Innovative Antenna Design Offers Exceptional Multi-Band Performance
A novel and low cost antenna design offering efficient performance across multiple frequency bands is available from Ploughshare Innovations, a company that licenses intellectual property developed by the UK's Defense Science and Technology Laboratory. With a bill of materials (BOM) cost that is expected to be under 10 cents in volume, the new component can replace several antennas, to save on both the BOM and manufacturing costs of new generations of radio-equipped products.
The patented new design concept was created to eliminate the proliferation of antennas on military equipment, and is now being offered for licensing and further development to suit commercial applications. Ploughshare expects the new intellectual property to be of interest to antenna manufacturers, radio equipment OEMs, designers supporting wireless chipsets with reference designs, and design consultants in the RF marketplace.
"The burgeoning demand for wireless communications has led to an array of standards for different applications, and considerable market pull to combine multiple protocols into one device," saidToby Proctor of Ploughshare Innovations. "This antenna provides new flexibility for OEMs working in these market segments, and we are looking for a partner that has the capability to take a proven design concept and adapt it for commercial applications."
Ploughshare's wideband antenna is a cylindrical 'top hat' shape employing a novel capacitive coupling structure to provide good radio frequency (RF) performance characteristics across multiple bands. Its ability to be tuned to operate across a wide frequency band offers designers the potential to significantly reduce the size and build cost of many emergent types of communications and consumer equipment. It can also reduce the design complexity that many electronics designers currently face as they attempt to integrate antennas for multiple RF protocols, and often antenna diversity as well, into increasingly smaller spaces.
One current circuit-board-mountable prototype version of the antenna has been produced and tested for operation over the 2.1 to 5 GHz band, where it offers an omnidirectional radiation pattern with a gain of 5 dBi, radiation efficiency of more than 95 percent, and a 1.92:1 VSWR (voltage standing wave ratio). This level of performance is achieved by an antenna structure assembled from four simple metal and dielectric parts with a BOM cost that is expected to be under 10 cents in volume. The example design has an overall height of 1.5 cm and a footprint diameter of 2 cm. By varying the mechanical geometries and the properties of the dielectric material, the antenna's propagation characteristics may be tuned for other RF bands of interest to OEMs.
In this form, Ploughshare believes the antenna has potential applications to simplify the design of a range of wireless communications infrastructure equipment such as routers and in-building basestations, or in industrial and consumer radio equipment such as smart utility meter reading terminals or media streaming devices in home entertainment systems.
RFMD Expands Product Portfolio to Include New 3G/4G Antenna Control Solutions
RF Micro Devices, Inc. has expanded its broad product portfolio to include new 3G/4G antenna control solutions. The high-performance antenna control solutions are optimized to solve the complex RF requirements of 3G/4G smartphones related to high band count and signal integrity in an extremely compact form factor.
“RFMD’s antenna control solutions are securing key design activity at leading smartphone manufacturers by solving the increasingly complex challenges in multimode, multi-band front ends,” said Eric Creviston, president of RFMD's Cellular Products Group (CPG). “By optimizing antenna performance across modes and bands, RFMD’s antenna control solutions improve call quality, extend battery life and enhance the smartphone consumer experience. We expect RFMD’s 3G/4G antenna control solutions will begin to achieve broad customer adoption this calendar year.”
Tutorial Package Has 20 New Models for Antenna Design, Plasmonics and Benchmarking Electromagnetics Simulations
Comsol, Inc. has released a new edition of its RF Module tutorials for its flagship product, Comsol Multiphysics. The tutorial package has been enhanced with 20 new models that demonstrate how to leverage the RF extension module when designing and analyzing antennas and plasmonic technologies.
Additionally, the new tutorial package comes with a suite of benchmarking tools, enabling users to assess the accuracy of their engineering simulations developed with the RF Module against established reference points. With the 20 new models, the tutorial library for RF Module now provides more than 50 example models, all of which are available for immediate download at www.comsol.com/showroom/product/rf/.
"It is great to provide our growing base of RF Module users with a brand new tutorial package," said Walter Frei, PhD applications manager at Comsol. "More and more engineers and scientists have made Comsol Multiphysics their simulation platform for researching and developing emerging technologies such as metamaterial and plasmonics modeling. One reason users cite for the popularity of Comsol Multiphysics in these applications is the flexibility of the user interface, which allows for anisotropic materials, negative permittivity and permeability. They also cite the software's general and highly automated solver technologies. We're delighted to show our user community how they can better apply the RF Module to RF and Microwave simulations."
Among the new tutorials now available are microstrip patch antenna, double-layered dielectric lens radome, branch line coupler, evanescent-mode cavity filter, and dielectric resonator antenna. "These examples should really help users get kick-started with Comsol Multiphysics and the RF Module," said Jiyoun Munn, microwave applications expert at Comsol. "They show you step-by-step how to quickly create the geometry and set up material properties, ports, and other boundary conditions. There's even an emphasis on production of relevant S-parameter and far-field radiation pattern outputs, which are vital for making informed design decisions."
"The tutorials also show off Comsol ís amazing visualization capabilities," said Munn. "Comsol lets you visualize any type of field quantity anywhere in your model easily. This capability helps users build confidence in their analyses while developing an intuitive feel for their models quickly."
Ethertronics’ New Air InteRFace Processing System Technology Speeds Up Wireless Throughput by More Than 45 Percent
Ethertronics has launched its latest technology breakthrough, the Air InteRFace Processing System. Available immediately for OEM integration, Air InteRFace Processing System’s technology takes advantage of multipath fading to maximize both throughput and reliability in 3G and 4G cellular, as well as Wi-Fi devices.
Ethertronics’ Air InteRFace Processing System solution combines the company’s patented Isolated Magnetic Dipole (IMD) antenna technology with its active antenna systems approach to generate multiple radiation patterns from a single antenna structure. A patent-pending algorithm samples and switches between the radiation patterns, selecting the best one to use for the specific environment. As a result, the Air InteRFace Processing System technique can dynamically respond to changing RF conditions fast enough to minimize multipath fading and in turn increase both download speeds and connectivity.
In real-world tests, Ethertronics replaced one of the baseline antennas in a commercial Wi-Fi access point with an Air InteRFace Processing System, increasing throughput by 46 percent in areas where multipath was highest. In both office LANs and wide-area hotspot networks, the Air InteRFace Processing System technique can reduce CapEx and OpEx because a lower density of access points can still provide reliable coverage and high speeds.
Air InteRFace Processing System technology supports a wide variety of bands and air interfaces, including 3G, 4G (LTE and LTE-Advanced) and WiFi. For all applications, the Air InteRFace Processing System enables device vendors to use performance and reliability to differentiate their infrastructure, smartphones, tablets and other devices, without the additional power consumption, space, design complexity, and cost associated with MIMO implementations. Air InteRFace Processing System’s ability to dynamically sample and switch between radiation patterns make it well suited for both 3G and 4G cellular applications since it can deliver on the performance requirements for technologies like LTE, such as fast download speeds and improved connectivity, all in a single antenna structure.
“Air InteRFace Processing System technology maximizes wireless performance and coverage,” said Laurent Desclos, president and CEO at Ethertronics. “Through our real-world tests, we have seen a significant effect the Air InteRFace Processing System can have including faster download speeds, and we expect this same caliber of performance with cellular applications. Air InteRFace Processing System is the latest example of Ethertronics’ revolutionary approach to antennas: as Wireless InteRFace Processors consisting of the antennas themselves, active components, and advanced algorithms. This innovative, systems-based strategy enables wireless device designers to rapidly deploy devices with advanced technology to maximize performance and connectivity for a superior user experience.”
Ethertronics expects commercial OEM products leveraging Air InteRFace Processing System technology to hit the market in 2012.
BATS Announces Expansion of Intelligent High-Bandwidth Wireless Communications Solutions for Land, Air, and Sea
BATS Wireless has announced the next generation of its industry-first automated tracking and stabilization platforms. The enhanced AMATS and BTS product suites, which added multi-gigabit connectivity, and 360° continuous tracking capabilities for heavy payloads – now provide continuous tracking for antennas measuring up to 8 feet and 500 lbs.
Enabling a truly universal WWAN solution, the AMATS and BTS systems can be utilized in practically any application and integrated with a near universal list of WWAN radio and antenna configurations. The systems also allow for a number of mobility scenarios, including fixed (tower to tower, building to building), fixed to mobile (ship to shore, air to ground); and fully mobile deployments (ship to ship, air to mobile command).
Together with the BATS Enhanced Configuration & Optimization (ECO) Web Management Platform, these products will enable organizations to rapidly deploy intelligent WWANs, adding flexibility, capability, and control, while eliminating the cost and complexity of legacy wireline and satellite solutions.
“As maritime organizations, public safety networks, and military bodies increase their demands on bandwidth, they are increasingly looking toward wireless technologies to enhance their infrastructure,” said Phil Cramer, Senior VP of Sales & Marketing at BATS. “We are excited to be providing organizations solutions that not only meet their bandwidth needs, but do so with the simplicity, mobility, and efficiency that our solutions offer. With one-touch provisioning, anyone within the organization can bring a network online - virtually eliminating setup times from days to minutes.”
Molex Debuts Next Generation MobliquA Bandwidth Enhancing Antenna Technologies
Molex, Inc. has released details about their development of innovative new technologies for antennas. The MobliquA antenna technology incorporates proprietary bandwidth enhancing technologies, which have been used successfully in Molex standard and custom antenna designs. The MobliquA technology is designed to improve impedance bandwidth in any application with a wireless interface antenna, including mobile phones, smart phones, portable TVs, and standard antennas in industrial applications.
“Traditional passive antenna structures are based on meandered antenna patterns, with limitations on manufacturing tolerances and mechanical properties. The MobliquA technology enables simple mechanical and robust antenna designs that minimize efforts needed for iterative retuning during each build cycle,” said Morten Christensen, RF research manager, Molex.
Suitable for small cell phones, portable electronics, tablet and laptop-sized devices, the MobliquA technology offers a strong multi-use platform supporting both single and dual feed RF architectures within the same antenna structure. The dual feed configuration can provide at least 20 dB isolation between the input ports, while maintaining the bandwidth-enhancing features. The good isolation and bandwidth simplifies optimization of antenna impedances to match different RF engines, which reduces current consumption and improves power transfer efficiency.
MobliquA technology provides a high degree of immunity towards insertion of metal objects into the antenna volume. Additionally, it enables utilization of RF decoupled or grounded parts, such as a grounded connector housing, as an integrated component of the antenna system. Furthermore, the technology provides excellent ESD protection of the front end due to its unique feeding techniques combined with a direct grounding of the antenna elements.
“Compared to standard systems, such as L or F type antennas, this new technology can provide impedance bandwidth improvements of 60 to 70 percent without increasing the antenna volume or compromising the radiation efficiency,” said Christensen.
MobliquA bandwidth enhancing antenna technology is now available for new designs and has already been chosen by a leading tier-one mobile phone manufacturer.
DOMK Cinches Deal for Hottest New iPad Accessory for 2012
Domark International, Inc. has formed a new subsidiary and has acquired the exclusive worldwide licensing rights and joint-patenting rights to the new highly-anticipated SolaPad iPad accessory. The SolaPad is a “one of a kind” revolutionary solar charger sleeve and “super charger” for the Apple iPad. The name of Domark’s new subsidiary is SolaWerks.
The new SolaWerks SolaPad is an electronic sleeve manufactured specifically for the iPad and contains a solar panel on the back and an additional internal battery to keep the iPad charged at all times – but that’s not all. The SolaPad is being developed to contain a very long range WiFi antenna and two world-class quality speakers, as well as other new items that will make your iPad excel above the rest. The SolaPad currently is constructed to fit the iPad 1 and iPad 2, but is under development to also fit the iPad 3, which made its worldwide debut last week.
PCTEL Announces SeeGull MX TD-LTE Scanning Receiver
PCTEL, Inc. has released the SeeGull MX scanning receiver with TD-LTE measurement capability and Layer 3 message reporting. The SeeGull MX is a precisely calibrated drive test and in-building walk-test tool for wireless networks. With the addition of TD-LTE, the MX is now capable of testing eight bands and six technologies in a single drive test or in-building walk test. By expanding its capabilities to include TD-LTE, the MX will provide improved support to operators as they deploy and re-farm unpaired spectrum for 4G wireless.
The SeeGull MX with TD-LTE now gives operators an effective tool to address the spectrum crunch by supporting the deployment of 4G networks on unpaired spectrum. Operators using the SeeGull MX can accurately identify and eliminate interference problems, leading to higher data rates and better spectrum utilization. The SeeGull MX can collect 2G, 3G and 4G data concurrently. This includes drive tests that require both TD-LTE and FD-LTE. With true concurrent data collection capability, MX delivers a dynamic range and data density when measuring multi-technology networks. This enables operators to efficiently deploy, troubleshoot and optimize LTE in the presence of legacy networks. The SeeGull MX further supplements these capabilities with Layer 3 message reporting, which allows operators to improve device connections and handovers. As a result, users will see better data throughput and fewer dropped connections.
“This latest release makes the SeeGull MX a truly global network testing solution,” said Jeff Miller, PCTEL's senior vice president of Sales and Marketing. “The MX delivers a comprehensive set of TD-LTE RF data collection capabilities to the market, including Layer 3 reporting. We believe that there is no better tool than the SeeGull MX for operators transitioning from 2G and 3G networks to 4G LTE.”
The SeeGull MX is compliant with 3GPP and 3GPP2 specifications and is currently available directly from PCTEL or through its OEM resellers.