antenna signals (both transmitted and received) on the same lead.
[0005]
According to one embodiment, a communication system for a vehicle has a microphone array
that includes a plurality of microphone elements in the vehicle to receive the acoustic signal and
convert the acoustic signal to an electrical signal. The communication system also includes an
antenna mounted in close proximity to the microphone. The antenna communicates radio
frequency signals with the wireless device. The communication system also includes a controller
having a first input electrically coupled to the at least one microphone element, and a second
input electrically coupled to the antenna. The controller processes the electrical signal and
transmits the processed electrical signal to the antenna.
[0006]
In one embodiment, the microphone array and the antenna are permanently mounted in the
04-05-2019
2
vehicle.
[0007]
In another embodiment, the communication system further comprises a housing that houses the
microphone array and the antenna.
[0008]
In another embodiment, the controller is located remotely from the microphone array and the
antenna.
[0009]
In one embodiment, the communication system comprises a first cable coupling the microphone
to the controller and a second cable coupling the antenna to the controller.
[0010]
In one embodiment, the first and second cables are disposed proximate to each other for at least
a portion of one length of the first and second cables.
[0011]
In another embodiment, at least a portion of at least one of the first and second cables is a
coaxial cable.
[0012]
In one embodiment, the communication system comprises a single cable coupling the controller
to at least one microphone and antenna in the microphone array.
[0013]
In one embodiment, a microphone array for receiving an acoustic signal comprises a plurality of
microphone elements configured as a microphone array.
[0014]
The microphone array comprises microphones of pressure responsive capsule elements.
04-05-2019
3
[0015]
In another embodiment, the microphone array is positioned proximate to the headliner in the
vehicle.
[0016]
In another embodiment, the microphone elements of the microphone array are positioned within
a quarter of the wavelength away from the reflection plane formed by the headliner.
[0017]
In yet another embodiment, the antenna communicates with the wireless device using the
BLUETOOTH (R) communication protocol.
[0018]
In one embodiment, the antenna is positioned close to the headliner in the vehicle at a distance
from the grounded metal surface that is within one-fifth of the wavelength of the radio frequency
signal.
[0019]
In one embodiment, the radio frequency signal is a Bluetooth (R) radio signal frequency signal.
[0020]
In one embodiment, the antenna is positioned overhead and in front of the driver in the vehicle.
[0021]
In one embodiment, the antenna is located in front of the driver and above the center overhead
in the vehicle.
[0022]
In another embodiment, the antenna is mounted within the map light housing.
[0023]
In yet another embodiment, the antenna is located at a location selected from the group
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4
comprising a rearview mirror, an instrument panel, a dashboard, a handle, a sunshade, and an air
bag cover.
[0024]
In another embodiment, the communication system further comprises a second antenna
positioned in the vehicle.
[0025]
In one embodiment, the second antenna is located in the trunk of the vehicle.
[0026]
In one embodiment, the microphone array is mounted close to the antenna.
[0027]
In one embodiment, the microphone array and the antenna are mounted within the housing.
[0028]
In one embodiment, the communication system further comprises a low pass filter coupled to at
least one microphone in the microphone array to filter out radio frequency interference.
[0029]
In another embodiment, the communication system further comprises an amplifier coupled to the
at least one microphone element of the microphone array to amplify the audio signal from the at
least one microphone element.
[0030]
In one embodiment, the electrical signal is transmitted as a low voltage differential signal to
increase immunity to external interference.
Each conductor is normalized to a ground circuit.
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[0031]
In another embodiment, the communication system comprises a multiplexer for multiplexing at
least two of the power signal, the electrical signal and the radio frequency signal for transmission
over a single cable.
[0032]
In another embodiment, the communication system comprises at least one preamplifier coupled
to at least one microphone in the microphone array.
[0033]
In yet another embodiment, the communication system comprises an analog to digital converter
coupled to the microphone array.
[0034]
In another embodiment, the first conductor transmits a non-inverted polarity microphone output
signal.
The second conductor transmits a microphone output signal of reverse polarity.
The third conductor provides a reference point relative to the signals on the first and second
conductors.
The differential amplifier converts the signals from the first and second conductors into a single
end signal.
[0035]
In another embodiment, the housing comprises a microphone array that receives an acoustic
signal.
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6
The microphone array converts the acoustic signal into an electrical signal that is sent to the
controller.
An antenna is positioned adjacent to the microphone array.
The antenna transmits a radio frequency signal from the controller that is associated with the
electrical signal.
A vehicle mounted housing encloses at least a portion of the microphone array and at least a
portion of the antenna.
The housing is configured to allow the microphone array to receive an acoustic signal.
[0036]
In one embodiment, the microphone array comprises a plurality of microphones.
In another embodiment, the plurality of microphones are configured to receive an acoustic signal.
[0037]
In one embodiment, the housing comprises at least one port.
The port allows at least one microphone in the microphone array to receive an acoustic signal.
[0038]
In one embodiment, the antenna communicates with the wireless device.
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[0039]
In one embodiment, the housing comprises an EMI shield that reduces electromagnetic
interference within the housing.
[0040]
In another embodiment, the housing comprises an acoustic damping material that reduces
acoustic noise in the housing.
[0041]
In one embodiment, a communication system for a vehicle comprises a microphone array
mounted in the vehicle.
The microphone array receives an acoustic signal and converts the acoustic signal to an electrical
signal.
The communication system also comprises a first cable coupling at least one microphone in the
microphone array to the controller.
The first cable transmits an electrical signal to the controller.
The communication system also comprises an antenna and a second cable coupling the antenna
to the controller.
An antenna positioned proximate to the microphone array receives radio frequency signals
transmitted from the controller to the wireless device.
The antenna receives radio frequency signals from the wireless device.
The second cable transmits the radio frequency signal from the antenna to the controller and
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transmits the signal associated with the electrical signal from the controller to the antenna.
[0042]
In another embodiment, at least one microphone in the microphone array comprises a pressure
responsive microphone element.
[0043]
In another embodiment, the microphone array is positioned proximate to the headliner in the
vehicle.
[0044]
In yet another embodiment, the microphone elements in the microphone array are positioned
within a quarter wavelength of the reflective surface formed by the headliner in the vehicle.
[0045]
In another embodiment, the antenna communicates with the wireless device using the
BLUETOOTH (R) communication protocol.
[0046]
In another embodiment, the antenna is located at a distance from the grounded metal surface
within one-fifth of the wavelength of the radio frequency signal at the highest frequency
contained in the radio frequency signal. It is positioned close to the liner.
[0047]
In one embodiment, the antenna is located at a location selected from the group comprising a
back mirror, an instrument panel, a dashboard, a handle, a sunshade and an air bag cover.
[0048]
In one embodiment, the microphone array and the antenna are mounted within the housing.
[0049]
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In one embodiment, a low pass filter is coupled to at least one microphone in the microphone
array.
The low pass filter filters out radio frequency interference.
[0050]
In one embodiment, the communication system comprises an amplifier coupled to at least one
microphone in the microphone array.
The amplifier amplifies an electrical signal from at least one microphone.
[0051]
In another embodiment, at least a portion of at least one of the first and second cables comprises
a coaxial cable.
[0052]
In one embodiment, the electrical signal is transmitted as a low voltage differential signal to
enhance immunity to external interference.
[0053]
In one embodiment, the audio device further comprises a multiplexer for multiplexing the signals
from the microphone array.
[0054]
In another embodiment, the communication system comprises at least one preamplifier coupled
to at least one microphone in the microphone array.
[0055]
In another embodiment, the communication system comprises an analog to digital converter
coupled to the microphone array.
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[0056]
In another embodiment, the microphone comprises a pressure-responsive microphone of a
capture device.
[0057]
In yet another embodiment, the microphone array is positioned proximate to the headliner in the
vehicle.
[0058]
In yet another embodiment, the microphone capsules of at least one microphone in the
microphone array are separated from the reflective surface positioned close to the headliner in
the vehicle within a quarter of a wavelength Be positioned.
[0059]
In yet another embodiment, the antenna communicates with the wireless device using the
BLUETOOTH (R) communication protocol.
[0060]
In another embodiment, the antenna is positioned close to the headliner in the vehicle at a
distance from the ground metal surface which is within one-fifth of the wavelength of the radio
frequency signal.
[0061]
In yet another embodiment, the antenna is located at a location selected from the group
comprising a back mirror, an instrument panel, a dashboard, a handle, a sunshade and an air bag
cover.
[0062]
In another embodiment, the microphone array and the antenna are mounted within the housing.
[0063]
In another embodiment, the communication system further comprises a low pass filter coupled to
the microphone array, wherein the low pass filter filters out radio frequency interference.
04-05-2019
11
[0064]
In another embodiment, the communication system further comprises an amplifier coupled to the
microphone, which amplifies the audio signal of the microphone.
[0065]
In another embodiment, the electrical signal is transmitted as a differential signal of two
conductors.
Each lead is referenced to a ground circuit to increase immunity to external interference.
[0066]
In another embodiment, at least a portion of the cable comprises a coaxial cable.
[0067]
In another embodiment, the communication system comprises a multiplexer coupled to the cable.
The multiplexer multiplexes at least two of the power signal, the electrical signal and the radio
frequency signal for transmission over the cable.
The communication system also comprises a demultiplexer coupled to the cable.
The demultiplexer demultiplexes at least two of the modulated power signal, the electrical signal
and the radio frequency signal transmitted via the cable.
[0068]
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12
The foregoing and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will be
apparent from the following more particular description of the preferred embodiments of the
present invention as illustrated in the accompanying drawings.
In the drawings, like reference numerals refer to the same parts throughout the different views.
The drawings are not necessarily to scale, emphasis instead being placed upon illustrating the
principles of the invention.
[0069]
In hand-free cell phone systems in vehicles, the user's personal cell phone is detected and used as
part of the hand-free system.
The acoustic output from the user is obtained by means of a microphone or microphone element
integrated in the vehicle (other than in the user's mobile phone).
This eliminates the need for the user to hold his cell phone right by his mouth (and thus is hands
free, hands free).
The acoustic signal from the remote end of the telephone system (the person at the other end of
the telephone connection) is reproduced to the user through the vehicle's audio system.
Modulation and demodulation of the signals transmitted and received via the mobile telephone
network are achieved by the user's mobile telephone, whereby the components providing this
capability do not need to be replicated in the vehicle.
To achieve this, a two-way communication link between the components of the vehicle and the
mobile phone must be created.
04-05-2019
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[0070]
FIG. 1 shows a communication system 100 using a combination of a microphone array 70 and an
antenna 30 co-located and mounted in a housing 60 remote from a controller 80. Is permanently
attached to the vehicle 11.
Microphone array 70 may include any number of microphone elements.
The antenna 30, the microphone array 70, and the housing 60 may be installed at various
locations within the vehicle.
Housing 60 includes an antenna 30 configured to transmit and receive radio frequency (RF)
signals 22.
The RF signal 22 is typically modulated with digital information according to a predetermined
protocol such as Bluetooth (R), 802.11, UWB or other protocol.
In the following description, a signal transmitted from the device to the antenna 30 or a signal
transmitted to the device by the antenna 30 is referred to as an RF signal 22.
[0071]
Microphone array 70 is coupled to controller 80.
One way to couple is via the cable 71.
The number of leads incorporated into the cable 71 depends on the number of microphone
elements included in the microphone array 70 and on the manner in which the microphone
elements communicate electrical signals to the controller 80.
04-05-2019
14
For example, single-ended communication requires the use of two leads, one for the signal and
one for the reference, and balanced communication for one non-inverted polarity signal , One for
inverted polarity signals, and one for reference, require the use of three leads.
Each microphone element may use its own reference connection, or a single reference
connection may be used for multiple microphone elements.
Alternatively, the electrical output signals from multiple microphone elements may be
multiplexed to the same set of wires.
The multiplexing of multiple electrical signals is described in more detail below.
[0072]
Antenna 30 is coupled to controller 80 via cable 72.
The signal received by the antenna 30 from the mobile phone 40 is communicated to the
controller 80.
The controller 80 demodulates the signal received from the antenna 30 in a predetermined
manner, for example by means of the Bluetooth (R) protocol.
The controller 80 also provides the modulated RF signal to the antenna 30 for transmission to
the mobile phone 40.
These signals are modulated in a predetermined manner, for example by the Bluetooth (R)
protocol.
Thus, the controller 80 and the mobile phone 40 communicate via a bi-directional wireless link.
04-05-2019
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It should be noted that the mobile phone 40 incorporates an antenna (not shown) for receiving
wireless information from the controller 80.
This antenna may be different from the mobile phone antenna 51 used to communicate in a
mobile phone network.
Circuitry (not shown) within the mobile phone 40 is configured to receive an RF signal, which is
modulated according to a predetermined protocol such as the Bluetooth (R) protocol.
[0073]
The controller 80 outputs audio information into the vehicle's cab (typically through the vehicle's
entertainment system or, in some cases, through a remote audio rendering device) Output 24.
These signals are typically generated from a remote telephone to which the communication
system 100 is coupled via the mobile telephone 40 and the mobile telephone network.
System 100 includes a mobile phone 40 (ie, within the vehicle 11) that transmits a mobile phone
protocol signal 50 via a mobile phone network.
[0074]
Microphone array 70 and antenna 30 are mounted within housing 60. Alternatively, the
microphone array 70 and the antenna 30 may be housed in separate housings (not shown),
wherein the separate housings are arranged in close proximity to one another. The housing 60 is
attached to a ceiling liner 12 (headliner) of the vehicle 11 in order to effectively receive the
acoustic signal.
[0075]
According to an alternative embodiment, signal processing capability may be disposed within the
04-05-2019
16
housing 60 of the microphone array. For example, in addition to the microphone array 70 and
the antenna 30, an analog to digital (A / D) converter (not shown) and / or a microprocessor (not
shown) may be disposed within the housing 60. The A / D converter performs A / D conversion
on the electrical signal output from the microphone (or the preamplifier of the microphone). The
microprocessor performs digital signal processing of the digital signal output from the A / D
converter. The microprocessor may be a general purpose microprocessor, microcontroller, digital
signal processor (DSP), or other device capable of performing calculations associated with digital
signal processing operations. A useful operation to perform is beamforming, where a large
number of signals received from a large number of elements in a microphone array arrive at a
location of the array from a particular direction. Processed to enhance the detection of The
output of the beamforming operation (which may be fixed or adaptive) is a single output signal
that has been processed to preferentially pick up the sound from the location of the acoustic
source. The single signal is then sent via a cable (eg, a harness 74) instead of sending multiple
microphone signals. This reduces the cost and complexity of the wiring harness.
[0076]
The bifurcations of the vehicle wiring harness 74 may incorporate both a cable 71 connecting
the microphone array 70 to the controller 80 and a cable 72 connecting the antenna 30 to the
controller 80. The wiring harness branch 74 may include, in addition to the microphone array
cable 71 and the antenna cable 72, other cables along its length. The number of conductors
included in the wiring harness 74 for communication between the microphone array 70, the
antenna 30 and the controller 80 depends on the method of communication used, as described
above, which will be described in more detail below. explain.
[0077]
For example, the microphone array 70 receives audio signals generated by the driver of the
vehicle, audio signals such as voice commands or voice messages, or other sound sources within
the vehicle 11. The microphone array 70 converts the acoustic signal into one or more electrical
signals (depending on the number of microphone elements included in the microphone array 70).
Electrical signals are communicated to controller 80 via cable 71. The signal may also be
conveyed by the harness 74 to the controller 80. Depending on the configuration, controller 80
as shown in FIG. 2 may include an analog to digital (A / D) converter 85, a microprocessor 83,
and / or a Bluetooth (R) conversion module 86. According to other embodiments of the present
invention, these components may be disposed within the housing 60.
04-05-2019
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[0078]
An analog to digital (A / D) converter 85 (FIG. 2) converts the electrical signal output from the
microphone elements 70a-n (or from the microphone preamplifiers 80a-n) into digital signals.
The microprocessor 83 then processes the digital signal and outputs the processed signal to the
Bluetooth (R) module 86. The Bluetooth (R) module 86 modulates the RF signal with a digital
representation of the acoustic signal picked up by the microphone array 70 (processed by the A /
D converter 85 and the microprocessor 83). The modulated RF is then communicated to the
antenna 30 via the cable 72.
[0079]
The antenna 30 broadcasts the modulated RF signal 22. The mobile phone 40 then receives the
modulated RF signal. The cell phone 40 remodulates the digital representation of the original
acoustic signal into a form compatible with the cell phone protocol signal 50 and communicates
the remodulated signal over the cell phone network. A remote telephone (not shown) receives the
cellular protocol signal 50, demodulates it, and processes it as needed, an acoustic signal that can
be heard by a person at the far end of the telephone connection Form
[0080]
Communication system 100 is also configured to transmit acoustic signals generated at a remote
telephone location into the vehicle's cab. Thus, the mobile telephone 40 receives a mobile
telephone protocol signal 50 initiated by a remote telephone (not shown). For example, mobile
phone 40 may receive a signal representative of an audio transmission of a telephone initiated by
a person at the far end of the telephone connection. The mobile telephone 40 remodulates the
signal received from the remote telephone into an RF signal 22 compatible with Bluetooth®,
which is then transmitted from the mobile telephone 40 to the antenna 30. The signal received
by antenna 30 is communicated to controller 80 via cable 72.
[0081]
Referring again to FIG. 2, within controller 80, Bluetooth (R) module 86 receives the received
04-05-2019
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Bluetooth (R) compatible RF signal 22 (i.e., the audio signal initiated at the far end of the cell
phone conversation). (Representing a remote telephone's acoustic signal) (a digital-to-analog (D /
A) converter is incorporated as part of the Bluetooth (R) module, or it is located elsewhere in the
signal chain) Depending on whether they are embedded in the component, they are converted
into electrical signals (in either analog or digital form). The electrical signal is sent by the
controller 80 to the audio playback system 87. The audio playback system 87 incorporates a
vehicle audio system "head unit" 81 and a loudspeaker 24 located in the driver's cab of the
vehicle, the electrical signal being audible to the passengers in the vehicle. Make it an acoustic
signal.
[0082]
Various methods of wireless transmission are possible between the mobile phone 40 mounted in
the housing 60 and the antenna 30. One such method is based on the Bluetooth (R) protocol,
which provides a way to make compatible communication between devices from different
manufacturers. The Bluetooth (R) protocol is a low power (1 milliwatt), packet adapted
transmission protocol with a transmission range of about 30 feet. Bluetooth (R) uses 1600
spread spectrum frequency hoppings per second between 79 different channels included in the
frequency range between about 2.4 and 2.5 GHz, which allows it to be close to the mobile phone.
Reduce the possibility of interference with other electronic devices located on the The Bluetooth
(R) protocol also provides an effective mechanism for communicating with digital devices such as
personal digital assistants (PDAs), phones, and the like. Other protocols may also be used to
wirelessly communicate information between devices. For example, as with any other known
method, any of the various versions of the standard IEEE 802.11 family may be used.
[0083]
When operating in hand-free mode, the speaker and microphone contained within the mobile
phone 40 are disabled. The mobile phone 40 is modulated by digital data representing the
received Bluetooth (R) compatible RF signal 22 (the signal 22 as an input source to the mobile
phone 40 representing the acoustic signal present in the driver's cab of the vehicle) Use). The
mobile phone 40 then converts the modulated Bluetooth (R) compatible RF signal 22 into a
mobile phone network signal 50 for transmission over the mobile phone network. Similarly,
mobile phone 40 does not output an electrical signal for reproduction by the internal speaker of
mobile phone 40, but rather (received from a mobile phone network representing an acoustic
signal input to the far-end phone It outputs an RF signal compatible with Bluetooth (R)
modulated by data. The mobile phone 40 located in the vehicle 11 operates without using a
04-05-2019
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hand.
[0084]
One place in the vehicle 11 is a good microphone location for receiving acoustic signals. Some of
the same locations are also good antenna locations for transmission and reception of RF signals
22 compatible with Bluetooth (R). In such a case, positioning the microphone array 70 and the
antenna 30 together provides good reception of both the acoustic signal and the RF signal 22.
Examples of such locations include overhead, the front of the driver, the top of the dashboard on
the front of the driver, etc. Several preferred places for the housing 60 in which the microphone
and the antenna are combined are detailed here.
[0085]
At one exemplary location, the microphone array 70 and the antenna 30 are mounted within the
same housing 60 on the headliner 12 at the front of the driver. Alternatively, the microphone
array 70 and the antenna 30 are mounted close to one another rather than within the same
housing 60. Such an arrangement provides the material and labor costs associated with
manufacturing the assembly, as well as the opportunity to reduce the material and labor costs for
installing the assembly on the vehicle 11. Such co-location of the microphone array 70 and the
antenna 30 reduces the number of locations in the vehicle 11 that require the cables to be
routed. Further cost reduction may be possible if multiple signals are modulated on a single lead
or fewer leads.
[0086]
FIG. 2 is a block diagram of a communication system 200 having separately wired microphone
elements 70a-n (i.e., in the microphone array 70) for receiving the acoustic signal 14 from the
user 63. As shown in FIG. The output of each of the individual microphone elements 70a-n is
amplified by preamplifiers 82a-n. The preamplification of the individual microphone outputs
improves the signal-to-noise ratio of the signal transmitted via cable 71 between the microphone
array 70 and the controller 80, thereby potentialing external noise to the system 200 Shocks are
reduced. In this example, each of the individual microphone elements 70a-n is connected to a
respective cable 71a-n having two conductors 73a, 73b.
04-05-2019
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[0087]
The harness 74 may include cables 71 a-n carrying signals from each of the individual
microphone elements 70 a-n of the microphone array 70. Such a cable may be, for example, a
plurality of twisted wire conductors 73a, 73b surrounded by a conductive shield. The cable 72
between the controller 80 and the Bluetooth (R) antenna 30 may be arranged to be part of the
harness 74 or may be arranged separately from the harness 74. A coaxial cable may be used as
the cable 72 between the controller 80 and the Bluetooth (R) antenna 30.
[0088]
Each of the individual cables 71a-n leads to an A / D converter 85 in the controller 80. The A / D
converter 85 converts the electrical signal from the microphone array 70 (or the output from the
preamplifiers 82a-n) into a digital signal. A single A / D converter may be used, with the
converter multiplexed across the outputs of different preamplifiers, or individual A / D
conversions for each of the preamplifier outputs It is noted that a vessel may be used. The A / D
converter supplies the microprocessor 83 with digital signals. The microprocessor 83 then
processes the digital signal. The processing applied can take many forms. In one example, digital
signal processing may first be applied to locate the acoustic signal in the vehicle. The output of
this process is then used as an input to a beamforming algorithm (which may be fixed or
adaptive) to generate the sound generated from the location of the acoustic source. Improve the
ability of beamformed arrays to pick up preferentially. Alternatively, beamforming algorithms
can be used to steer the array to automatically identify the locations of the sound sources and to
preferentially detect the sound output from these sources (driver and Specific predetermined
locations, such as passenger seats, may be identified in advance, and beam forming algorithms
are applied that preferentially detect sounds arriving from these predetermined locations.
[0089]
The digital output from the microprocessor 83 is provided to a Bluetooth (R) processor 86, which
converts the output into a signal that is formatted according to the Bluetooth (R) protocol. Next,
the Bluetooth (R) processor 86 outputs a signal compatible with Bluetooth (R) to the antenna 30
via the cable 72. As mentioned above, the antenna 30 is positioned either within the housing 60
or in proximity to the housing 60. The antenna 30 then communicates a signal to the mobile
phone 40, which receives and remodulates the signal into a form for transmission over the
04-05-2019
21
mobile phone network.
[0090]
As mentioned above, the RF link between the antenna 30 and the mobile phone 40 is bidirectional. The antenna 30 may receive the signal from the mobile phone 40 as well as transmit
the signal to the mobile phone 40. A cable 72 connecting the Bluetooth (R) processor 86 and the
antenna 30 may also transmit signals bi-directionally. Acoustic signals present at the far end of
the telephone at the far end of the telephone connection (the telephone may be mobile or
stationary) may be picked up by the far end telephone and on the mobile telephone network
(Either directly by the remote mobile phone or at the telephone switching facility). The mobile
phone 40 receives this signal from the mobile phone network and remodulates it into an adapted
form (RF signal using a protocol such as Bluetooth®) to communicate to the antenna. The
antenna 30 receives the RF signal and communicates it to the Bluetooth (R) converter 86 in the
controller 80. The Bluetooth (R) converter 86 then demodulates the received signal (i.e., the
signal generated by the remote telephone). The electrical signals are sent by the controller 80 to
the audio reproduction system 87 (which incorporates the vehicle audio system "head unit" 81
and the loudspeaker 24 in the driver's cab of the vehicle), which system 87 Into an audible
acoustic signal to the user 63. Alternatively, controller 80 may be integrated with another audio
playback system. In one example, the vehicle audio system or portions thereof may be used for
both entertainment (entertainment) output and remote telephone signal output.
[0091]
FIG. 3 is a block diagram of a communication system 300 in which the signals transmitted
between the microphone array 70 and the controller 80 are multiplexed. The housing 60
includes a microphone array 70 (eg, four microphone elements) for receiving the acoustic signal
14 from the user 63. Each of the microphones of the microphone array 70 is connected to a
preamplifier 82a-n. The preamplifiers 82a-n are then connected to an analog to digital (A / D)
converter 85, such as a Cirrus Logic 5180 A / D converter / multiplexer.
[0092]
The A / D converter / multiplexer 85 converts the electrical signals from the microphones 70a-n
into digital signals. The multiplexer portion of A / D converter / multiplexer 85 also combines the
04-05-2019
22
resulting digital signal into a time division multiplexed (TDM) signal. These two steps of
converting an audio signal to a digital signal and combining multiple digital signals into one
multiplexed signal are alternatively by separate components, each equipped to perform one of
the steps. It can be performed or by one component that can perform both steps.
[0093]
In one example, the output of the A / D converter consists of four separate communication lines
including frame sync 76, bit rate 77, data 78 and ground 79 lines. Together, the four lines
serially communicate the multiplexed data stream formed from the output of each of the
microphone elements 70a-n of the microphone array 70. Four lines 76, 77, 78, 79 are placed
together in the harness 74. According to an alternative configuration, the frame sync 76, bit rate
77, line of data 78 signals the controller 80 in the form of low voltage differential signaling
(LVDS).
[0094]
Low Voltage Differential Signaling (LVDS) is a low noise, low power for high speed (several
gigabits per second) data transmission over copper wires defined by the TIA / EIA-644 and IEEE
1596.3 standards. , A low amplitude method. In order to implement LVDS signaling, the LVDS
driver converts TTL / CMOS signals into low voltage differential signals consisting of two equal
and opposite traces referenced to ground. Since each signal is just equal and opposite, any
returns or returns (ie like induced noise) in the differential circuit are simply canceled out (any
part of them is above zero or at ground Does not appear on the circuit).
[0095]
The (LVDS) signals are each carried via a twisted pair cable (ie two conductors for each signal).
LVDS signals emit less electromagnetic interference (EMI), thereby causing less interference to
other systems.
[0096]
04-05-2019
23
Digital data representing the signal from each microphone (or microphone preamplifier) is
transmitted over data signal line 78 in the form of continuous frames. In one example, the data in
one frame is associated with the signal from one microphone. Successive frames include data
from different microphone elements 70a-n (ie, first microphone 70a, then second microphone
70b, then third microphone 70c, etc.). The amount of data selected to be included in a single
frame (i.e., the frame size) is not important, but should be selected to minimize latency in
transmission. The frame sync signal transmitted via frame sync line 76 is used to identify frame
transitions for data signals transmitted via data line 78 from different microphones. The 2.4 GHz
signal between the controller 80 and the antenna 30 is separately conveyed via the coaxial cable
72.
[0097]
The microprocessor 83 may perform various digital signal processing algorithms on the received
signal. For example, noise reduction, echo cancellation (echo cancellation prevents feedback from
the signal output in the vehicle from being supplied back to the microphone), beamforming, voice
recognition processing of the received signal, or other Signal processing may be performed. The
processed signal is then output by the microprocessor 83 to the Bluetooth (R) processor 86 to
process the signal into a Bluetooth (R) signal. An exemplary device useful as a Bluetooth (R)
processor is RF Micro Devices (R) SiW3500 <TM>. The Bluetooth (R) signal is then transmitted to
the mobile phone 40 via the antenna 30 for signal transmission over the mobile phone network
(e.g. a network such as GSM, CDMA, etc.).
[0098]
As mentioned above, there is a bi-directional communication link between the cellular network
(i.e. connected via cellular phone 40) and the controller 80. Thus, mobile phone 40 may receive
communications via the mobile phone network. For example, cell towers maintained by the
telephone company relay the cellular signal received by cellular phone 40 at 900 MHz or 1.6, 1.8
GHz (ie, GSM, CDMA, etc.) . The mobile phone 40 then converts the received mobile phone signal
to a Bluetooth (R) signal for transmission to the antenna 30. The Bluetooth (R) signal is
transmitted via a cable 72 that couples the Bluetooth (R) antenna 30 to the controller 80. The
controller is coupled to an audio reproduction system 87, the output of which is sent to a
transducer 24 in the vehicle.
[0099]
04-05-2019
24
Although FIG. 3 illustrates a method for multiplexing multiple signals on four conductors using
digital time division multiplexing (TDM), the multiple signals are on a smaller number of signal
paths. Many other known methods for multiplexing may be used. For example, serial data
communication systems using only two conductors are known and may be used instead of the
four conductor scheme described in FIG. Also note that the system of FIG. 3 can multiplex more
than four microphone signals onto the same four wire digital transmit path (or two wire serial
transmit path) It is. Other mechanisms using packet based transmission may also be used.
Furthermore, analog multiplexing methods known in the art such as frequency division
multiplexing may be used.
[0100]
One embodiment of the present invention uses modulation techniques to modulate analog signals
from multiple elements 70a-n in the microphone array 70 on a single cable. For example,
multiple electrical signals output from a microphone can be modulated onto the same cable by
using frequency division multiplexing. FM modulation is well known and will not be described in
detail here. Simply, the carrier frequency is selected for each microphone signal to be modulated.
The carriers are sufficiently spaced in frequency so that the modulated carriers do not interfere
with one another. For example, a 200 kHz bandwidth may be used for each modulated signal.
[0101]
For a system with four microphone signals to be modulated, the first signal may be used at
baseband (ie without modulation), and each of the three other microphone signals are each 200
kHz, It can be modulated with carrier waves of 400 kHz and 600 kHz. Three modulators (not
shown) that perform modulation are located in the vicinity of the microphone array 70. Each of
the microphone signals (with the exception of the microphone signal sent at baseband) is
modulated on its respective carrier. The outputs of the modulators are summed together and the
combined signal is sent via a single wire pair (for single-ended transmission). Three wires are
required for balanced transmission). At the receive end (controller 80), a low pass filter may
extract the baseband signal. Three demodulators (not shown) are required to extract the three
modulated signals. The output of the demodulator corresponds to the original analog electrical
signal output of the three microphone elements 70a-n.
04-05-2019
25
[0102]
It is also possible to use cable 71 to communicate RF signals to and from antenna 30. In the
embodiment where the analog audio signal is transmitted via the cable 71, the audio signal
comprises energy in a low audio frequency range sufficiently separated from the frequency
range of the RF signal 22. The audio signal is generally between 20 Hz and 20 kHz, and the RF
signal (e.g. for Bluetooth (R)) is in the range of 2.4-2.5 GHz. Simple filtering may be provided at
either end of the cable 71 to isolate the signal in question for communication with the device in
question.
[0103]
In addition to carrying electrical signals from the microphone array 70, the harness 74 may be
used to energize the map light (e.g., a housing 60 such as a preamplifier, A / D converter, etc.). A
power supply may also be coupled for the transmission of DC power (such as the power specified
to power the circuits contained therein). Thus, in addition to transmitting the electrical and / or
digital signals from the microphone array 70, the harness 74 can also conduct DC power.
[0104]
FIG. 4 shows an exploded view of a housing 60 that includes a microphone array 70 having a
plurality of microphones 70a-n and an antenna 30. The housing 60 comprises a top section 60a
and a bottom section 60b according to an embodiment of the present invention. The housing 60
is configured to include a plurality of microphones 70a-n (only four microphone elements 70a-n
are shown by way of example) of the microphone array 70 and one or more antennas 30. The
housing encloses at least a portion of the microphone array 70. Within the housing 60, the
individual microphone elements 70a-n and the antenna 30 may be oriented in any direction.
Additionally, the housing 60 can be configured with one or more ports to allow at least one of the
microphone elements 70a-n in the microphone array 70 to receive an acoustic signal. Housing
60 may also include an acoustic damping material that can reduce acoustic noise within housing
60. Housing 60 may also include an EMI shield that can reduce electromagnetic interference
within housing 60. Housing 60 may be formed of any of various shapes and materials, and may
be disposed at various locations within the vehicle.
[0105]
04-05-2019
26
FIG. 5 shows an interior 500 within the vehicle 11 showing various alternative locations for the
enclosure 60. The first position 130 described above in FIG. 1 shows the housing 60 mounted on
the headliner 12 of the vehicle 11 at the front of the driver's seat 13. Housing 60 is positioned to
provide acceptable reception and transmission of Bluetooth® compatible RF signals, taking into
account where mobile phone 40 (FIG. 1) is likely to be located within vehicle 11.
[0106]
The first position 130 also provides good reception of the acoustic signal 14 (see FIG. 2), such as
the driver's voice. The first position 130 minimizes noise and interference from unwanted
acoustic signals such as wind noise emanating from an open window or noise emanating from an
air conditioner. The first position 130 is near the acoustic signal 14 and is remote from noise
sources such as the engine, the road, the wind. This increases the signal to noise (S / N) ratio to
enhance the audio quality of the acoustic signal 14. In addition, the first position 130 can be
used to microphone the electrical interference from the controller 80, a source such as a video
screen, or from any other electronic device mounted elsewhere in the vehicle 11 Minimize the
signal of array 70 and / or antenna 30.
[0107]
The microphone array may use any type of microphone element, or a combination of types of
microphone elements. Typical types are pressure responding and pressure gradient responding
(also known as differential, bi-directional, dipole or eight microphone shapes) It is. However,
certain types of devices are more susceptible to the generation of wind noise during use. In a
vehicle, wind may interact with the microphone when the window is lowered or when vehicle
environmental control is used (heating, air conditioning control, fans, etc.). Pressure responsive
microphone elements are inherently less susceptible to wind noise generation than pressure
gradient microphones and may be used in implementations where the microphone elements are
exposed to large air flows. Additional techniques such as applying open cell foam (open cell farm)
or mesh screen (wire mesh screen) to reduce air turbulence in the vicinity of the microphone
element are also against wind noise It can be used to reduce the sensitivity.
[0108]
04-05-2019
27
One technique for reducing interference with the microphone element output signal is to amplify
the electrical signal output of the microphone element at a location near the microphone
element. The signal is amplified before any external interference occurs during transmission. The
amplified signal is then transmitted to the controller 80 via the cable 71, thereby improving the
signal to noise ratio of the signal received from the microphone array 70 to the controller 80.
[0109]
Another technique to minimize unwanted interference is to use balanced signal transmission
between the microphone array 70 and the controller 80. As mentioned above, according to such
an arrangement, the output of each microphone element is converted from single-ended to
differential form for transmission to the controller 80. This relates to transmitting non-inverted
and inverted replicas of the microphone output signal as well as providing a reference
connection. A differential amplifier is used by controller 80 to convert the balanced signal back
to single-ended. The interference induced on the cable is approximately equal on each wire and is
eliminated by the differential amplifier. Note that this method may also be used for transmission
of multiplexed microphone signals (eg, FM modulated) or for any audio signal transmitted from
the microphone location to a remote location It was done.
[0110]
Placing the microphone elements close to a large reflective plane may enhance the performance
of the microphone array 70. Headliner 12 acts as a reflective plane in the vicinity of microphone
array 70. Placing the microphone array 70 close to the reflective plane narrows the directionality
of the microphone elements (e.g. for omnidirectional (non-directional) microphone elements, the
directional pattern is spherical to hemispherical) And some acoustic gain is achieved by the
placement of the microphone element within the "pressure zone" of the reflective surface. To
benefit from this acoustic gain, the microphone elements should be placed closer to the reflective
plane than the quarter wavelength at the highest frequency of interest.
[0111]
The directionality of the antenna of the antenna 30 for both reception and transmission of RF
signals may also be altered by its location. For example, if the antenna 30 is placed close to a
04-05-2019
28
grounded metal surface (such as the roof of the vehicle 11 placed above and close to the
headliner 12), transmission to / from the antenna 30 is Improve the direction of reception.
Preferably, the antenna 30 is mounted at a distance from a grounded metal surface that is a
small fraction (e.g., less than 1/10) of the highest frequency wavelength in question. For
Bluetooth (R) transmission, this distance is about 1.2 cm. However, the directivity of the antenna
30 can still be improved by mounting the antenna 30 up to about 2.5 cm from the ground plane.
According to an alternative embodiment, the communication system is configured to have a
second antenna positioned on the vehicle at a location such as the trunk of the vehicle, thereby
improving the reception of radio frequency signals.
[0112]
Alternative locations for housing 60 include overhead position 132 at the center of vehicle 11
and in front of the driver's seat 13, other locations on the map light housing or headliner 12, in
the rearview mirror 134, instruments In the panel 138, on the dashboard 136 in front of the
driver's seat 13, on the steering wheel 16, on the sunshade 18, on the air bag cover 140 or on
the controller 80. Housing 60 may also be located elsewhere within vehicle 11.
[0113]
In addition, the housing 60 can be positioned, for other purposes, anywhere that has wiring
associated with it (i.e., map light housing, other electrical devices, etc.). This can simplify the
manufacture of the wiring harness for a vehicle. Furthermore, if the chassis 60 is located in the
area where other DC power consuming devices are located in the vehicle, the need for running
another DC power cable at the assembly location can be eliminated, and the vehicle wiring
Further reduce the complexity and price of the harness.
[0114]
As described in detail above, embodiments of the present invention are microphones (or
alternatively microphones) in vehicles in a manner that reduces the design, installation and cost
of materials for microphones and antenna cables. And provide a mechanism for wiring the
antenna such as Bluetooth (R) antenna. Although the present invention has been particularly
illustrated and described with reference to its preferred embodiments, various changes in form
and detail may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined
04-05-2019
29
in the appended claims. Those skilled in the art will understand that it can be done.
[0115]
FIG. 5 illustrates a communication system having a combination of an antenna and a microphone
array mounted in a housing according to an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 1 is a
block diagram of a communication system having a remotely wired microphone, according to
one embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 5 is a block diagram of a communication system
in which signals transmitted between a microphone array and a controller are multiplexed
according to an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 6 is an exploded view of a housing
including a microphone array and an antenna according to an embodiment of the present
invention. FIG. 5 is a diagram illustrating the interior of a vehicle showing various locations for
the combination of the antenna and microphone assembly according to one embodiment of the
present invention.
Explanation of sign
[0116]
11 Vehicle 12 Headliner 24 Loudspeaker (Speaker) 30 Antenna 40 Mobile Phone 60 Enclosure
63 User 70 Microphone Array 70a-n Microphone Element 71 Cable 71a-n Cable 72 Cable 73a,
73b Conductor (Conductor) 74 Harness 80 Controller 80a -N Microphone preamplifier 81
Vehicle audio system "head unit" 82a-n preamplifier 83 microprocessor 85 analog-to-digital (A /
D) converter 86 Bluetooth (R) conversion module 87 audio reproduction system 100
communication system 200 communication system 300 communication system
04-05-2019
30
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