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MAC & PHY Specification

The link protocol used between Terragraph nodes is a modified version of the Directed Multigigabit (DMG) physical layer (PHY) in clause 20 of IEEE Standard IEEE 802.11-2016, previously the IEEE 802.11ad-2012 amendment to IEEE Standard IEEE 802.11-2012. Terragraph uses the DMG PHY, or radio, and a significantly slimmed down Media Access Control (MAC) layer. This document presents the specifications for these layers.

The Glossary defines the terms and acronyms used in this document.

Terragraph Physical Layer

The Terragraph PHY connects one Terragraph node to another. All communication between Terragraph nodes occurs over this PHY. With slight modifications, Terragraph uses the DMG Single Carrier PHY and the DMG control mode of IEEE 802.11-2016. For more information on the DMG PHY, refer to clause 20 of IEEE 802.11-2016.

DMG Control Mode

Terragraph nodes use the DMG Control Mode to transmit the ACK Control frames and the Management Action frames. This maximizes the likelihood of successful reception of these frames at the destination and minimizes the consumption of the available bandwidth.

Table 1 shows the modulation and coding scheme for the DMG Control Mode.

MCS IndexModulationCode RateData Rate(Mbps)
0DBPSK1/227.5

Table 1, Modulation and Coding Scheme for DMG Control Mode PHY

DMG Single Carrier PHY

Terragraph nodes use the DMG Single Carrier (SC) PHY. Terragraph nodes may include the optional addition to select the Golay codes used in the PHY preamble. Because the Terragraph network might operate on a single channel, the potential for self-interference from other Terragraph nodes as well as interference from other DMG networks is a possibility.

The Terragraph SC PHY assigns alternative Golay codes from the DMG PHY preamble as a means for early rejection of interfering signals. Assigning different codes to nodes that could interfere with each other mitigates that interference. The E2E controller programs the Golay codes used by each sector in the Terragraph network.

Terragraph nodes use the DMG SC PHY to transmit all data frames and the Block ACK control frame. Terragraph uses commercial DMG radio chips for the radio link between nodes.

Table 2 shows the modulation and coding scheme of the DMG SC PHY. Note that "N_CBPS" represents the number of code bits per symbol.

MCS IndexModulationN_CBPSRepetitionCode rateData rate (Mbps)
MCS-1𝛑/2 BPSK121/2385
MCS-2𝛑/2 BPSK111/2770
MCS-3𝛑/2 BPSK115/8962.5
MCS-4𝛑/2 BPSK113/41155
MCS-5𝛑/2 BPSK1113/161251.25
MCS-6𝛑/2 QPSK211/21540
MCS-7𝛑/2 QPSK215/81925
MCS-8𝛑/2 QPSK213/42310
MCS-9𝛑/2 QPSK2113/162502.5
MCS-10𝛑/2 16QAM411/23080
MCS-11𝛑/2 16QAM415/83850
MCS-12𝛑/2 16QAM413/44620

Table 2, Modulation and Coding Scheme for DMG Control Mode PHY

Configuration of PHY Parameters

The E2E controller manages the configuration of PHY parameters using the Node Parameters Message. The selection of polarity, Golay code, and link adaptation algorithm parameters derive from values in the Node Parameters Message.

Terragraph Media Access Control Overview

The version of the DMG MAC used in a Terragraph node is highly modified from that in IEEE 802.11-2016. The modifications make it a highly efficient TDD MAC by substituting TDD access for all other access mechanisms specified in IEEE 802.11. Terragraph uses only the following frames:

  • Data
  • QoS-Null
  • Management Action (vendor specific)
  • Block ACK (with Facebook proprietary modification)
  • ACK

Terragraph maximizes efficiency of the MAC, by aggregating the MAC Service Data Units (MSDUs) and the MAC Protocol Data Units (MPDUs) as much as possible to reduce overhead and to eliminate interframe spacing that results in dead air time.

The A-MSDU format is proprietary to Terragraph, but the A-MPDU is standard compliant.

The MAC also utilizes block acknowledgement to minimize the number of frames exchanged between sender and receiver. The block acknowledgement does not require prior setup, as the format and reordering buffer size are fixed. The TDD slots assigned to block acknowledgement are also fixed.

Initiator and Responder Nodes

A Terragraph network is a software defined network (SDN) controlled by an End-to-End (E2E) controller. The E2E controller typically runs in the cloud. The Terragraph nodes communicate with the E2E controller.

The point at which the Terragraph network connects to the network through which communication with the E2E controller is established is called a point of presence (PoP). This document defines "upstream" as communication toward the PoP by a Terragraph node and "downstream" as communication from the PoP toward a Terragraph node.

In the MAC protocol and procedures, one node typically begins the procedure and another node reacts. This document defines the node that begins a procedure as the initiator node, and the node that reacts to the procedure as the responder node. The initiator node is upstream from the responder node.

Multirate Operation

Multirate operation enables different rates for data, management, and control frames.

Data Frames

A node sends data frames using MCS 2 through MCS 12 of the DMG single carrier PHY, as determined by the link adaptation algorithm.

Management Frames

A node sends all management frames using the DMG control mode PHY, MCS 0.

Control Frames

A node sends the ACK frame using the DMG control mode PHY, MCS 0. A node sends the Block ACK frame using the DMG single carrier PHY, MCS 1.

Terragraph MAC Frame Definitions

Data Frames

Data frames are standard compliant QoS data frames.

A-MPDU Format

A-MPDU format is standard compliant.

A-MSDU Format

Terragraph uses a proprietary A-MSDU format. A Terragraph A-MSDU data frame shall have the following MAC header fields:

  • RA: Receiver Address field, 6 bytes
  • TA: Transmitter Address field, 6 bytes
  • Type: Type field, 2 bytes
  • NX: Network Accelerator field, 6 bytes
  • SL: Subframe Lengths field

Figure 1 illustrates the format of the Terragraph A-MSDU data frame.


Figure 1, A-MSDU Frame Format

RA field

The Receiver Address (RA) field shall contain the MAC address of the intended receiver node of the data frame.

TA field

The Transmitter Address field (TA) contains the MAC address of the node transmitting the data frame.

Type field

The Type field has the value 0x89FB.

NX field

The Network Accelerator (NX) field includes the following subfields:

  • Type: 1 byte
  • CtxID: 1 byte
  • NoS: 1 byte
  • Reserved: 3 bytes

Type field

The NX Type field indicates the type of A-MSDU subframes contained in the data frame.

  • A value of zero (0) indicates short A-MSDU subframes.
  • A value of 1 indicates basic A-MSDU subframes.

Currently, the NX Type field value is always zero (0), indicating short A-MSDU subframes.

CtxID field

The Context ID (CtxID) field carries an opaque value of significance to the network accelerator. If the context is unknown or none, the value of the CtxID field is 0xFF.

NoS field

The Number of Subframes (NoS) field carries a value that indicates the number of A-MSDU subframes contained in the data frame. The value of this field shall be greater than 0.

Reserved field

The Reserved field is 3 bytes, set to the value of zero (0). On reception, a node ignores the reserved field.

SL Field

The Subframe Lengths Field (SL) field carries the lengths of the first NoS-1 A-MSDU subframes. The length of each A-MSDU subframe is carried in 2 bytes. The length of the SL field is 2 * (NoS-1) bytes.

MSDU fields

The A-MSDU subframe fields carry only the MSDU submitted to the MAC for delivery. The A-MSDU subframes shall modify the short A-MSDU format, as specified in IEEE 802.11-2016. Terragraph A-MSDU subframes shall not include the length or padding bytes fields of the IEEE 802.11-2016 short A-MSDU subframe format.

Control Frames

Terragraph transmits only ACK and Block ACK control frames.

Block ACK

Terragraph uses a proprietary Block ACK format based on the compressed Block ACK variant for fast link adaptation.

ACK

ACK is standard compliant.

Management Message

Terragraph uses vendor-specific Action frames, as shown in Table 3.

MAC HeaderAction CategoryOUIVendor SpecificFCS
Value−−12748-57-DD−−−−
Bytes24 or 2813Variable4

Table 3, Format of Vendor-Specific Action Frame

  • The Action Category value of the Action field of the Action frame is Vendor Specific (127), as specified in section 9.4.1.11 of IEEE 802.11-2016.
  • The OUI, as required in section 9.6.6 of IEEE 802.11-2016, is 48-57-DD, the organizational unique identifier allocated to Facebook by the IEEE.
  • The Vendor Specific field contains the fbActionType. The fbActionType is sent in a management message to indicate the type of message.
  • The FCS field (Frame Check Sequence field) is an optional variable length field that is determined by the value of fbActionType.

FB Action Type

typedef enum _fbActionType {
ASSOC_REQ = 0,
ASSOC_RSP = 1,
ASSOC_RSP_ACK = 2,
HEART_BEAT = 3,
BF_TRAINING_REQ = 4,
BF_TRAINING_RSP = 5,
BF_TRAINING_RSP_ACK = 6,
BF_TRAINING_URX = 7,
KEEP_ALIVE = 8,
DISASSOC_REQ = 9,
UPLINK_BWREQ = 10,
BF_RETRAINING_REQ = 11,
BF_RETRN_URX_CHG_REQ = 12
BF_RETRN_URX_CHG_REQ_ACK = 13,
FB_MAX_ACTION_TYPE,
} fbActionType;
FieldDescription
ASSOC_REQAssociation request message.
ASSOC_RSPSent in response to ASSOC_REQ.
ASSOC_RSP_ACKSent in response to ASSOC_RSP.
HEART_BEATManagement message sent every 25.6ms from a DN to a CN.
BF_TRAINING_REQInitial beamforming request.
BF_TRAINING_RSPInitial beamforming response.
BF_TRAINING_RSP_ACKInitial beamforming response ACK.
BF_TRAINING_URXInitial beamforming URX. URX is the final stage of initial beamforming before ASSOC_REQ is sent.
KEEP_ALIVEManagement message sent every 25.6ms between DNs.
DISASSOC_REQDisassociation request message to terminate communication with the recipient node.
UPLINK_BWREQManagement message sent every 25.6ms from a CN to a DN.
BF_RETRAINING_REQ
BF_RETRN_URX_CHG_REQFrom scan responder to initiator.
BF_RETRN_URX_CHG_REQ_ACFrom scan initiator to responder.
FB_MAX_ACTION_TYPE

Table 4, fbACtionType Field Descriptions

Structures Common to Management Frames

This section describes several structures and values that are common to different management frames.

Layer 2 Scheduler Statistics

typedef struct _l2SchedulerStats {
usint16 queueSize;
usint16 arrivalRate;
usint8 mcs;
usint16 reqTxPercent;
} __attribute__((__packed__)) l2SchedulerStats;
FieldDescription
queueSizeQueue size in 256-byte units.
arrivalRateArrival rate (in units of 128 Kbps or 16 bytes/ms).
mcsMCS value.
reqTxPercentRequested Tx percentage in units of 0.01 percent.

Table 5, l2SchedulerStats Field Descriptions

typedef struct _laFeedbackParams {
sint8 stfMgmtSnr;
sint8 stfMsmtSnr;
sint8 rssi;
usint8 updCount;
} __attribute__((__packed__)) laFeedbackParams;
FieldDescription
stfMgmtSnrThe SNR measured during the short training field, in Qn format. Qn = (value / 2^n)
stfMsmtSnrThe SNR measured during data packets, in Qn format. Qn = (value / 2^n)
rssiReceived signal strength indication (RSSI). The measured RSSI in Q0 dBm.
updCountNot used.

Table 6, laFeedbackParams Field Desciptions

Polarity

Polarity refers to the timing of the transmit and receive slots relative to the slot timing of the DN at the PoP.

  • Even polarity represents transmit and receive slots that are synchronized with the DN PoP.
  • Odd polarity represents transmit and receive slots that are opposite to that of the DN PoP.

A node that is not a PoP node receives its initial polarity information from the Beamforming Training Request message, urTrnReq. See Beamforming Training Request.

The PoP node receives polarity information in the Set Node Parameters message from the E2E controller.

Association Request

The initiator node sends an association request frame to begin an association procedure with a peer node. The initiator node sends the association request after it receives a request, from the E2E controller, to set the link status on the peer node to Link Up.

typedef struct _fbAssocReqElement {
usint8 timestamp[8];
usint8 swTimestamp[8];
usint8 rxGolayIndex:4;
usint8 txGolayIndex:4;
usint16 frameWidth;
usint16 polarity: 2;
usint16 superframeSize: 6;
usint16 associationIndex: 4;
usint16 respNodeType:2;
usint8 controlSf;
laFeedbackParams laFbParams;
VendorIeElement vndrIeEl;
MeasSlotIeElement measSlotIeEl;
CapsIeElement capsIeEl;
PolarityIeElement polarityEl;
RsnIeElement rsnIeEl;
} __attribute__((packed)) fbAssocReqElement;
FieldDescription
timestamp[8]Hardware timestamp. This is a byte array to avoid unaligned access.
swTimestamp[8]Software timestamp offset from the hardware timestamp. This is a byte array to avoid unaligned access.
rxGolayIndexGolay code index used in the receive direction, responder to initiator. When sending an association request, the initiator specifies the Golay code index used in both directions.
txGolayIndexGolay code index used in the transmit direction, from initiator to responder. When sending an association request, the initiator specifies the Golay code index used in both directions.
frameWidthDuration of the frame: 400 microseconds.
polarityPolarity can be even (2), odd (1), or invalid (0).
superframeSizeSize of the superframe with the control slot allocations.
associationIndexIndex for the association.
respNodeTypeCN or DN.
controlSfSuperframe with the control slot allocations.
laFbParamsSee Link Adaptation Feedback Parameters for the feedback parameter field desciptions.
vndrIeElVendor Information Element (IE) element.
measSlotIeElMeasurement slot Information Element (IE) element.
polarityElPolarity Information Element (IE) element.
rsnIeEl(Optional) This must be the last IE sent. This is sent only when security is enabled.

Table 7, fbAssocReqElement Field Descriptions

Association Response

The responder node sends an association response frame in response to an association request frame.

Association Response ACK

An initiator node sends an association response acknowledgement frame to the responder node after receipt of the association response frame from the responder node.

typedef struct _fbAssocRspAckElement {
usint8 txSlotBitmap[TGF_CEIL(SLOTS_IN_BWGD, BITS_PER_BYTE)];
usint8 rxSlotBitmap[TGF_CEIL(SLOTS_IN_BWGD, BITS_PER_BYTE)];
laFeedbackParams laFbParams;
} __attribute__((__packed__)) fbAssocRspAckElement;

The slot bitmaps in the ASSOC_RSP_ACK message sent to a peer node indicate the reserved (control) slots that are allocated for that peer node within the Tx and Rx slot maps. These Tx and Rx control slots are always allocated to the peer node within each Bandwidth Grant Duration (BWGD) and remain static throughout the lifetime of the connection with the peer node.

The DN uses the following enumeration values to set the transmit and receive slot bitmaps.

typedef enum _slotAttributes {
eSLOT_DATA = 0,
eSLOT_RSVD_BF = 1,
eSLOT_RSVD_MGMT = 2,
eSLOT_RSVD_ASSOC = 3,
eSLOT_RSVD_INTF_SCAN = 4,
eSLOT_RSVD_OFFLINE = 5
} _eSlotAttributes;
FieldDescription
eSLOT_DATAData slot.
eSLOT_RSVD_BFSlot is reserved for Beamforming.
eSLOT_RSVD_MGMTSlot is reserved for Management Messaging.
eSLOT_RSVD_ASSOCSlot is reserved for Association Messages.
eSLOT_RSVD_INTF_SCANSlot is reserved for Interference Scan.

Table 8, slotAttributes Field Descriptions

Heartbeat

The initiator node sends a heartbeat frame once during each Bandwidth Grant Duration (BWGD) period to update the parameters in the responder node. A DN sends heartbeat frames only to CNs. CNs shall not send heartbeat frames.

typedef struct _fbHeartbeatElement {
usint8 timestamp[8];
usint8 swTimestamp[8];
usint16 bwgdNumber;
usint8 txSlotBitmap[TGF_CEIL(SLOTS_IN_BWGD, BITS_PER_BYTE)];
usint8 rxSlotBitmap[TGF_CEIL(SLOTS_IN_BWGD, BITS_PER_BYTE)];
laFeedbackParams laFbParams;
usint8 syncMode : 1;
usint8 linkImpaired : 1;
} __attribute__((__packed__)) fbHeartbeatElement;
FieldDescription
timestamp[8]Hardware timestamp. This is a byte array to avoid unaligned access.
swTimestamp[8]Software timestamp offset from the hardware timestamp. This is a byte array to avoid unaligned access.
bwgdNumberBandwidth Grant Duration (BWGD) index number, common across the network.
txSlotBitmap[TGF_CEIL(NSF * NF * SLOTSPERFRAME, BITS_PER_BYTE)]
rxSlotBitmap[TGF_CEIL(NSF * NF * SLOTSPERFRAME, BITS_PER_BYTE)]
laFbParamsSee Link Adaptation Feedback Parameters for the feedback parameter field desciptions.
syncModeIndicates the synchronization mode: RF or GPS.
linkImpairedIndicates that the link is impaired as reported in the heartbeat message.

Table 9, fbHeartbeatElement Field Descriptions

For the receive and transmit slot attributes, refer to Table 8, slotAttributes Field Descriptions.

Beamforming Training Request

The initiator node sends a beamforming training request frame to the responder node as part of the Beamforming Acquisition Procedure. The beamforming training request frame has the following format:

typedef struct {
usint32 txbeamidx : 6;
usint32 frmnuminbfwin : 6;
usint32 frmnuminsf : 2;
usint32 dblpktidx : 1;
usint32 endtrnflag : 1;
usint32 polarity : 1;
usint32 hybrid : 1;
usint8 swTimestamp[2];
} __attribute__((__packed__)) urTrnReq_t;
FieldDescription
TxBeamIdxInitiator Tx Beam Index
FrmNumInBfWinFrame number in BF window
FrmNumInSfFrame number in SF
DblPktIdxDouble packet Index
EndTrnFlagEnd of TRN flag
PolarityInitiator Polarity
hybrid0 = BF Normal
1 = BF Hybrid
swTimestampWe send only 2 bytes for software timestamp. BF trn req has a duration limitation. This is used along with hw_ts in bssid+seq_num to see if the nodes are in time sync if GPS is enabled at both ends.

Table 10, urTrnReq_t Field Descriptions

Beamforming Training Response

The responder node sends the beamforming training response frame to the initiator node after receipt of a beamforming training request frame.

typedef struct {
usint32 TxBeamIdx : 6;
usint32 RxBeamCnt : 2;
usint32 MissAckFlag : 1;
usint32 EndTrnFlag : 1;
usint32 BeamIdx01 : 6;
usint32 BeamLqm01 : 9;
usint32 BeamIdx02 : 6;
usint32 BeamLqm02 : 9;
usint32 BeamIdx03 : 6;
usint32 BeamLqm03 : 9;
usint32 BeamIdx04 : 6;
usint32 BeamLqm04 : 9;
usint32 BeamIdx05 : 6;
usint32 BeamLqm05 : 9;
usint32 BeamIdx06 : 6;
} __attribute__((__packed__)) urTrnRes_t;
FieldDescription
TxBeamIdxResponder Tx Beam Index
RxBeamCntNumber of Decoded Rx Beams
MissAckFlagMissing ACK Report
EndTrnFlagEnd of TRN Flag
BeamIdx01RxDcdBeamIdx01
BeamLqm01RxDcdBeamLqm01
BeamIdx02RxDcdBeamIdx02
BeamLqm02RxDcdBeamLqm02
BeamIdx03RxDcdBeamIdx03
BeamLqm03RxDcdBeamLqm03
BeamIdx04RxDcdBeamIdx04
BeamLqm04RxDcdBeamLqm04
BeamIdx05MissAckRxBeam
BeamLqm05MissAckLqm
BeamIdx06MissAckTxBeam

Table 11, urTrnRes_t Field Descriptions

Beamforming Training Response ACK

The initiator node sends the beamforming training response ACK frame to the responder node, to identify the beam index used for transmission by the responder when transmitting to the initiator. The frame also includes a field to indicate the conclusion of the beamforming procedure.

typedef struct {
usint32 TxBeamIdx : 6;
usint32 EndTrnFlg : 1;
usint32 TrnRspLqm : 9;
} __attribute__((__packed__)) urTrnResAck_t;
FieldDescription
TxBeamIdxACK Tx Beam Index
EndTrnFlgEnd of Training Flag
TrnRspLqmTRN response Link Quality Metric

Table 12, urTrnResAck_t Field Descriptions

Beamforming Micro-route Exchange

Both the initiator and responder nodes send the beamforming micro-route exchange frame at the conclusion of the beamforming process.

  • The initiator node sends the frame using the beamforming order request.
  • The responder sends the frame using the beamforming order response after receiving the beamforming order request from the initiator.

Beamforming Order Request

typedef struct {
usint32 uRouteCnt : 3;
usint32 beamidx01 : 6;
usint32 beamidx02 : 6;
usint32 beamidx03 : 6;
usint32 beamidx04 : 6;
usint32 beamidx05 : 6;
usint32 beamidx06 : 6;
usint32 beamidx07 : 6;
usint32 beamidx08 : 6;
usint32 beamidx09 : 6;
usint32 beamidx10 : 6;
usint32 beamidx11 : 6;
usint32 beamidx12 : 6;
usint32 beamidx13 : 6;
usint32 beamidx14 : 6;
usint32 beamidx15 : 6;
usint32 beamidx16 : 6;
usint32 beamlqm : 9;
sint8 rssi;
} __attribute__((__packed__)) urOrdReq_t;
FieldDescription
uRouteCntNumber of uRoutes
BeamIdx01Initiator Tx Beam Index 1
BeamIdx02Responder Rx Beam Index 2
BeamIdx03Initiator Tx Beam Index 3
BeamIdx04Responder Rx Beam Index 4
BeamIdx05Initiator Tx Beam Index 5
BeamIdx06Responder Rx Beam Index 6
BeamIdx07Initiator Tx Beam Index 7
BeamIdx08Responder Rx Beam Index 8
BeamIdx09Initiator Tx Beam Index 9
BeamIdx10Responder Rx Beam Index 10
BeamIdx11Initiator Tx Beam Index 11
BeamIdx12Responder Rx Beam Index 12
BeamIdx13Initiator Tx Beam Index 13
BeamIdx14Responder Rx Beam Index 14
BeamIdx15Initiator Tx Beam Index 15
BeamIdx16Responder Rx Beam Index 16
BeamLqmBest R->I LQM
RssiReceived signal strength indication (RSSI). The measured RSSI in Q0 dBm.

Table 13, urOrdReq_t Field Descriptions

Beamforming Order Response

typedef struct {
usint32 uRouteCnt : 3;
usint32 BeamIdx01 : 6;
usint32 BeamIdx02 : 6;
usint32 BeamIdx03 : 6;
usint32 BeamIdx04 : 6;
usint32 BeamIdx05 : 6;
usint32 BeamIdx06 : 6;
usint32 BeamIdx07 : 6;
usint32 BeamIdx08 : 6;
usint32 BeamIdx09 : 6;
usint32 BeamIdx10 : 6;
usint32 BeamIdx11 : 6;
usint32 BeamIdx12 : 6;
usint32 BeamIdx13 : 6;
usint32 BeamIdx14 : 6;
usint32 BeamIdx15 : 6;
usint32 BeamIdx16 : 6;
usint32 BeamLqm : 9;
sint8 rssi;
} __attribute__((__packed__)) urOrdRes_t;
FieldDescription
uRouteCntNumber of uRoutes
BeamIdx01Responder Tx Beam Index
BeamIdx02Initiator Rx Beam Index
BeamIdx03Responder Tx Beam Index
BeamIdx04Initiator Rx Beam Index
BeamIdx05Responder Tx Beam Index
BeamIdx06Initiator Rx Beam Index
BeamIdx07Responder Tx Beam Index
BeamIdx08Initiator Rx Beam Index
BeamIdx09Responder Tx Beam Index
BeamIdx10Initiator Rx Beam Index
BeamIdx11Responder Tx Beam Index
BeamIdx12Initiator Rx Beam Index
BeamIdx13Responder Tx Beam Index
BeamIdx14Initiator Rx Beam Index
BeamIdx15Responder Tx Beam Index
BeamIdx16Initiator Rx Beam Index
BeamLqmBest I->R LQM
rssiReceived signal strength indication (RSSI). The measured RSSI in Q0 dBm.

Table 14, urOrdRes_t Field Descriptions

Beamforming Association Indication

A Destination Node (DN) sends a Beamforming Association Indication (bfAssocInd) frame periodically to all of its peer DNs to indicate its beamforming association status.

typedef enum _bfAssocIndication {
BFIND_NONE = 0,
BFIND_ASSOC = 1,
BFIND_BF_INITIATOR = 2,
BFIND_BF_RESPONDER = 3,
BFIND_BF_INTF_SCAN = 4,
} bfAssocInd;
FieldDescription
BFIND_NONEPeer DN is not doing beamforming association.
BFIND_ASSOCPeer DN is doing beamforming association.
BFIND_BF_INITIATORPeer DN is doing beamforming as a beamforming initiator.
BFIND_BF_RESPONDERPeer DN is doing beamforming as a beamforming responder.
BFIND_BF_INTF_SCANPeer DN is doing interference scan.

Table 15, bfAssocInd Field Descriptions

Keep Alive

A Destination Node (DN) sends Keep Alive frames periodically to all of its connected DNs to indicate that it is alive and able to communicate.

typedef struct _fbKeepaliveElement {
usint8 timestamp[8];
usint8 swTimestamp[8];
usint16 bwgdNumber;
usint8 bfAssocIndication;
usint8 reserved[TGF_CEIL(SLOTS_IN_BWGD, BITS_PER_BYTE)];
usint8 finalRxSlotBitmap[TGF_CEIL(SLOTS_IN_BWGD, BITS_PER_BYTE)];
usint8 rsvdMgmtBitmap[TGF_CEIL(NSF, BITS_PER_BYTE)];
laFeedbackParams laFbParams;
usint8 syncMode : 1;
usint8 linkImpaired : 1;
l2SchedulerStats l2SchedStats;
} __attribute__((__packed__)) fbKeepaliveElement;
TypeFieldDescription
usint8timestamp[8]Hardware timestamp. This is a byte array to avoid unaligned access.
usint8swTimestamp[8]Software timestamp offset from the hardware timestamp. This is a byte array to avoid unaligned access.
usint16bwgdNumberBandwidth Grant Duration (BWGD) index number, common across the network.
usint8bfAssocIndicationSee Beamforming Association Indication Indication.
usint8reserved[TGF_CEIL(SLOTS_IN_BWGD, BITS_PER_BYTE)]
usint8finalRxSlotBitmap[TGF_CEIL(SLOTS_IN_BWGD, BITS_PER_BYTE)]
usint8rsvdMgmtBitmap[][TGF_CEIL(NSF, BITS_PER_BYTE)]
laFeedbackParamslaFbParamsSee Link Adaptation Feedback Parameters.
usint8syncModeIndicates the synchronization mode: RF or GPS.
usint8linkImpairedIndicates that the link is impaired as reported in the heartbeat message.
usint8l2SchedStatsSee Layer 2 Scheduler Statistics.

Table 16, fbKeepaliveElement Field Descriptions

For the receive and transmit slot attributes, refer to Table 8, slotAttributes Field Descriptions.

Disassociation

A node sends the disassociation frame to terminate communication with the recipient node. The state of the link after sending the disassociation frame is Link Down. This message has no content.

A responder node sends the uplink bandwidth request to an initiator node to indicate the aggregated state of traffic arriving from downstream. A responder node sends this frame as required to change the bandwidth grant received from the upstream node. A CN sends this frame only to a DN. A DN shall not send this frame.

typedef struct _fbUplinkBwReqElement {
l2SchedulerStats l2SchedStats;
laFeedbackParams laFbParams;
usint8 linkImpaired : 1;
} __attribute__((__packed__)) fbUplinkBwReqElement;
FieldDescription
l2SchedStatsSee Layer 2 Scheduler Statistics.
laFbParamsSee Link Adaptation Feedback Parameters.
linkImpairedIndicates that the link is impaired as reported in the heartbeat message.

Table 17, fbUplinkBwReqElement Field Description

Layer 2 Scheduler Statistics

typedef struct _l2SchedulerStats {
usint16 queueSize;
usint16 arrivalRate;
usint8 mcs;
} __attribute__((__packed__)) l2SchedulerStats;
FieldDescription
queueSizeQueue size (in 256-byte units)
arrivalRateArrival rate (in units of 128 Kbps or 16 bytes/ms)
mcsMCS value

Table 18, l2SchedulerStats Field Descriptions

Channel Access Mechanism

Terragraph uses a time division duplex (TDD) channel access mechanism.

Timing and TDD Access Mechanism

All Terragraph nodes are time synchronized. Time synchronization is achieved through GPS, IEEE 1588, or some other reliable mechanism external to the MAC. Each sector of a node is assigned specific times during which it can transmit or receive.

Frames, Slots, Subframes, and Superframes

The Terragraph MAC uses a hierarchical structure of items to exchange information between nodes. The smallest item used is the slot. A slot is unidirectional between a single sender and a single receiver. A slot has a fixed duration. A fixed number of slots are collected together to form a subframe.

A subframe is also unidirectional. From the point of view of a node, a subframe is either a transmit subframe or a receive subframe. When a single node is transmitting to multiple receivers, each receiver is assigned to its own slot. When a single node is receiving from multiple transmitters, each transmitter is assigned to its own slot.

Combining one transmit subframe and one receive subframe results in a TDD frame. A TDD frame is not to be mistaken with an 802.11 frame or PPDU. A superframe combines four TDD frames. Figure 2 shows the relationship of these structures.


Figure 2, TDD Frame Structure

Slot Timing

The timing constraints on transmit and receive slots are demanding, in order to provide high capacity frame exchanges. By design, transmit slots are assigned to a sending node that aligns with receive slots assigned to a recipient node.

There are start and end offsets at the beginning and end of each slot, to provide time for the transmitter to change radio parameters for each destination, if necessary. The receive slot is longer than the transmit slot. The longer receive slot accommodates for small differences in timing without loss of data. The receive slot surrounds the transmit slot. See Figure 3 and Figure 4.


Figure 3, Transmit and Receive Slot Relationship

Timing Unit Durations

The following timing unit durations are defined by Terragraph for use by the MAC:

  • Bandwidth Grant Duration (BWGD) − comprised of 16 superframes
  • Superframe − comprised of four frames
  • Frame − comprised of two subframes
  • Subframe − comprised of three slots
  • Slot

The subframe unit is the bases for all the other timing units. The other timing unit durations are derived from the subframe timing unit duration, which is 200μs. Figure 4 shows a transmit and receive subframe.


Figure 4, Transmit and Receive Subframes

The timing requirements of transmit and receive slots are as follows:

SlotStart Offset (μs)End Offset (μs)
Tx Slot 0286
Tx Slot 196177
Tx Slot 2187192
Rx Slot 0086
Rx Slot 194177
Rx Slot 2185192

Table 19, Transmit and Receive Slot Timing Requirements

When a node has a frame to transmit, it begins transmission at the beginning of the slot duration of the slot allocated to it for transmission. The MAC may combine adjacent slots to maximize airtime by removing the guard times between those slots. Specifically, the MAC may combine the following slots:

  • Slots 0 and 1
  • Slots 1 and 2
  • Slots 0, 1, and 2

Terragraph MAC Procedures

During Terragraph network operation, the Terragraph MAC may perform the following procedures:

  • Frame Aggregation
  • Time Synchronization
  • Frame Synchronization
  • Scanning
  • Beamforming
  • Association
  • Block acknowledgement
  • Management Frame Transmission
  • Simple Acknowledgement
  • Retransmission
  • Bandwidth Allocation
  • Data Transfer
  • Traffic Scheduling
  • Link Adaptation
  • Link Measurement
  • Link Loss Detection

Frame Aggregation

Terragraph uses both MSDU and MPDU aggregation for efficiency.

Time Synchronization

The MAC synchronizes its timers to an external, accurate time source, such as GPS or IEEE 1588. A timing pulse that resets the Timing Synchronization Function (TSF) on the DN is repeated once every second. This timing pulse occurs exactly on the turn of each second.

Proprietary (pre-11ay) Time Synchronization

Proprietary (pre-11ay) time synchronization uses the syncMode field in the Heartbeat and Keepalive messages. Both the Keepalive (DN to DN) and Heartbeat (DN to CN) messages have a 1-bit field named syncMode:

  • syncMode = 1: The transmitting station (STA) does not have access to a local source of timing (local clock) at the time of sending the message and uses received timestamps for time synchronization as long as a local clock is unavailable.
  • syncMode = 0: The transmitting STA has access to a local clock and is using the local clock at the time of sending the message. The transmitting STA will ignore incoming timestamps as long as the local clock is available.

(In the current implementation, the CN ignores the syncMode bit in the Heartbeat message.)

Using a local clock includes holdover periods that occur when a timing source (such as GNSS) becomes temporarily unavailable for short periods, but the timing drift is still within the system time error tolerance.

When a DN or CN with syncMode = 1 joins a network and receives a Terragraph Proprietary Association Request message (_fbAssocReqElement), the DN or CN sets its local time to the time of the received timestamp. The DN or CN ignores the received timestamp if it has access to a local clock.

A DN that does not have access to a local clock and receives a Keepalive or Heartbeat message with syncMode = 0, increments or decrements the local time by 1 µs toward the received timestamp. There is no limit to the total amount of correction. The rate of correction is limited, by the number of Keepalive or Heartbeat messages, to ±39-40 µs per second.

A DN that does not have access to a local clock, and receives a Keepalive or Heartbeat message with syncMode = 1, will bring down the link by sending a Terragraph Proprietary Disassociation message (proprietary action frame with actionCode = DISASSOC_REQ = 9) to the other DN. After this point, the link can be brought up through initial beamforming.

The peer DNs will not generate any packets to each other after this point, and the link can be brought up only through initial beamforming.

Note: The Terragraph Proprietary Association Request message does not have a syncMode field.

This behavior is link-local. It is enforced between two peer DNs, regardless of each DN's connectivity to other peer DNs. For example, assume a DN (DN1) has two peers: DN2 and DN3. If DN1 does not have access to a local clock, and it receives a Keepalive message from DN2 with syncMode = 1, DN1 will bring down its link with DN2, even if DN1 is still receiving Keepalive messages from DN3 with syncMode = 0.

When a DN brings down all of its links to its peer DNs, it also sends a DISASSOC_REQ message to all of its CNs to bring down the CNs as well.

The DISASSOC_REQ message is transmitted as a low-priority management message in regular data slots if the association procedure has been completed (the link is in the LINK_UP state). When necessary, the DISASSOC_REQ message is transmitted as a high-priority management message in BF slots during association (as long the link is not in the LINK_UP state).

It is possible to see some Rx and Tx packets after a link is brought down because of the residual packets in the queue or the transient states of some packets.

To summarize, an operational DN can be at most 1 hop, and a CN can be at most 2 wireless hops, away from an accurate source of timing (such as GNSS in Terragraph). Otherwise, all links incident on the sector will be brought down.

Frame Synchronization

Frame synchronization between nodes uses either GPS time or the TSF timer as the source for its timing. When present, the 1 PPS signal resets the TSF timer to zero once per second, at the beginning of each second. Frames begin every 200μS.

If GPS time is not present, the TSF timer adopts its value from the timestamp in the frames from an upstream node.

  • For a DN, the TSF timer adopts the value of the timestamp in the association request and Keep Alive frames.
  • For a CN, the TSF timer adopts the value of the timestamp in the association request, heartbeat, and beamforming training request frames.

The first slot of a superframe begins when the TSF timer value is zero. Subsequent slots begin as determined by the summing of the beginning guard time, slot duration, and ending guard time. Refer to Table 4, fbACtionType Field Descriptions.

Scanning

The MAC synchronizes its timers to an external, accurate time source, such as GPS or IEEE 1588.

A timing pulse that resets the Timing Synchronization Function (TSF) on the DN is repeated once every second. This timing pulse shall occur exactly on the turn of each second.

Beamforming

The Beamforming Acquisition Procedure is specified in Beamforming and Link Adaptation.

Association

Association is the process of exchanging parameters between nodes to establish a channel for communication. A node uses the association procedure after beamforming is complete and before attempting to transmit data frames to another node.

An initiator node begins the association procedure by sending an association request frame to the responder node. Upon receipt of the association request frame, the responder node responds to the initiator with an association response frame.

The initiator node acknowledges the receipt of the association response frame and concludes the association procedure by transmitting an association acknowledgement frame to the responder.

Block acknowledgement

Block acknowledgement is used by a single node to send acknowledgement frames to multiple nodes at once. The block acknowledgement procedure does not use the ADDBA/DELBA setup procedure defined in IEEE 802.11-2016. The block acknowledgement procedure uses a reorder buffer with a fixed size of 64 frames. The Block ACK frame uses a compressed bitmap.

A node uses the Block ACK frame to acknowledge aggregated MPDUs from multiple nodes (A-MPDUs). The node sends a Block ACK frame during the first transmit slot assigned to allow the node to transmit to the source of the frames being acknowledged. The Block ACK frame may appear at any time during the first transmit slot. Terragraph nodes shall not transmit or respond to the Block ACK Request frame.

Management Frame Transmission

A node will transmit and retransmit one management frame to a single destination node until the destination node acknowledges receipt of the management frame or the retransmission process is terminated.

Simple Acknowledgement

A node may use simple acknowledgement to acknowledge any management frame that it receives. When a node receives a frame that requires a simple acknowledgement, the node sends an ACK frame during the first transmit slot assigned to allow the node to transmit to the source of the frames being acknowledged.

If an ACK frame is not received in the first slot, the node expecting the ACK frame considers the corresponding management frame transmission to have failed. The node then uses the retransmission process to attempt to deliver the management frame.

Retransmission

When a data frame or management frame fails acknowledgement, the node retransmits the failed frame. The Node retransmits a failed A-MPDU as described in IEEE 802.11-2016, clause 10.24.7.7.

A node retransmits the failed management frames in the next slot that is allocated to the node. The maximum number of retransmissions allowed is two.

Bandwidth Allocation

The Terragraph MAC allocates bandwidth for a period known as the Bandwidth Grant Duration (BWGD). The unit of measurement for the BWGD is the superframe. One BWGD comprises 16 superframes.

The bandwidth allocation for a DN or CN is constant. A CN shall request an allocation of bandwidth using the Uplink Bandwidth Request frame. Upon receipt and processing of the Uplink Bandwidth Request, the DN shall respond with a new bandwidth allocation, during the Heartbeat frame. The bandwidth allocation that is granted may differ from the requested bandwidth.

The MAC shall allocate a fixed number of slots as control slots, for each peer node. Control slots are allocated in pairs, one in the transmit direction and the corresponding slot in the receive direction. See Slot Allocation.

A DN sector can communicate with up to 2 other DNs and up to 256 CNs. The Terragraph MAC allocates bandwidth for each DN with which it communicates and a bandwidth segment for all CNs with which it communicates.

Static Bandwidth Allocation

A node receives its initial static bandwidth allocation from the Association Response Acknowledgement frame, where the transmit and receive slot bitmaps indicate which control slots are allocated to the node. The node sending the Association Response Acknowledgement frame, the initiator node, shall select which control slots are allocated for the newly associated peer node, as described in Slot Allocation. The node receiving the transmit and receive slot bitmaps uses these control slots in the next BWGD.

A DN shall update the transmit and receive slot bitmaps, that it receives from the Heartbeat frame, with the new control slots, and transmits the updated slot bitmaps in the next Heartbeat frame. A DN shall not populate the transmit and receive slot bitmaps in the Keep Alive frame for static bandwidth allocation. DNs shall ignore the transmit and receive slot bitmaps in the Keep Alive frames for static bandwidth allocation.

The E2E controller allocates additional slots at the MAC layer using the NodeBwAlloc structure in the Node Parameters Message.

The E2E controller directs the use of slots by designating them as follows:

  • Reserved for management
  • Reserved for beamforming
  • Unreserved

When a node receives a Node Parameters Message, it designates the slots identified in the NodeBwAlloc structure as unreserved. The node uses the Link ID for the transmission and reception of data frames and management frames, to associate the slots with the MAC address of a sector.

A DN will continue to use the NodeBwAlloc structure to identify control slots while the network is operating. The E2E controller sends the Node Parameters Message to the DNs at both ends of a link. The E2E controller sends the Node Parameters Message only to DNs.

Upon receipt of the Node Parameters Message in the current BWGD, a DN shall prepare the transmit and receive slot bitmaps for inclusion in the Heartbeat frame that is sent to a CN. The MAC sends the new transmit and receive slot maps in the Heartbeat frame during the next BWGD.

When a CN receives transmit and receive slot bitmaps in a Heartbeat frame, or when a DN receives a Node Parameters Message, the CN or DN shall adopt those slot bitmaps and uses them in the next BWGD. For static bandwidth allocation, the turnaround time for a new slot bitmap is 2 BWGDs, as shown in Figure 6.


Figure 6, Static Bandwidth Allocation

Dynamic Bandwidth Allocation

The Link Level Scheduler (LLS) begins the dynamic bandwidth allocation process using the initial static slot allocations from the Association Response Acknowledgement frame. From this initial condition, the LLS performs dynamic bandwidth allocation, using the minimum, maximum, and ideal airtime allocations received from the E2E controller for:

  • Each peer node in the NodeAirtime structure of the Node Parameters Message
  • Arrival rate of data for each peer node
  • Local queue length for the peer node

The MAC allocates dynamic bandwidth, beyond the initial control slot allocation, using the unreserved slots in the Node Parameters Message from the E2E controller.

During the BWGD, a DN shall prepare a transmit slot bitmap for inclusion in the Keep Alive frames and in both the transmit and receive slot bitmaps, which will be sent in Heartbeat frames to the peer DNs and CNs. The MAC sends the new slot bitmaps in the Keep Alive frames and Heartbeat frames during the next BWGD.

A node receiving Keep Alive or Heartbeat frames prepares a receive slot bitmap for inclusion in the Keep Alive frames and the Uplink Bandwidth Request frame. The MAC sends the new receive slot bitmap in the Keep Alive frame or the Uplink Bandwidth Request frame during the next BWGD.

The DN receiving the receive slot map prepares the combined transmit and receive slot maps for inclusion in the Keep Alive and Heartbeat frames to be sent to the peer DNs and CNs. The MAC sends the combined transmit and receive slot maps in the Keep Alive and Heartbeat frames in the next BWGD.

The MAC shall adopt the combined slot maps received in the Keep Alive or Heartbeat frame in the BWGD following the receipt of the frame. For dynamic bandwidth allocation, the turnaround time for a new slot map is 3 BWGDs, as shown in Figure 7.


Figure 7, Dynamic Bandwidth Allocation

Slot Allocation

The MAC allocates slots for the associated DNs and CNs for one complete BWGD. At a minimum, the MAC allocates a single, fixed slot per frame, in two superframes, for each link to an associated node.

The MAC uses this fixed allocation to transmit Keep Alive, Heartbeat, and Uplink Bandwidth Request frames, guaranteeing a minimum bandwidth allocation to each link. The slot assigned for this purpose is the final slot of a frame.

When the fixed slot assigned is not required to transmit the Keep Alive, Heartbeat, or Uplink Bandwidth Request frames, the MAC can use the slot for transmission of other management frames or data.

The MAC allocates fixed slots, called control slots, to associated nodes in the Association Response Acknowledgement Message as follows:

  • SFi represents Superframe i. NSF is the number of superframes in a BWGD. n is the number of associated DNs. m is the number of associated CNs.
  • For DNi, where i=[1,n]: assign the last slot of each frame in SFi and SFNSF/2 + i to DNi.
  • For CNi, where i=[1,m]: assign the last slot of each frame in SFi + n and SFNSF/2 + i + n to CNi.

Figure 8 illustrates the fixed slot assignments for one associated DN and three associated CNs.


Figure 8, Example of Fixed Slot Assignment

Remaining Slot Allocation

The MAC allocates slots differently, depending on the use of the static bandwidth allocation method or dynamic bandwidth allocation method.

Static Slot Allocation

The MAC allocates the slots remaining after the fixed slot allocation only as directed in the slot maps received in the Node Parameters Message from the E2E controller.

Dynamic Slot Allocation

For dynamic slot allocation, the MAC allocates the slots remaining after the fix slot allocation according to the following algorithm that attempts to satisfy these constraints:

MCSlTlQl=MCSlTlQl, l, l, such that Ql, Ql  0\frac{\text{MCS}_{l}T_{l}}{Q_{l}} = \frac{\text{MCS}_{l_{'}}T_{l_{'}}}{Q_{l}},\mathbf{\ \forall}l,\ l^{'},\ \text{such\ that}\ Q_{l},\ Q_{l'}\ \neq \ 0
Tl Available Slot\sum_{}^{}T_{l} \leq \ Available\ Slot

Where MCSl is the MCS for link l, Tl is the allocated slot time for link l, and Ql is the queue depth for link l.

Step 1. During the kth BWGD, speculatively estimate the queue size for the third following BWGD:

Ql(k+3)=max[Ql(k)Dl(k)Dl(k+1)Dl(k+2)+3×Il(k),0]Q_{l}(k + 3) = max\lbrack Q_{l}(k) - D_{l}(k) - D_{l}(k + 1) - D_{l}(k + 2) + 3 \times I_{l}(k),0\rbrack

Where Dl(n) represents the departed (served) traffic for link l during BWGD n and Il(n) represents the arriving traffic during BWGD n.

Step 2. For all links where

Ql(k+3)=0,assign Tl=Tlmin and update Ttotal=TtotalTlQ_{l}(k + 3) = 0,assign\ T_{l} = T_{l_{\min}\ }\text{and\ update\ }T_{\text{total}} = T_{\text{total}} - T_{l}

Step 3. For any link l, such that

Ql(k+3)MCSl(k)Tlideal assign Tl=Ql(k+3)MCSl(k) and update Ttotal=TtotalTl\frac{Q_{l}(k + 3)}{\text{MCS}_{l}(k)} \leq T_{l_{\text{ideal}}}\text{\ assign\ }T_{l} = \frac{Q_{l}(k + 3)}{\text{MCS}_{l}(k)}\text{\ and\ update\ }T_{\text{total}} = T_{\text{total}} - T_{l}

Step 4. For all remaining links, calculate

σl=Ql(k+3)/MCSl(k)ΣiQi(k+3)/MCSi(k)\sigma_{l} = \frac{Q_{l}(k + 3)/\text{MCS}_{l}(k)}{\Sigma_{i}Q_{i}(k + 3)/\text{MCS}_{i}(k)}

for all links such that

σlTtotal<Tlideal assign Tl=Tlideal and update Ttotal=Ttotaltl,\sigma_{l}T_{\text{total}} < T_{l_{\text{ideal}}}\ {\text{assign}\ T_{l} = T_{l_{\text{ideal}}\ }\text{and\ update\ }T}_{\text{total}} = T_{\text{total}} - t_{l},

until all links have been allocated, or

σlTtotalTlideal , remaining l\sigma_{l}T_{\text{total}} \geq T_{l_{\text{ideal}}\ },\forall\ \text{remaining\ }l

Step 5. For all remaining links l, calculate

σl=Ql(k+3)/MCSl(k)ΣiQi(k+3)/MCSi(k)\sigma_{l} = \frac{Q_{l}(k + 3)/\text{MCS}_{l}(k)}{\Sigma_{i}Q_{i}(k + 3)/\text{MCS}_{i}(k)}

for all links l, such that

σlTtotal>Tlmax and iQl(k+3MCSi(k)>Ttotal\sigma_{l}T_{\text{total}} > T_{l_{\max}\ }\text{and\ }\sum_{i}^{}\frac{Q_{l}(k + 3}{\text{MCS}_{i}(k)} > T_{\text{total}}
Assign Tl=Tlmax, and update Ttotal=Ttotaltl,{\text{Assign}\ T_{l} = T_{l_{\max}},\ and\ update\ T}_{\text{total}} = T_{\text{total}} - t_{l},

until all links have been allocated, or

σlTtotalTlmax , remaining l\sigma_{l}T_{\text{total}} \leq T_{l_{\max}\ },\forall\ \text{remaining\ }l

Then, assign

Tl=σlTtotal, remaining lT_{l} = \sigma_{l}T_{\text{total}},\forall\ \text{remaining\ }l

where allocations are greater than a single slot and where possible, the MAC combines slots as described in Slot Timing, in order to maximize airtime utilization.

Data Transfer

Data transfer between nodes, both uplink and downlink, use the QoS Data frame, as defined in IEEE 802.11-2016. When a transmit slot arrives and a node has no data to send, the node transmits the QoS Null Data frame, as defined in IEEE 802.11-2016. The Terragraph MAC uses the aggregated MSDU (A-MSDU) and aggregated MPDU (A-MPDU) as much as possible, to transmit as much information as possible in an allocated transmit slot.

Traffic Scheduling

For traffic scheduling, the Terragraph MAC observes the following priorities for the transmission of these types of frames:

  1. ACK and Block ACK frames
  2. Heartbeat, Keep Alive, and Uplink Bandwidth Request frames
  3. Management frames
  4. Data frames

In slots reserved for beamforming, the MAC transmits only high priority management frames related to beamforming.

Terragraph supports QoS for data frames using VPP, as described in the TGHQoS section.

ACK and Block ACK Frames

The MAC transmits acknowledgement and Block ACK frames during the first opportunity for transmission during the control slot or any slot allocated to the link.

The MAC in a DN schedules a Heartbeat frame for transmission at least once during each BWGD, when there is at least one associated CN. The MAC in a DN schedules a Keep Alive frame periodically to other associated DNs. The MAC in a CN schedules the Uplink Bandwidth Request frame for transmission at least once during each BWGD. The Keep Alive, Heartbeat, and Uplink Bandwidth Request frames are transmitted in the fixed control slots allocated to each node.

Management Frames

The MAC schedules the transmission of management frames during the first opportunity for transmission in a control slot or any slot allocated to the link. Management frames related to beamforming are transmitted only in slots allocated to beamforming.

Data Frames

The MAC schedules the transmission of data frames to maximize the use of the bandwidth allocation for each destination node. The MAC uses the slot(s) allocated to the link of the destination node that matches the destination address of the data frame to transmit the frame. The MAC uses the IEEE 802.11 access classes to prioritize the transmission of data frames.

Beamforming

When performing asynchronous, synchronous, or periodic beamforming, the MAC schedules beamforming transmission and reception frames during the first slot of each transmit and receive subframe, until the beamforming process is completed.

The MAC indicates to all other associated nodes that these slots are beamforming slots. More detail on the beamforming procedure can be found in Beamforming and Link Adaptation. In the slots allocated to beamforming, the MAC transmits only the high priority management frames, as follows:

  1. urTrnReq
  2. urTrnRes
  3. urTrnResAck
  4. urX
  5. Association Request
  6. Association Response
  7. Association Response Acknowledgement

Link adaptation is the procedure of selecting and adjusting the modulation and coding scheme (MCS) selected for transmission, to maximize the probability of successful reception of the transmitted frames.

The node uses the laFeedbackParams field in the Heartbeat, Keep Alive, and Uplink Bandwidth Request frames, as well as locally measured parameters, to perform link adaptation.

Link measurement is the process of collecting data on the signal strength and the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of a link, to estimate the path loss of the link and the link margin at the receiver.

The node uses the information in the laFeedbackParams field, carried in the Association Request, Association Response, Association Response ACK, Heartbeat, Keep Alive, and Uplink Bandwidth Request frames to perform link measurement.

Link loss is the condition where the node determines that communication over an active link is no longer possible. A node determines link loss based on the loss of the Heartbeat and Keep Alive frames, or the loss of the Acknowledgement of the Heartbeat frames.

A DN determines that a link to another DN is lost when it fails to receive ten Keep Alive frames in a row. A DN determines that a link to a CN is lost when it fails to receive Acknowledgement of ten Heartbeat frames in a row.

A CN determines that a link to a DN is lost when it fails to receive ten Heartbeat frames in a row. If a CN determines that a link to a previously connected upstream DN is lost, the CN attempts to regain communication using an alternative micro-route.

If regaining communication to an upstream DN is not possible, or if an alternative micro-route is not available, the CN begins a scanning procedure.

If communication cannot be regained, the DN sends a Link Status Message of Link Down to the E2E controller.

Glossary

TermDefinition
ACKAcknowledgement
AGCAutomatic gain control
A-MPDUAggregated MPDU
A-MSDUAggregated MSDU
BPSKBiphase shift keying
BWGDBandwidth grant duration
CNClient node
DBPSKDifferential biphase shift keying
DMGDirected multi-gigabit
DNDistribution node
DSCPDifferentiated Services Code Point
FCSFrame check sequence
GPSGlobal positioning system
GNSSGlobal Navigation Satellite System
IEEEInstitute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers
MACMedia Access Control
MCSModulation and coding scheme
MSDUMAC service data unit
MPDUMAC protocol data unit
OUIOrganizational unique identifier
PLCPPhysical layer convergence procedure
PHYPhysical layer
QAMQuadrature amplitude modulation
QPSKQuadrature phase shift keying
RXReceive
SCSingle carrier
SFSuperframe
STFShort training field
TDDTime division duplex
TRNTraining
TSFTime synchronization function
TXTransmit