Virtual Antenna™ for easy design of IoT devices with embedded antennas: Page 7 of 8

September 20, 2019 //By J. Anguera, A. Andújar, C. Puente, Fractus Antennas, Barcelona, Spain
Anechoic chamber for testing Virtual Antenna™
Virtual Antenna™ technology enables one antenna component to cover all IoT frequency bands. This article describes the main features of Virtual Antenna™ technology and shows a simple design flow comprising only three simple steps.

This reveals that total efficiency is a parameter of paramount relevance. In this sense, Virtual Antenna™ can easily control how to optimize total efficiency in a product certification since if any adjustment needs to be done, this can be addressed by adjusting the matching network. Adjusting the antenna design in this situation will put the project at risk since a new design takes weeks of works which is critical at this stage. On the contrary, Virtual Antenna™ has the flexibility to simply adjust the matching network, which is faster and easier and at the end, this is an efficient process which is very convenient for wireless design engineers developing IoT devices.



Virtual Antenna™ enables the wireless designer to easily embed a tiny antenna component in IoT devices. This tiny antenna component is called antenna booster being around 100 mm3, up to ten times smaller than traditional customized antennas. Besides being very small, an antenna booster can operate at any band in the range 0.698 GHz - 6 GHz by only designing a matching network.

A simple design process comprising three steps enables to embed antenna booster in IoT devices: antenna booster placement, design of the matching network, and testing the full device with the embedded antenna booster.

Antenna placement is an important decision that need to be taken at the very beginning of a device design in order to optimize performance. The performance of an embedded antenna should be considered along with the device and not by considering the antenna only; the behavior is at the end, determined by the antenna and the device together.

The design of a matching network is easily systematized with a microwave circuit simulator which makes the design flow the same procedure as a matching network for an amplifier. This facilitates wireless engineers to embed an antenna into an IoT device since it does not require antenna expertise but circuit design skills instead. This design flow is very flexible since if any mechanical change on the device affects the antenna performance, the antenna does not need to be redesigned but only the matching network must be tuned. This is a faster, easier and cheaper design flow.

Finally, an antenna booster is an off-the-shelf component ready to be used and being a SMD component is compatible with typical pick-and-place mounting machines.

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