In another interview from Hardware Pioneers Max 2023, ipXchange chats to Marc from Ignion about their proprietary Virtual Antenna technology, which saves significant space and weight – when compared to traditional external antennas – by using the ground plane of the PCB to resonate. An RF matching network then determines the frequency operating range of your design, meaning that one compact antenna can serve multiple wireless protocols. These are the only non-resonant SMD antennas currently on the market, so we at ipXchange had to find out more!
Aside from the extremely compact nature of these antennas – the smallest for Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and UWB is just 3.0 x 2.0 x 0.8 mm in size – the key benefit of Ignion’s technology is that when embedded in a product, with surrounding components and an enclosure affecting the RF performance from the ideal specification, the matching network can be easily changed to reduce shifts and attenuation at the desired operating frequencies to enable far better RF performance than traditional solutions. Better yet, Ignion’s team of highly skilled RF engineers can also help customers develop their products, which is great given how disruptive a solution these antennas are. Ignion also offers a free online tool that will help configure a proof-of-concept PCB design in under 2 hours, significantly shortening time-to-evaluate and lowering the cost of prototyping as a key part of design integration is done for you.
Ignion’s Virtual Antennas cover a frequency operating range from 698 MHz to 10.6 GHz across their entire line of products, meaning that there is a solution available for any commonly used wireless protocol. They also feature a linearly polarised omnidirectional output at 50 Ω, with SMD mounting and an operating temperature range from -40 to +125°C. Since these devices are mainly composed of FR4 material, sourcing is no issue, with the longest lead times at 10 weeks and significant stock available for medium-sized commercial projects.