Molex antenna business unit joins Danish SAFE (Smart Antenna Front End) consortium
Through collaborative research and new product innovation, SAFE members aim to address communication bandwidth, standards, and antenna issues related to the global proliferation of mobile phone devices.
Professor Gert Frølund Pedersen, Head of the Antenna and Propagation section at Aalborg University, outlines some of the issues being addressed by the SAFE consortium. “Since the mid-1990s, we have struggled to get more bandwidth out of cheap antennas that cover a wide range of mobile communication bands and standards. During this time, the size of the antennas and RF components has grown, which is also problematic, because the market demands smaller products. In addition, as we add more design building blocks the overall system performance reduces. With the SAFE program, we want to rethink and reinvent how industry solves these challenges.”
A significant project investor, the Danish National Advanced Technology Foundation attended the SAFE opening ceremony held in January at the Molex RF Antenna Research facility near to Aalborg. Based on a competitive grant application process, the Foundation offers private companies and universities the resources and framework for developing new and important technologies. Foundation Vice President Trine Aabo Andersen remarked, “With this ambitious investment, we expect to attract new jobs and opportunities to Denmark. This important work is accompanied by high expectations. We eagerly await the consortium’s progress towards advancing a new technological era.”
Managing Director Per Hartmann Christensen, Intel Mobile Communications, Denmark, noted: “Until now, the development of RF and antenna has been separated, yielding less than optimal solutions. In this project, we have for the first time brought together leading experts in a targeted effort to develop a specific control and integration technology for antenna and RF that can potentially be incorporated into all mobile phones in the future.”
WiSpry, a leading global manufacturer of tuneable RF solutions for mobile platforms, has demonstrated its commitment to the Danish project by establishing a new research and development Centre in Aalborg. “Our MEMS-based technology is the ideal solution to the demanding requirements of today’s multi-mode, multi-band, data-centric terminals, offering the highest performance of any tuneable solutions on the market or in development today. The SAFE project offers a unique opportunity to showcase how our technology can contribute to building a completely different – and game-changing – platform,” adds WiSpry Founder and CEO Jeff Hilbert.
The Molex RF Antenna Research team has a state-of-the-art facility and brings to the SAFE project more than a decade of experience in mobile antenna development. Molex designs, develops and manufactures custom antennas and antenna assemblies that support a wide range of wireless communication technologies, including cellular, UMTS, WiFi, WIMAX, Bluetooth, GPS and others.
“We are embarking on necessary next steps in an evolution that began when mobile phone antennas were visible components that could be pulled out and replaced to improve performance,” explains Morten Christensen, RF research manager, Molex. “The future is a standardised ‘one size fits all’ antenna system. We intend to create technology capable of handling all bandwidths and radio systems into one small unit that covers all the bands. It must be made in such a way that enables antennas to operate unaffected by user influence, whether they are integrated in a portable cell phone or device, laptop or tablet PC.”
For further information: www.molex.com/link/antenna.html.