# Metamaterial phase shifters

The present technology pertains to a system and method of operation of a metamaterial phase shifter having various use applications. In one aspect of the present disclosure, a phase shifter includes a network of tunable impedance elements and a controller. The controller is coupled to the network of tunable impedance elements and configured to receive a phase shift input value and determine a corresponding tuning voltage to be supplied to each tunable impedance element of the network of tunable impedance elements based on the phase shift input value, the network of tunable impedance element being configured to shift a phase of an input signal based on tuning voltages supplied to the network of tunable impedance elements by the controller.

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**Description**

If an Application Data Sheet (ADS) has been filed on the filing date of this application, it is incorporated by reference herein. Any applications claimed on the ADS for priority under 35 U.S.C. §§ 119, 120, 121, or 365(c), and any and all parent, grandparent, great-grandparent, etc., applications of such applications are also incorporated by reference, including any priority claims made in those applications and any material incorporated by reference, to the extent such subject matter is not inconsistent herewith.

**CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS**

The present application claims the benefit of the earliest available effective filing date(s) from the following listed application(s) (the “Priority Applications”), if any, listed below (e.g., claims earliest available priority dates for other than provisional patent applications or claims benefits under 35 USC § 119(e) for provisional patent applications, for any and all parent, grandparent, great-grandparent, etc. applications of the Priority Application(s)).

**PRIORITY APPLICATIONS**

None.

**RELATED APPLICATIONS**

This application is related to U.S. patent application Ser. No. 15/183,291, filed on Jun. 15, 2016, entitled METHODS AND SYSTEMS FOR COMMUNICATION WITH BEAMFORMING ANTENNAS, and published as U.S. Pat. Pub. No. 2006/0373181; U.S. patent application Ser. No. 15/253,606, filed on Aug. 31, 2016, entitled TUNABLE MEDIUM LINEAR CODER; U.S. patent application Ser. No. 15/409,401, filed on Jan. 18, 2017, entitled TUNABLE MEDIUM LINEAR CODER; U.S. patent application Ser. No. 15/586,157, filed on May 3, 2017, entitled DYNAMIC METAMATERIAL CODED-APERTURE IMAGING; U.S. patent application Ser. No. 15/048,878 filed on Feb. 19, 2016, entitled TRANSMITTER CONFIGURED TO PROVIDE A CHANNEL CAPACITY THAT EXCEEDS A SATURATION CHANNEL CAPACITY, and published as U.S. Pat. Pub. No. 2017/0244454; U.S. patent application Ser. No. 15/048,880 filed on Feb. 19, 2016, entitled RECEIVER CONFIGURED TO PROVIDE A CHANNEL CAPACITY THAT EXCEEDS A SATURATION CHANNEL CAPACITY, and published as U.S. Pat. Pub. No. 2017/0244453; U.S. patent application Ser. No. 15/048,884 filed on Feb. 19, 2016, entitled SYSTEM WITH TRANSMITTER AND RECEIVER REMOTE PROM ONE ANOTHER AND CONFIGURED TO PROVIDE A CHANNEL CAPACITY THAT EXCEEDS A SATURATION CHANNEL CAPACITY, and published as U.S. Pat. Pub. No. 2017/0244450; U.S. patent application Ser. No. 15/048,888 filed on Feb. 19, 2016, entitled SYSTEM WITH TRANSMITTER AND RECEIVER CONFIGURED TO PROVIDE A CHANNEL CAPACITY THAT EXCEEDS A SATURATION CHANNEL CAPACITY, and published as U.S. Pat. Pub. No. 2017/0244455; U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/918,331, filed on Oct. 20, 2015, entitled TUNABLE METAMATERIAL SYSTEMS AND METHODS, and published as U.S. Pat. Pub. No. 2017/0069966; U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/986,255, filed on Dec. 31, 2015, entitled WIRELESS POWER TRANSFER USING TUNABLE METAMATERIAL SYSTEMS AND METHODS, and published as U.S. Pat. Pub. No. 2017/0069969; U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/986,258, filed on Dec. 31, 2015, entitled WIRELESS POWER TRANSFER USING TUNABLE METAMATERIAL SYSTEMS AND METHODS, and published as U.S. Pat. Pub. No. 2017/0069973; U.S. patent application Ser. No. 15/345,251, filed on Nov. 7, 2016, entitled MASSIVELY MULTI-USER MIMO USING SPACE TIME HOLOGRAPHY; U.S. patent application Ser. No. 15/409,394, filed on Jan. 18, 2017, entitled MASSIVELY MULTI-USER MIMO USING SPACE TIME HOLOGRAPHY; and U.S. patent application Ser. No. 15/722,973, filed on Oct. 2, 2017, entitled TIME REVERSAL BEAMFORMING TECHNIQUES WITH METAMATERIAL ANTENNAS are related to the present application. The content for each of foregoing applications and application publications is incorporated herein by reference.

**TECHNICAL FIELD**

The present technology pertains to a system and method of operation of a metamaterial phase shifter having various use applications including, but not limited to, antenna systems.

**BACKGROUND**

A phase shift module or a phase shifter is a device that receives an input signal such as a radio frequency electromagnetic signal and provides a controllable shift of the phase of the input signal. At microwave frequencies, phase shifters are usually implemented as microwave networks—electromagnetic circuits composed of transmission lines and various circuit elements, including controllable (tunable) elements. Phase shifters can be classified as active or passive, depending on whether signal magnitude is amplified. Phase shifters can be also classified as analog or digital, depending on whether they provide a continuous range or a discrete set of possible phase shifts. Example applications of phase shifters include phased array antennas, including electronically steerable arrays (ESA), software-defined antennas (SDA) and so on.

**BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS**

In order to describe the manner in which the above-recited and other advantages and features of the disclosure can be obtained, a more particular description of the principles briefly described above will be rendered by reference to specific embodiments thereof which are illustrated in the appended drawings. Understanding that these drawings depict only exemplary embodiments of the disclosure and are not therefore to be considered to be limiting of its scope, the principles herein are described and explained with additional specificity and detail through the use of the accompanying drawings in which:

**DETAILED DESCRIPTION**

Various examples of the disclosure are discussed in detail below. While specific implementations are discussed, it should be understood that this is done for illustration purposes only. A person skilled in the relevant art will recognize that other components and configurations may be used without parting from the spirit and scope of the disclosure.

References to one or an example embodiment in the present disclosure can be, but not necessarily are, references to the same example embodiment; and, such references mean at least one of the example embodiments.

Reference to “one example embodiment” or “an example embodiment” means that a particular feature, structure, or characteristic described in connection with the example embodiment is included in at least one example of the disclosure. The appearances of the phrase “in one example embodiment” in various places in the specification are not necessarily all referring to the same example embodiment, nor are separate or alternative example embodiments mutually exclusive of other example embodiments. Moreover, various features are described which may be exhibited by some example embodiments and not by others. Similarly, various features are described which may be features for some example embodiments but no other example embodiments.

The terms used in this specification generally have their ordinary meanings in the art, within the context of the disclosure, and in the specific context where each term is used. Alternative language and synonyms may be used for any one or more of the terms discussed herein, and no special significance should be placed upon whether or not a term is elaborated or discussed herein. Synonyms for certain terms are provided. A recital of one or more synonyms does not exclude the use of other synonyms. The use of examples anywhere in this specification including examples of any terms discussed herein is illustrative only, and is not intended to further limit the scope and meaning of the disclosure or of any exemplified term likewise, the disclosure is not limited to various examples given in this specification.

Without intent to limit the scope of the disclosure, examples of instruments, apparatus, methods and their related results according to examples of the present disclosure are given below. Note that titles or subtitles may be used in the examples for convenience of a reader, which in no way should limit the scope of the disclosure. Unless otherwise defined, technical and scientific terms used herein have the meaning as commonly understood by one of ordinary skill in the art to which this disclosure pertains. In the case of conflict, the present document, including definitions will control.

Although the terms first, second, etc. may be used herein to describe various elements, these elements should not be limited by these terms. These terms are only used to distinguish one element from another. For example, a first element could be termed a second element, and similarly, a second element could be termed a first element, without departing from the scope of this disclosure. As used herein, the term “and/or,” includes any and all combinations of one or more of the associated listed items.

When an element is referred to as being “connected,” or “coupled,” to another element, it can be directly connected or coupled to the other element or intervening elements may be present. By contrast, when an element is referred to as being “directly connected,” or “directly coupled,” to another element, there are no intervening elements present. Other words used to describe the relationship between elements should be interpreted in a like fashion (e.g., “between,” versus “directly between,” “adjacent,” versus “directly adjacent,” etc.).

The terminology used herein is for the purpose of describing particular examples only and is not intended to be limiting. As used herein, the singular forms “a”, “an”, and “the” are intended to include the plural forms as well, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. It will be further understood that the terms “comprises”, “comprising,”, “includes” and/or “including”, when used herein, specify the presence of stated features, integers, steps, operations, elements, and/or components, but do not preclude the presence or addition of one or more other features, integers, steps, operations, elements, components, and/or groups thereof.

It should also be noted that in some alternative implementations, the functions/acts noted may occur out of the order noted in the figures. For example, two figures shown in succession may in fact be executed substantially concurrently or may sometimes be executed in the reverse order, depending upon the functionality/acts involved.

Specific details are provided in the following description to provide a thorough understanding of examples. However, it will be understood by one of ordinary skill in the art that examples may be practiced without these specific details. For example, systems may be shown in block diagrams so as not to obscure the examples in unnecessary detail. In other instances, well-known processes, structures and techniques may be shown without unnecessary detail in order to avoid obscuring examples.

In the following description, illustrative examples will be described with reference to acts and symbolic representations of operations (e.g., in the form of flow charts, flow diagrams, data flow diagrams, structure diagrams, block diagrams, etc.) that may be implemented as program services or functional processes include routines, programs, objects, components, data structures, etc., that perform particular tasks or implement particular abstract data types and may be implemented using hardware at network elements. Non-limiting examples of such hardware may include one or more Central Processing Units (CPUs), digital signal processors (DSPs), application-specific-integrated-circuits, field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), computers or the like.

Additional features and advantages of the disclosure will be set forth in the description which follows, and in part will be obvious from the description, or can be learned by practice of the herein disclosed principles. The features and advantages of the disclosure can be realized and obtained by means of the instruments and combinations particularly pointed out in the appended claims. These and other features of the disclosure will become more fully apparent from the following description and appended claims, or can be learned by the practice of the principles set forth herein.

Overview

In one aspect of the present disclosure, a phase shifter includes a network of tunable impedance elements and a controller. The controller is coupled to the network of tunable impedance elements and configured to receive a phase shift input value and determine a corresponding tuning voltage to be supplied to each tunable impedance element of the network of tunable impedance elements based on the phase shift input value, the network of tunable impedance element being configured to shift a phase of an input signal based on tuning voltages supplied to the network of tunable impedance elements by the controller.

In one aspect of the present disclosure, a method includes receiving a phase shift input value, determining a set of voltage control signals based on the phase shift input value and transmitting the set of voltage control signals to a network of tunable impedance elements to shift a phase of an input signal to the phase shifter such that a magnitude of an output signal of the phase shifter and a magnitude of the input signal to the phase shifter are substantially similar.

**DESCRIPTION**

The disclosed technology is directed to the use of a network of tunable impedance elements in a phase shift module that is configured to change a phase of an input signal.

**100** (which may also be referred to as phase shifter **100**) has an input port **102**, control port **104**, output port **106**, controller **108** and a network of tunable impedance elements (network of T.I.E.) **110**.

Phase shift module **100** has a housing that can be made of metal, plastic, etc. Input port **102** can be metallic or plastic for example. Phase shift module **100** can be a digital phase shift module. In another example, phase shift module **100** can be a single input-single output digital phase shift module.

Input port **102** can be such that a cable such as cable **112** can be screwed into, snapped into, attached to (magnetically for example), etc. Cable **112** can be any known or to be developed co-axial, etc., cable or wire capable of transmission of signals (e.g., radio frequency signals).

Control port **104** can have one or more pins for connection to an external component through which various commands for programming of controller **108** and overall operation of phase shift module **100** can be sent to phase shift module **100**. For example, control port **104** can be a 16 pin input port with each pin having a specific function/purpose. For example, pin 0 can be ground, pin 1 can be input voltage, one or more pins can each designate a specific phase shift input value (e.g., 10 degrees, 30 degrees, 90 degrees, 180 degrees, 270 degrees, etc.), one or more pins can designate an operational frequency of phase shift module **100** from an operational bandwidth range (e.g., 0 to 18 GHz, etc.). Accordingly, phase shift module **100** can be a multiple-frequency device with an operational frequency selectable from such operational bandwidth range or alternatively, can be a single frequency device. In one example, phase shift module **100** is a finite-operational-bandwidth device, the operational frequency of which is selectable from an operation bandwidth range.

Output port **106** can be such that a cable such as cable **114** can be screwed into, snapped into, attached to (magnetically for example), etc. Cable **114** can be any known or to be developed co-axial, etc., cable or wire capable of transmitting a signal (e.g., a radio frequency (RF) signal), the phase of which has been shifted by phase shift module **100** to an intended destination depending on specific application to which phase shift module **100** is applied.

Each one of controller **108** and network of tunable impedance elements **110** will be further described with reference to

**108** can have a processor **200** and a memory **202**. Memory **202** can have computer-readable instruction stored therein, which when executed by processor **200**, transforms the processor **200** into a special purpose processor to perform functionalities for implementing a metamaterial based phase shifter, as will be further described below with reference to

Furthermore, controller **108** can have one or more connection ports such as connection ports **204** and one or more connection ports **206** for communication with control port **104** and network of tunable impedance elements **110**. Number of connection ports **204** and **206** are not limited to that shown in **204** and **206**.

For example, connection port **204** can be connected to control port **104** for receiving various commands such as input voltage, designated (requested) phase shift to be applied to an input signal, etc. In another example, connection port **206** is used to communicate various voltages (as will be described below with reference to **110**. One or more connection port **206**, as shown in **108** to network of tunable impedance elements **110**. In one example, each of plurality of control lines **206** couples controller **108** to one tunable impedance element of network of tunable impedance elements **110**.

Controller **108** can be a special purpose digital device, such as application-specific integrated circuits (ASIC), programmable array logic (PAL), programmable logic array (PLA), programmable logic device (PLD), field programmable gate array (FPGA), or other customizable and/or programmable device. Controller **108** can be installed on/attached to a printed circuit board (PCB) inside a housing of phase shift module **100**. In such case, connections ports **204** and **206** can be one or more pins of an ASIC or FPGA connected to a common conductive line on the PCB for connection to respective one of input port **104**, network of tunable impedance elements **110**, etc.

Memory **202** can be any one of, but not limited to, a non-volatile memory, static RAM, dynamic RAM, ROM, CD-ROM, disk, tape, magnetic, optical, flash memory, or other machine-readable storage medium. Various aspects of certain embodiments may be implemented using hardware, software, firmware, or a combination thereof.

As shown in **110** can be associated with variable lumped impedance elements, Zn, **303** according to an aspect of the present disclosure.

In one example, a number of tunable impedance elements of network of tunable impedance elements **110** are proportional to a number of phase shift input values in a set of possible (available) phase shift input values of phase shift module **100**, from which the phase shift input value is selected.

In another example, the number of tunable impedance elements of network of tunable impedance elements **110** is at least equal to twice the number of the phase shift input values.

In one example, each of the phase shift values are equally spaced on the [0, 2π] interval. In one example, each of the phase shift input values are distributed on the [0, 2π] interval in accordance with roots of a Legendre polynomial of a corresponding order.

Tunable metamaterials of network of tunable impedance elements **110**, including two-dimensional metasurface devices, may comprise an array of unit cells. Each unit cell can have one or more variable impedance elements. Each impedance element or group of impedance elements may be variably controlled based on one or more impedance control inputs (control signals (tuning voltage values/inputs) received from controller **108**, as will be described below). The tuning may be a one-time static tuning that is performed during the manufacturing of the antenna device, or the tuning may be a dynamic process that occurs during operation by modifying one or more control inputs (e.g., one or more requested phase shift value).

As an example of static tunability, a metamaterial device may be manufactured using a 3D printer and the tuning may comprise selecting a material or combination of materials that results in a specific electromagnetic or electrical property for each of the impedance elements. Therefore, each tunable impedance element of network of tunable impedance elements **110** can be said to be formed of electromagnetic metamaterial.

By uniquely selecting the material or combination of materials for each of the unit cells, a metamaterial antenna device may be statically tuned to provide a specific phase shift of an input RF signal. Alternatively, each unit cell may be modeled to include a lumped impedance element with (at least) one input and (at least) one output. The input(s) may be dynamically manipulated during operation to dynamically shift the phase of an input signal in real-time from a selectable set of phase shifts.

In one example, network of tunable impedance elements **110** can be a spatially-periodic arrangement of tunable impedance elements, with spatial periodicity in at least one spatial dimension being less than one-half of free-space wavelength. In another example, the special dimension can be in two special dimensions or in three special dimensions.

As previously described, the system may be modeled to include lumped impedance elements that can be passive, active, or variably passive-active. At a given frequency, each impedance element may be fully described by the complex value of its impedance “z.” A positive integer N may be used to describe the number of tunable or variable lumped impedance elements. A diagonal square matrix of size N may have diagonal elements z_{n }representative of the nth impedance element. Alternatively, an N-dimensional complex vector, {z_{n}}, can be used to represent the n-valued list of impedance values.

Each variable impedance element may be modeled as a port (e.g., a lumped port and/or a wave port). A plurality of lumped ports, N, may include a plurality of lumped input ports, N_{i}, with impedance values corresponding to the impedance values of each of the variable impedance elements, and at least one lumped external port, N_{e}, that may or may not have a variable impedance or any impedance at all. That is, the z value of the modeled lumped external port, N_{e}, may be zero and represent an idealized shorted port. Alternatively, the z value of the modeled lumped external port, N_{e}, may be infinity and represent an idealized open port. In many embodiments, the z value of the external port, N_{e}, may be a complex value with a magnitude between zero and infinity.

Regardless of the impedance values of each of the lumped ports, N, including the lumped input ports, N_{i}, and the at least one lumped external port, N_{e}, each of the lumped ports (or in some examples wave ports) may have its own self-impedance and the network of ports may be described by an N×N impedance matrix (Z-Matrix) or by the equivalent inverse admittance matrix (Y-Matrix) where Y=Z^{−1}. Additionally, the network of ports can be modeled as an S-parameter matrix or scattering matrix (S-Matrix). The Z-Matrix and its inverse the Y-Matrix are independent from the specific z values of the ports because the matrix elements are defined as Z_{nm}=V_{n}/I_{m}, where V_{n }and I_{m }are the voltage at port n and the current at port m, measured with all other ports open. That is, assuming port currents I_{k}=0 for all k not equal to m or n. Similarly, for the admittance matrix, Y_{nm}=I_{m}/V_{n}, measured with all other ports open. Again, that is assuming port currents I_{k}=0 for all k not equal to m or n.

The S-Matrix is expressible through the Z or Y matrices and the values of the lumped impedance elements as follows:

*S*=(*√yZ√y−*1)(*√yZ√y+*1)^{−1}=(1*−ρz√z*)(1*+√zY√z*)^{−1} (1)

In the equation above, the “1” represents a unit matrix of size N. The S-Matrix models the port-to-port transmission of off-diagonal elements of the N-port network of impedance elements. In a lossless system, the S-Matrix is unitary. If elements s_{n }are the singular values of the S-Matrix, which are the same as the magnitudes of the eigenvalues, it can be stated that in a lossless system, all s_{n}=1. In general, if s_{max }is the largest singular value, then for a passive lossy system it can be stated that s_{n}≤s_{max}≤1.

In an active system, these bounds still hold, however s_{max }can now exceed unity, representing an overall 2{circumflex over ( )}N gain for at least one propagation path. The Z and Y matrices are diagonalized in the same basis represented by a unitary matrix U (U^{†}=U^{−1}), such that Z=U^{†}Z_{d}U, Y=U^{†}Y_{d}U, where the subscript d indicates a diagonal matrix, the elements of which are complex-valued eigenvalues of the corresponding matrix.

Generally speaking, unless √Z is proportional to a unit matrix (i.e., all lumped element impedances are equal), the S-Matrix will not be diagonal in the U-basis. In the U-basis, the general form of the S-Matrix is S=U^{†}(1−ζY_{d}ζ)(1+ζY_{d}ζ)^{−1}U, where a new non-diagonal matrix ζ=U√zU^{†} is used such that √z=U^{†}ζU, and Y_{d }is diagonal, though not generally commutative with ζ.

The S-Matrix of the system can be numerically evaluated with any desired accuracy by solving exactly N linear system problems (e.g., Z_{nm}=V_{n}/I_{m }or Y_{nm}=I_{m}/V_{n }and the associated open port conditions described above). Such problems may be solved with Finite Element Methods (FEM) or finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) based solvers for linear electromagnetic systems. Examples of commercially available solvers include ANSYS HFSS, COMSOL, and CST. These numerical simulations incorporate various fine effects of the near-field and far-field interactions between various parts of the system, regardless of complexity.

The Z-Matrix and/or the Y-Matrix can be evaluated based on knowledge of the S-matrix and the impedance values. With many FEM solvers, it is also possible to directly evaluate the Z-Matrix or the Y-Matrix, by solving N^{2 }linear problems. This approach, however, is N times less efficient than calculating the S-Matrix with a fixed set of port impedance values (known as reference impedance values), and transforming it to Z and/or Y.

In one or more examples, each tunable impedance element of the network of tunable impedance elements **110** can have a maximum dimension that is less than half of a wavelength of the smallest frequency within an operating frequency range (e.g., between 0 to 18 GHz). One or more of the sub-wavelength tunable impedance elements may comprise a resonating element. In one or more examples, some or all of the sub-wavelength tunable impedance elements may comprise metamaterials. In one or more examples, a network of tunable impedance elements (e.g., resonating elements) may be collectively considered a metamaterial.

Network of tunable impedance elements **110** can have inter-element spacings that are substantially less than a free-space wavelength corresponding to an operating frequency or frequency range. For example, the inter-element spacings may be less than one-half or one-quarter of the free-space operating wavelength. Network of tunable impedance elements **110** may be configured to operate in a wide variety of operating frequency ranges, including, but not limited to, microwave frequencies (e.g., 0 to 18 GHz or any other frequency range). The presently described systems and methods may be adapted for use with other frequency bands, including those designated as very low frequency, low frequency, medium frequency, high frequency, very high frequency, ultra-high frequency, super-high frequency, and extremely high frequency or millimeter waves.

Network of tunable impedance elements **110** can be connected to input port **102**, which can be a common transmission line (TL). Alternative waveguides can be used instead of or in addition to TLs. A waveguide or TL may be modeled as another port in the S-Matrix, such as in Heretic-like architectures with variable couplers.

The impedance of each of the lumped impedance elements may be variably adjusted through one or more impedance control inputs (tuning voltage values) received from controller **108**, as will be described below.

In one or more examples, the lumped external port, N_{e}, may comprise a virtual port, an external region of space assumed to be a void, a region of space assumed to be filled with a dielectric material, and/or a location in space assumed to be filled with a conductive, radiative, reactive, and/or reflective material.

The lumped external port, N_{e}, may also be modeled as a virtual external port, comprising a field probe, as measured by a non-perturbing measurement. In other example, the virtual external port may represent a numerical field probe, as calculated using a numerical simulation.

In one or more examples, the impedance of each one of the network of tunable impedance elements **110** may be controlled individually, or only some of them may be variable. In any of the above embodiments, X impedance control inputs may be varied to control the impedance of Y impedance elements, where X and Y are integers that may or may not be equal.

As a specific example, 1,000 unique impedance control inputs may be provided for each of 1,000 unique impedance elements of the network of tunable impedance elements **110**. Accordingly, each of the impedance control inputs (tuning voltages) may be varied to control the impedance of each of the impedance elements in network of tunable impedance elements **110**.

In some examples, one or more of the impedance control inputs (tuning voltages) may utilize the application of a direct current (DC) voltage to variably control the impedance of the elements of network of tunable impedance elements **110** based on the magnitude of the applied DC voltage. In other examples, an impedance control input may utilize one or more of an electrical current input, a radiofrequency electromagnetic wave input an optical radiation input, a thermal radiation input, a terahertz radiation input, an acoustic wave input, a phonon wave input, a mechanical pressure input, a mechanical contact input, a thermal conduction input, an electromagnetic input, an electrical impedance control input, and a mechanical switch input. In one or more examples, the lumped impedance elements may be modeled as two-port structures with an input and an output.

The lumped impedance elements may comprise one or more of a resistor, a capacitor, an inductor, a varactor, a diode, a Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) capacitor, a Barium Strontium Benatate (BST) capacitor, a tunable ferroelectric capacitor, a tunable MEMS inductor, a pin diode, an adjustable resistor, a High Electron Mobility Transistor (HEMT), and/or another type of transistor. Any of a wide variety of alternative circuit components (whether in discrete or integrated form) may be part of a lumped impedance element (e.g., network of tunable impedance elements **110**).

One or more hardware, software, and/or firmware solutions may be employed to perform operations for controlling an implementing a phase shift of input signals using network of tunable impedance elements **110** using phase shift module **100**, as will be described below. For instance, a computer-readable medium (e.g., a non-transitory computer-readable medium) may have instructions that are executable by a processor to provide control voltages by controller **108** to tunable impedance elements of network of tunable impedance elements **110**. The executed operations or method steps may include determining a scattering matrix (S-Matrix) of field amplitudes for each tunable impedance element of network of tunable impedance elements **110**.

As described above, S-Matrix is expressible in terms of an impedance matrix, Z-Matrix, with impedance values, Z_{n}, of each of each impedance element of network of impedance elements **110**, N. Thus, by modifying one or more of the impedance values, z_{n}, associated with one or more of N impedance elements, a desired S-Matrix of field amplitudes can be attained.

Determining an optimized {z_{n}} may include calculating an optimized Z-Matrix using one or more of a variety of mathematical optimization techniques. For example, the optimized {z_{n}} may be determined using a global optimization method involving a stochastic optimization method, a genetic optimization algorithm, a Monte-Carlo optimization method, a gradient-assisted optimization method, a simulated annealing optimization algorithm, a particle swarm optimization algorithm, a pattern search optimization method, a Multistart algorithm, and/or a global search optimization algorithm. Determining the optimized {z_{n}} may be at least partially based on one or more initial guesses. Depending on the optimization algorithm used, the optimized values may be local optimizations based on initial guesses and may not in fact be true global optimizations. In other embodiments, sufficient optimization calculations are performed to ensure that a true globally optimized value is identified. In some embodiments, a returned optimization value or set of values may be associated with a confidence level or confidence value that the returned optimization value or set of values corresponds to global extrema as opposed to local extrema.

For gradient-assisted optimization, a gradient may be calculated analytically using an equation relating an S-parameter of the S-Matrix to the Z-Matrix and the optimized {z_{n}}. In some examples, a Hessian matrix calculation may be utilized that is calculated analytically using the equation relating the S-parameter to the Z-Matrix and the optimized {z_{n}}. A quasi-Newton method may also be employed in some embodiments. In the context of optimization, the Hessian matrix may be considered a matrix of second derivatives of the scalar optimization goal function with respect to the optimization variable vector.

In some examples, the global optimization method may include exhaustively or almost exhaustively determining all local extrema by solving a multivariate polynomial equation and selecting a global extrema from the determined local extrema. Alternative gradient-based methods may be used, such as conjugate gradient (CG) methods and steepest descent methods, etc. In the context of optimization, a gradient may be a vector of derivatives of the scalar optimization goal function with respect to the vector of optimization variables.

Exhaustively determining all local extrema may be performed by splitting the domain based on expected roots and then splitting it into smaller domains to calculate a single root or splitting the domain until a domain with a single root is found. Determining the optimized {z_{n}} may include solving the optimization problem in which a simple case may include a clumped function scalar function with one output and N inputs. The N inputs could be complex z_{n }values and the optimized Z-Matrix may be calculated based on an optimization of complex impedance values of the z_{n }vectors.

The optimized {z_{n}} may be calculated by finding an optimized Z-Matrix based on an optimization of complex impedance values z_{n}. The optimized {z_{n}} may be calculated by finding an optimized Z-Matrix based on an optimization of roots of complex values of the impedance values z_{n}. The optimized {z_{n}} may be calculated by finding an optimized Z-Matrix based on an optimization of reactances associated with the impedance values of the impedance values z_{n}. The optimized {z_{n}} may be calculated by finding an optimized Z-Matrix based on an optimization of resistivities associated with the impedance values of the impedance values z_{n}. The optimization may be constrained to allow only positive or inductive values of reactances, or only negative or capacitive values of reactances. In other embodiments, the optimization of resistivities may be constrained to only allow for positive or passive values of resistivities.

The optimized {z_{n}} may be calculated by finding an optimized Z-Matrix based on an optimization of the impedance control inputs associated with the lumped impedance elements of each of the sub-wavelength antenna elements. The optimized {z_{n}} may be calculated by optimizing a nonlinear function. The nonlinear function may relate impedance values for each of the lumped antenna ports, N_{a}, as modeled in the S-Matrix and the associated impedance control inputs. In some embodiments, the nonlinear function may be fitted to a lower-order polynomial for optimization.

Mapping the Z-Matrix values to the S-Matrix values may comprise a non-linear mapping. In some instances, the mapping may be expressible as a single- or multivariate polynomial. The polynomial may be of a relatively low order (e.g., 1-5). The S-Matrix may comprise N values and the Z-Matrix may comprise M values, where N and M are both integers and equal to one another, such that there is a 1:1 mapping of S-Matrix values and Z-Matrix values. Any of a wide variety of mappings is possible. For example, the S-Matrix may comprise N values and the Z-Matrix may comprise M values, where N squared is equal to M. Alternatively, there may be a 2:1 or 3:1 mapping or a 1:3 or 2:1 mapping.

The physical location of the at least one lumped external port, N_{e}, may be associated with a single-path or multipath propagation channel that is electromagnetically reflective and/or refractive. The multipath propagation channel may be in the near-field. In a radiative near-field, the multipath propagation pattern may be in the reactive near-field.

Determining the optimized {z_{n}} of impedance values for network of tunable impedance elements **110** may include determining an optimized set of control values for the plurality of impedance control inputs that results in an field amplitude for the at least one lumped external port, N_{e}, in the S-Matrix that approximates the target field amplitude for a given operating frequency or frequency range.

The S-Matrix element S_{1N }represents the complex magnitude of field (e.g., electric field) at a particular location in space, given by the radius vector {right arrow over (r_{0})}, normalized to the field magnitude at the input port. The absolute value |S_{1N}|, or the more algebraically convenient quantity |S_{1N}|^{2}, quantifies the quality of field concentration at that point. Maximizing this quantity (or minimizing in the case of forming nulls) represents a generalized phase shifting algorithm.

To find all local optima and the global optimum we can use the equation q_{n}≡√z_{n}, which characterizes the individual port impedances z_{n}. The equation above, S=U{right arrow over (r_{0})} (1−ζY_{d}ζ)(1+ζY_{d}ζ)^{−1}U, is a rational (and meromorphic) analytical function of {q_{n}}.

To make this function bounded, and find its maxima that are attainable in a passive system, the function may be restricted to the multidimensional segment satisfying Re(z_{n})≥0, n=1, . . . , N. Equivalently, this condition is −π/2≤arg z_{n}≤π/2, and consequently −π/4≤arg q_{n}≤π/4.

To reduce this problem to real values, each q_{n }variable can be expressed through real variables, q_{n}=ρ_{n}+iξ_{n}. In this manner, the real valued function |S_{1N}|^{2 }is now a function of 2N real variables ρ_{n}, ξ_{n}, which is a rational function comprising a ratio of two 2N-variate polynomials.

In some examples, the resistance of each lumped element can be neglected by assuming Re(z_{n})=0, z_{n}=ix_{n}, with the real reactance values x_{n}. In some examples, the system as a whole is still assumed passive and lossy with the losses occurring on the paths between the ports and incorporated into the Z-Matrix (or Y-Matrix). This approximation satisfies the passivity constraints and also reduces the number of variables to N because √zY√z→i√xY√x, and x is purely real.

The function |S_{1N}|^{2 }is necessarily bounded for a passive system, and therefore it has a finite global maximum as a function of real-valued variables ρ_{n},ξ_{n}. Moreover, it has a finite number of local extrema. These extrema can be found by solving a set of 2N multivariate polynomial equations given by the standard zero gradient condition at the extremum:

In the simplified approach above, there are N unknowns x_{n}=√x_{n }and N extremum conditions, so

Once these extrema are found, the extremal values of the function are evaluated numerically, and the global maximum is determined by choosing the largest local maximum. A similar approach can be performed to identify one or more minimums to attain a target radiation pattern with a null at one or more specific radius vectors {right arrow over (r_{0})}.

Numerical and symbolic-manipulation algorithms exist that take advantage of the polynomial nature of the resulting equations. For example, Wolfram Mathematica™ function Maximize supports symbolic solving of the global optimization problem for multivariate polynomial equations, unconstrained or with multivariate polynomial constraints. This function is based on a Groebner-basis calculation algorithm, which reduces the multidimensional polynomial system to a triangular system, which is then reduced to a single scalar polynomial equation by back-substitution. Similar functionality exists in other software packages, including MATLAB™ with Symbolic Math Toolbox™, Maple™ and so on.

As previously discussed, once values are determine for each of the z_{n }for the variable or tunable impedance elements of network of tunable impedance elements **110**, each of the impedance elements can be tuned. In some examples, the tuning is static and the impedance values are set at the manufacturing stage. In other examples, a physical stimulus (e.g., mechanical, electric, electromagnetic, and/or a combination thereof) may be used to dynamically tune impedance elements to dynamically modify the radiation pattern of the antenna system during operation.

Depending on the manufacturing techniques employed (e.g., 3D printing) the calculated values of optimum impedance values may translate trivially into the choices made for the selectable impedance elements. In contrast, for the dynamically adjustable, variable, or tunable impedance elements, there is generally a non-trivial relationship between the complex impedance of the elements and the stimuli that control them. In some embodiments, the relationship between the complex impedance of the impedance elements and the control inputs may be based on a magnitude of an applied signal. Appreciating that the magnitude of the stimulus may be binary in some embodiments (i.e., on or off), the relationship may be modeled as z_{n}=ƒ_{n}(s_{n}), where s_{n}, is the real-valued magnitude of the stimulus. The function ƒ_{n}(s_{n}) can be fitted with a polynomial order S, and substituted into |S_{1N}|^{2}. The functions ƒ_{n }can be all the same when identical dynamically tunable elements are used, in which case there will be N extremum conditions for N real variables s_{n}, each of which is still a rational function.

In the lowest-order approximation, the fitting polynomial can be linear (S=1), in which case the complexity of the extremum problem is still

The quality of a polynomial approximation depends greatly on the practically available range of the stimulus, or the range chosen for other practical considerations. Because the s_{n }variables are restricted to a finite interval, the optimization problem can be solved with the corresponding constraints. When the optimization problem is solved by exhaustive enumeration of the extrema, these constrains are applied trivially and the local extrema not satisfying the constraints are excluded from the enumeration.

As previously described, tunable impedance elements of network of tunable impedance elements **110** may have inter-element spacings that are substantially less than a free-space wavelength corresponding to an operating frequency of phase shift module **100**. For example, the inter-element spacings may be less than one-half or one-quarter of the free-space operating wavelength. As shown, a common TL (via input port **102**) may be coupled to network of tunable impedance elements. Each impedance element of network of impedance elements **110** may have a variable impedance value that is set during manufacture or that can be dynamically tuned via one or more control inputs.

**350**, tunable impedance value z_{n}, **365**, of a tunable impedance element **360** of network of tunable impedance elements **110** can have an impedance control input **370**, through which a corresponding tuning voltage (voltage control signal) is received from controller **108**, as will be described below. Impedance control input **370** can be used to control or vary the impedance of the lumped impedance element, z_{n}, **365** to achieve a desired phase shift indicated by a phase shift input value.

**100**. However, one or more specific steps are performed by controller **108** of phase module **100** while one or more other specific steps are performed by network of tunable impedance elements **110**, as will be described below.

At S**400**, phase shift module **100** receives an input signal. As described above, the input signal can be a continuous-wave signal having a particular magnitude and/or frequency. The input signal can be a continuous-wave radio frequency (RF) signal.

At S**405**, phase shift module **100** receives the magnitude and/or frequency of the input signal. In one example, phase shift module **100** receives only the magnitude or the frequency of the input signal. In another example, phase shift module **100** receives both the magnitude and frequency of the input signal. In another example, phase shift module does not receive any one of the magnitude or frequency of the input signal. In such case, step S**405** is not performed.

In one example, upon receiving input signal at S**400**, phase shift module **100**, via controller **108**, determines the magnitude (e.g., local magnitudes of the input signal) and frequency of the input signal according to any known or to be developed method.

At S**410**, phase shift module **100** receives a phase shift input value. As described above, the phase shift input value is a desired value by which the phase of the input signal is to be shifted. In one example, the phase shift input value is received at controller **108** via control port **104**.

In one example, the phase shift module **100** has an array of possible (available) phase shift values stored thereon (e.g., stored on a memory associated with controller **108**). This array or set of possible phase shift values can be a finite set. Accordingly in one example, phase shift module, via controller **108**, receives a digital input (an integer input) that corresponds to an index of one phase shift input value of the set stored in phase shift module **100**. Based on the received integer input (index), phase shift module **100** determines the corresponding phase shift input value to be used.

In one example, the set possible phase shift input values has 2^{M }possible phase shift values, where M is the number of bits used to enumerate the phase shift values.

In one example, phase shift module **100** can be a 1 bit phase shifter and therefore, the finite set of possible phase shift values has only two possible phase shift values (e.g., 1 or 0).

At S**415**, phase shift module **100**, via controller **108**, determines a set of tuning voltages (voltage control signals) for network of tunable impedance elements **110** based on the phase shift input value received at S**410**.

In one example and as part of determining each tuning voltage for elements of network of impedance elements **110**, controller **108** determines the corresponding tuning voltage for each tunable impedance element of network of tunable impedance elements **110** based on an approximation of network of tunable impedance elements **110** as a network of lumped ports, as described above, with characteristic impedances representing impedance values of tunable impedance elements of the network.

In one example, controller **108** performs the approximation by determining a scattering matrix (S-Matrix) of the network of lumped ports for a given set of characteristic impedances of lumped ports, as described above.

In one example, controller **108** determines the S-Matrix, as described above (e.g., equation (1)) and based on an impedance matrix of the network of lumped ports and the characteristic impedances of the lumped ports.

In one example, controller **108** determines the corresponding tuning voltage for each tunable impedance element of network of tunable impedance elements **110** such that a magnitude of an output signal at output port **106** and the magnitude of the input signal at input port **102** are substantially equal (e.g., a ratio between the magnitude of the output signal and the magnitude of the input signal, |S_{21}|, does not device from 1 by more than a threshold, where the threshold can be any value such as 1 dB, 3 dB, etc.).

In one example, controller **108** determines the corresponding tuning voltage for each tunable impedance element of network of tunable impedance elements **110** such that a ratio of a magnitude of an output signal at output port **106** to the magnitude of the input signal at input port **102**, |S_{21}|, is constant.

In one example, controller **108** determines the corresponding tuning voltage for each tunable impedance element of network of tunable impedance elements **110** such that a ratio of a magnitude of an output signal at output port **106** to the magnitude of the input signal at input port **102**, |S_{21|}, is greater than any one of 0.7, 0.8 or 0.9 for all possible/available phase shift input values of phase shift module **110**.

In another example, at S**415**, phase shift module **100**, via controller **108**, determines a set of tuning voltages for network of tunable impedance elements **110** based on the phase shift input value received at S**410** and the frequency of the input signal received at S**405**. For example, controller **108** determines a corresponding tuning voltage to be supplied to each tunable impedance element of network of tunable impedance elements **110** based on a dependency of impedances of tunable impedance elements and impedances of non-tunable branches of network of the network of tunable impedance elements **110** on the frequency of the input signal.

In another example, phase shift module **100**, via controller **108**, determines a set of tuning voltages for network of tunable impedance elements **110** based on the phase shift input value received at S**410** and the magnitude of the input signal received at S**405**. For example, controller **108** determines a corresponding tuning voltage to be supplied to each tunable impedance element of network of tunable impedance elements **110** based on a dependency of impedances of tunable impedance elements and impedances of non-tunable branches of network of the network of tunable impedance elements **110** on the local magnitude of RF voltage or current of the input signal.

In another example, phase shift module **100**, via controller **108**, determines a set of tuning voltages for network of tunable impedance elements **110** based on the phase shift input value received at S**410** and the frequency and the magnitude of the input signal received at S**405** the local magnitude of RF voltage or current of the input signal.

After determining, at S**415**, tuning voltages for impedance elements of network of impedance elements **110**, at S**420**, controller **108** sends the determined tuning voltage to corresponding impedance elements of network of impedance elements **110** via corresponding control lines **206** of

At S**425**, network of impedance elements **110** implements a phase shift process for shifting the phase of the input signal according to the phase shift input value using the received tuning voltages.

At S**430**, phase shift module **100** outputs the phase shifted input signal as an output signal at output port **106**.

Having described various examples of structure and operation of phase shift module **100**, it should be noted that phase shift module **100** can have many different applications including but not limited to, an antenna system.

For clarity of explanation, in some instances the present technology may be presented as including individual functional blocks including functional blocks comprising devices, device components, steps or routines in a method embodied in software, or combinations of hardware and software.

Methods according to the above-described examples can be implemented using computer-executable instructions that are stored or otherwise available from computer readable media. Such instructions can comprise, for example, instructions and data which cause or otherwise configure a general purpose computer, special purpose computer, or special purpose processing device to perform a certain function or group of functions. Portions of computer resources used can be accessible over a network. The computer executable instructions may be, for example, binaries, intermediate format instructions such as assembly language, firmware, or source code. Examples of computer-readable media that may be used to store instructions, information used, and/or information created during methods according to described examples include magnetic or optical disks, flash memory, USB devices provided with non-volatile memory, networked storage devices, and so on.

Devices implementing methods according to these disclosures can comprise hardware, firmware and/or software, and can take any of a variety of form factors. Typical examples of such form factors include laptops, smart phones, small form factor personal computers, personal digital assistants, rackmount devices, standalone devices, and so on. Functionality described herein also can be embodied in peripherals or add-in cards. Such functionality can also be implemented on a circuit board among different chips or different processes executing in a single device, by way of further example.

The instructions, media for conveying such instructions, computing resources for executing them, and other structures for supporting such computing resources are means for providing the functions described in these disclosures.

Although a variety of examples and other information was used to explain aspects within the scope of the appended claims, no limitation of the claims should be implied based on particular features or arrangements in such examples, as one of ordinary skill would be able to use these examples to derive a wide variety of implementations. Further and although some subject matter may have been described in language specific to examples of structural features and/or method steps, it is to be understood that the subject matter defined in the appended claims is not necessarily limited to these described features or acts. For example, such functionality can be distributed differently or performed in components other than those identified herein. Rather, the described features and steps are disclosed as examples of components of systems and methods within the scope of the appended claims.

Claim language reciting “at least one of” refers to at least one of a set and indicates that one member of the set or multiple members of the set satisfy the claim. For example, claim language reciting “at least one of A and B” means A, B, or A and B.

## Claims

1. A phase shifter, comprising:

- a network of tunable impedance elements; and

- a controller coupled to the network of tunable impedance elements and configured to: receive a phase shift input value; and determine a corresponding tuning voltage to be supplied to each tunable impedance element of the network of tunable impedance elements based on the phase shift input value, the network of tunable impedance elements being configured to shift a phase of an input signal based on tuning voltages supplied to the network of tunable impedance elements by the controller; wherein the network of tunable impedance elements comprises a spatially-periodic arrangement of tunable impedance elements, with spatial periodicity in at least one spatial dimension being less than one-half of free-space wavelength.

2. The phase shifter of claim 1, wherein the controller is configured to receive the phase shift input value by receiving an integer input corresponding to an index of a corresponding phase shift input value in a finite set of available phase shift values.

3. The phase shifter of claim 2, wherein the finite set of available phase shift values has 2-to-the-power-of-M possible phase shift values.

4. The phase shifter of claim 2, wherein the finite set of available phase shift values contains two phase shift values.

5. The phase shifter of claim 2, wherein a number of tunable impedance elements of the network of tunable impedance elements is proportional to a cardinal number of the finite set of available phase shift values.

6. The phase shifter of claim 2, wherein the number of tunable impedance elements of the network of tunable impedance elements is at least equal to twice the number of the phase shift input values.

7. The phase shifter of claim 6, wherein each of the phase shift input values are equally spaced on the [0, 2π] interval.

8. The phase shifter of claim 6, wherein each of the phase shift input values are distributed on the [0, 2π] interval in accordance with roots of a Legendre polynomial of a corresponding order.

9. The phase shifter of claim 1, wherein the spatial periodicity is in two spatial dimensions.

10. The phase shifter of claim 1, wherein the spatial periodicity is in three spatial dimensions.

11. The phase shifter of claim 1, wherein the phase shifter is a single-frequency device.

12. The phase shifter of claim 11, wherein the controller is configured to determine the corresponding tuning voltage for each tunable impedance element of the network of tunable impedance elements such that the ratio of the magnitude of the output signal of the network of tunable impedance elements to the magnitude of the input signal of the network of tunable impedance elements is greater than 0.7, 0.8 or 0.9 for all possible phase shift input values.

13. The phase shifter of claim 1, wherein the phase shifter is a multiple-frequency device with an operational frequency selectable from a set of operational frequency values.

14. The phase shifter of claim 1, wherein:

- the input signal is a continuous-wave signal, and

- the controller is further configured to: receive an input specifying a frequency of the continuous-wave signal, and determine the corresponding tuning voltage to be supplied to each tunable impedance element of the network of tunable impedance elements based on a dependency of impedances of the tunable impedance elements and impedances of non-tunable branches of the network of tunable impedance elements on the frequency of the continuous-wave signal.

15. The phase shifter of claim 1, wherein:

- the input signal is a continuous-wave signal, and

- the controller is further configured to: receive an input specifying a magnitude of the continuous-wave signal, and determine the corresponding tuning voltage to be supplied to each tunable impedance element of the network of tunable impedance elements based on dependency of impedances of the tunable impedance elements and impedances of non-tunable branches of the network of tunable impedance elements on at least one local magnitude of radio frequency voltage or current of the continuous-wave signal.

16. The phase shifter of claim 1, wherein:

- the input signal is a continuous-wave signal, and

- the controller is further configured to: receive an input specifying a frequency of the continuous-wave signal, receive an input specifying a magnitude of the continuous-wave signal, and determine the corresponding tuning voltage to be supplied to each tunable impedance element of the network of tunable impedance elements based on dependency of impedances of the tunable impedance elements and impedances of non-tunable branches of the network of tunable impedance elements on the frequency and at least one local magnitude of radio frequency voltage or current of the continuous-wave signal.

17. The phase shifter of claim 1, wherein the controller is configured to determine the corresponding tuning voltage for each tunable impedance element based on an approximation of the network of tunable impedance elements as a network of lumped ports with characteristic impedances representing impedance values of tunable impedance elements of the network.

18. The phase shifter of claim 17, wherein the controller is configured to perform the approximation by determining a scattering matrix of the network of lumped ports for a given set of characteristic impedances of lumped ports.

19. The phase shifter of claim 18, wherein the controller is configured to determine the scattering matrix based on an impedance matrix of the network of lumped ports and the characteristic impedances of the lumped ports.

20. The phase shifter of claim 1, wherein the controller is configured to determine the corresponding tuning voltage for each tunable impedance element of the network of tunable impedance elements such that a magnitude of an output signal of the network of tunable impedance elements and a magnitude of an input signal to the network of tunable impedance elements are substantially equal.

21. The phase shifter of claim 1, wherein the controller is configured to determine the corresponding tuning voltage for each tunable impedance element of the network of tunable impedance elements such that a ratio of a magnitude of an output signal of the network of tunable impedance elements to a magnitude of an input signal to the network of tunable impedance elements is approximately constant for all possible phase shift input values.

22. The phase shifter of claim 1, wherein the network of tunable impedance elements has non-negligible mutual coupling between at least one pair of tunable impedance elements.

23. The phase shifter of claim 1, wherein the network of tunable impedance elements comprises an electromagnetic metamaterial.

24. The phase shifter of claim 1, wherein the spatial periodicity is in one spatial dimension.

25. The phase shifter of claim 1, wherein the phase shifter is a finite-operational-bandwidth device with an operational frequency selectable from an operational bandwidth range.

26. The phase shifter of claim 1, further comprising:

- an input coupled to the network of tunable impedance elements and configured to receive the input signal; and

- an output coupled to the network of tunable impedance elements and configured to output an output signal, the output signal being a phase shifted version of the input signal.

27. A method of operating a phase shifter, comprising:

- receiving a phase shift input value;

- determining a set of voltage control signals based on the phase shift input value; and

- transmitting the set of voltage control signals to a network of tunable impedance elements to shift a phase of an input signal to the phase shifter such that a magnitude of an output signal of the phase shifter and a magnitude of the input signal to the phase shifter are substantially similar;

- wherein the network of tunable impedance elements comprises a spatially-periodic arrangement of tunable impedance elements, with spatial periodicity in at least one spatial dimension being less than one-half of free-space wavelength.

28. The method of claim 27, wherein the controller is configured to receive the phase shift input value by receiving an integer input corresponding to an index of a corresponding phase shift input value in a finite set of available phase shift values.

29. The method of claim 27, wherein the network of tunable impedance elements has non-negligible mutual coupling between at least one pair of tunable impedance elements.

30. The method of claim 27, wherein the network of tunable impedance elements comprises an electromagnetic metamaterial.

31. The method of claim 27, wherein the phase shifter is a finite-operational-bandwidth device with an operational frequency selectable from an operational bandwidth range.

32. The method of claim 27, wherein the phase shifter is a multiple-frequency device with an operational frequency selectable from a set of operational frequency values.

33. The method of claim 27, wherein

- the input signal is a continuous-wave signal, and

- the method further comprises: receiving an input specifying a frequency of the continuous-wave signal, and determining a corresponding one of the set of voltage control signals to be supplied to each tunable impedance element of the network of tunable impedance elements based on a dependency of impedances of the tunable impedance elements and impedances of non-tunable branches of the network of the network of tunable impedance elements on the frequency of the continuous-wave signal.

34. The method of claim 27, wherein

- the input signal is a continuous-wave signal, and

- the method further comprises: receiving an input specifying a magnitude of the continuous-wave signal, and determining a corresponding one of the set of voltage control signals to be supplied to each tunable impedance element of the network of tunable impedance elements based on a dependency of impedances of the tunable impedance elements and impedances of non-tunable branches of the network of the network of tunable impedance elements on at least one local magnitude of radio frequency voltage or current of the continuous-wave signal.

35. The method of claim 27, wherein

- the input signal is a continuous-wave signal, and

- the method further comprises: receiving an input specifying a frequency of the continuous-wave signal, receiving an input specifying a magnitude of the continuous-wave signal, and determining a corresponding one of the set of voltage control signals to be supplied to each tunable impedance element of the network of tunable impedance elements based on a dependency of impedances of the tunable impedance elements and impedances of non-tunable branches of the network of the network of tunable impedance elements on the frequency and at least one local magnitude of radio frequency voltage or current of the continuous-wave signal.

36. The method of claim 27, wherein the determining the set of voltage control signals is based on an approximation of the network of tunable impedance elements as a network of lumped ports with characteristic impedances representing impedance values of tunable impedance elements of the network.

37. The method of claim 36, further comprising:

- performing the approximation by determining a scattering matrix of the network of lumped ports for a given set of characteristic impedances of lumped ports.

38. The method of claim 37, wherein the determining the scattering matrix is based on an impedance matrix of the network of lumped ports and the characteristic impedances of the lumped ports.

39. The method of claim 27, wherein a ratio of the magnitude of the output signal of the network of tunable impedance elements to a magnitude of the input signal to the network of tunable impedance elements is approximately constant for all possible phase shift input values.

40. A phase shifter, comprising:

- a network of tunable impedance elements; and

- a controller coupled to the network of tunable impedance elements and configured to: receive a phase shift input value; and determine a corresponding tuning voltage to be supplied to each tunable impedance element of the network of tunable impedance elements based on the phase shift input value, the network of tunable impedance elements being configured to shift a phase of an input signal based on tuning voltages supplied to the network of tunable impedance elements by the controller; wherein the input signal is a continuous-wave signal and wherein the controller is further configured to determine the corresponding tuning voltage to be supplied to each tunable impedance element of the network of tunable impedance elements based a dependency of impedances of the tunable impedance elements and impedances of non-tunable branches of the network of tunable impedance elements on one of: a frequency of the continuous-wave signal; at least one local magnitude of radio frequency voltage or current of the continuous-wave signal; and a frequency and at least one local magnitude of radio frequency voltage or current of the continuous-wave signal.

41. A phase shifter, comprising:

- a network of tunable impedance elements; and

- a controller coupled to the network of tunable impedance elements and configured to: receive a phase shift input value; and determine a corresponding tuning voltage to be supplied to each tunable impedance element of the network of tunable impedance elements based on the phase shift input value, the network of tunable impedance elements being configured to shift a phase of an input signal based on tuning voltages supplied to the network of tunable impedance elements by the controller; wherein the controller is configured to determine the corresponding tuning voltage for each tunable impedance element based on an approximation of the network of tunable impedance elements as a network of lumped ports with characteristic impedances representing impedance values of tunable impedance elements of the network.

42. A phase shifter, comprising:

- a network of tunable impedance elements; and

- a controller coupled to the network of tunable impedance elements and configured to: receive a phase shift input value; and determine a corresponding tuning voltage to be supplied to each tunable impedance element of the network of tunable impedance elements based on the phase shift input value, the network of tunable impedance elements being configured to shift a phase of an input signal based on tuning voltages supplied to the network of tunable impedance elements by the controller; wherein the controller is configured to determine the corresponding tuning voltage for each tunable impedance element of the network of tunable impedance elements such that a magnitude of an output signal of the network of tunable impedance elements and a magnitude of an input signal to the network of tunable impedance elements are substantially equal.

43. A phase shifter, comprising:

- a network of tunable impedance elements; and

- a controller coupled to the network of tunable impedance elements and configured to: receive a phase shift input value; and determine a corresponding tuning voltage to be supplied to each tunable impedance element of the network of tunable impedance elements based on the phase shift input value, the network of tunable impedance elements being configured to shift a phase of an input signal based on tuning voltages supplied to the network of tunable impedance elements by the controller; wherein the controller is configured to determine the corresponding tuning voltage for each tunable impedance element of the network of tunable impedance elements such that a ratio of a magnitude of an output signal of the network of tunable impedance elements to a magnitude of an input signal to the network of tunable impedance elements is approximately constant for all possible phase shift input values.

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**Patent History**

**Patent number**: 10833381

**Type:**Grant

**Filed**: Nov 8, 2017

**Date of Patent**: Nov 10, 2020

**Patent Publication Number**: 20190140350

**Assignee**: The Invention Science Fund I LLC (Bellevue, WA)

**Inventors**: Yaroslav A. Urzhumov (Bellevue, WA), Matthew S. Reynolds (Seattle, WA), Guy S. Lipworth (Seattle, WA), Russell J. Hannigan (Sammamish, WA), Daniel Arnitz (Seattle, WA), Joseph Hagerty (Seattle, WA)

**Primary Examiner**: Robert J Pascal

**Assistant Examiner**: Jorge L Salazar, Jr.

**Application Number**: 15/807,338

**Classifications**

**Current U.S. Class**:

**Planar Line Structure (e.g., Stripline) (333/161)**

**International Classification**: H01P 1/18 (20060101); H01Q 15/00 (20060101); H01Q 3/40 (20060101); H03H 11/20 (20060101); H03H 9/66 (20060101); H03H 7/20 (20060101); H01Q 3/26 (20060101); H04B 1/00 (20060101);