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Antenova integrates antenna, RF components in single module

Posted: 10 Feb 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:antenna? antenova? integrated module? antenna technology? rf?

Antenna specialist Antenova Ltd expects to be sampling within months integrated modules that incorporate its novel antenna technology with the key RF components and some of the transceiver functionality required for a mobile phone or PC modem.

Dubbed the Radionova, the radio antenna modules have been designed in collaboration with leading RF component suppliers, OEMs and ODMs, and feature a balanced antenna that is said to be highly resistant to de-tuning, so the same module can be used across multiple product designs and will operate at multiple frequencies.

"We believe we are the only company that has integrated the antenna into devices targeting the handset and PC modem sector. Other companies such as Texas Instruments and Skyworks are coming from the opposite end of the typical RF chipset to achieve the same aim," said Greg McCray, chief executive of the Cambridge, England based company.

"We have real prototypes, real commercial partnerships with the RF component suppliers that matter and real design partnerships. All this means we are ahead of the competition and have patents relating to the module design and balanced/unbalanced antenna technology that should keep us ahead," said McCray.

The company says its approach yields perhaps the only complete RF solution where the wireless performance is unaffected by the module's position - providing significant design flexibility, cost reduction and time to market advantages.

Early modules will target the multiband GSM and CDMA sector, to be followed by the summer of this year with derivatives for UMTS flavor 3G cellular and multiband Wi-Fi data. "We believe phones with our novel design will be available by the end of this year, and are confident our approach can save designers between $1 million and $2 million in development costs, and then subsequently production costs," said McCray.

Professor Simom Kingsley, chief scientist at Antenova, says the company has got round the problem of unbalanced antennaswhere half the device sits on the chassis, and the other half, the monopole near the ground planes and can reduce significantly the antenna performancewith its 'self complimentary' balanced antennas that will work with a full groundplane and do not need a chassis.

"In the module, we are not just sticking the antenna over the radio ICs and other components. We optimize the two segments so they work together in the most efficient way," said Kingsley.

In this split module design, the lower radio module is reflowed on to the PCB and tested, and subsequently the upper antenna module snapped on top. This then can sit on top of the baseband chip. This approach is said to offer designers maximum design flexibility with the cost benefits of a standard component.

- John Walko

EE Times

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