Wideband IoT antenna boosts link range

Wideband IoT antenna boosts link range

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By Nick Flaherty

RangeAnt in Sweden has developed an antenna that operates from 700 MHz to 3GHz to cut energy consumption and extend operating range in IoT designs

The MAX family of antennas are designed primarily for cellular, IoT and GNSS applications and have a free-space efficiency of between 80 and 90%, and a VSWR below 2:1 across the operating bands. This efficiency provides wither greater range for the available transmitter power or lower transmitter power for a given link range.

This comes from the double-sided design of the antenna, which has different conductor patterns on each side of the board without having to use a ground plane.

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The omnidirectional antennas function as a monopole up to 1,600 MHz and a dipole above this frequency. They are designed for a 50 Ohm match in free space but when packaged within a wireless module or system, maintaining optimum efficiency may sometimes require additional matching components and the antenna board includes pads for installing surface mount matching components, if needed.

RangeAnt is a spin out of the Swedish design centre ShortLink and prior to working for the company the antenna design team has previously designed antennas for Apple and Motorola as well as Ericsson and Nokia. This allows them to also provide  guidance on suitable matching networks and provide matching for specific applications.

The antennas are suitable for use with Bluetooth, Zigbee, Sub-GHz, LPWAN (LoRa, Sigfox, Weightless), Wi-Fi, and cellular (2G, 3G, 4G/LTE and NB-IoT) wireless protocols, and GPS/GNSS reception with only one antenna, simplifying the design of global equipment and reducing the number of product variants.

“Our research indicates that MAX antennas offer over 20% better performance compared with the nearest wideband antenna alternatives. This gives system designers greater flexibility in optimizing the trade-off between operating range, data rates, and power consumption for their wireless links. For the first time, they can optimize their designs while working with a single antenna, whatever the desired frequency band or wireless protocol,” said Hans-Erik Backram, CEO of RangeAnt.

The RangeAnt MAX antennas are now available from stock at Digi-Key Electronics.;

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