Developing an effective antenna for IoT applications: Page 5 of 6

October 03, 2019 //By Matt McWhinney, Molex
Developing an effective antenna for IoT applications
Access to the internet is no longer restricted to devices intended for people; things that we may never interact with directly now account for billions of connections and that number is only going up. As vehicles become more connected, we will see increased demand for V2X, the rollout of 5G services will allow even more connectivity, while location-based services are increasing demand for GPS and GNSS functionality. All of these applications rely on wireless communications and, in many cases, they will be hidden from sight, located deep within large machines, vehicles or even structures like bridges.

To support the product portfolio, Molex has produced a library of application specifications. These are engineering documents that go beyond the standard antenna data sheet. They include not only performance information but a reference design, with advice on where and how to locate the antenna on a PCB. Perhaps most importantly, the application specification provides an estimate of the antenna’s operation and how this will vary based on its location on a PCB, taking into account its proximity to other components and features such as batteries, metal shields and the cable itself for cabled antennas. These application specification documents provide essential guidelines that system designers should read to understand how to best engineer the antenna into each system.

Figure 5: Design options include PCB-mounted and remotely located. Often, the application will dictate the most appropriate approach.

In most cases, the information provided in the application specification has been simplified to make it more easily accessible to engineers with varying levels of RF expertise, and of course Molex can also provide access to an expert if and when required. In many instances, it is advised that design teams placing antennas into their systems seek assistance and guidance from an RF expert. This can save time when it comes to understanding what additional measures are needed to boost antenna performance and quantitatively measuring antenna performance in a system.

Figure 6: Molex offers a wide variety of antennas and the expertise to develop the right solution for any application.

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