Antenna designed specifically for metal surfaces

August 10, 2017 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Laird is introducing the first adhesive-backed flexible antenna designed to be used directly on metal surfaces and is aimed at the Internet of Things, which is expected to hit about 50 billion connected “things” worldwide by 2020.

The patented antenna – mFlexPIFA – is about the size and thickness of a quarter, and is ideal for wirelessly connecting everything from household appliances and automated equipment to medical devices and millions of other items. It is based on a Planer Inverted-F Antenna (PIFA) structure comprised of a mylar antenna element with a foam core, resulting in a low profile, flexible antenna.

The mFlexPIFA antenna can be mounted in a wide range of embedded and external applications with metal surfaces and enclosures. It is available in a 2.4 GHz version for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Zigbee, Thread, and general ISM applications. It is also certified for use in selected Laird Bluetooth and Wi-Fi modules.

Importantly, the mFlexPIFA enables the antenna to be placed directly onto metal surfaces without detuning the antenna, which until now has been a major challenge faced by product designers and original equipment manufacturers. It also can be used on curved – concave or convex – metal surfaces to provide greater flexibility in design and superior antenna gain and performance.

“Products with a lot of integrated metal and metal enclosures have historically provided significant challenges for antenna implementation, and Laird has solved this problem with the mFlexPIFA,” said Scott Lordo, Laird’s senior vice president and general manager. “Typically, placing an antenna near metal surfaces will detune the antenna, but the mFlexPIFA addresses this critical technical challenge.

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