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Why antenna simulations are crucial for your wireless product success?

Building physical prototypes of complex products can be very expensive and time consuming. Antenna/RF solutions for today’s wireless product require sophisticated 3D simulations, in order to estimate accurate antenna performance even before first prototypes are build.

Here, we like to give some insights in antenna solutions and challenges for wireless products.

The performance of integrated antennas in your products strongly depends on several factors. Some of these are listed as follows

An off the-shelf LTE antenna optimized for a large pcb (example 140 mm x 70 mm) won’t work as per its datasheet when installed on a smaller system PCB (per say 60 mm x 50 mm). One of the biggest mistakes wireless device manufacturers do is to follow the datasheets of antenna vendors blindly, thinking that antenna is well tuned. There is a huge difference between a well tuned antenna and the one customer thinks its well-tuned.

Dielectric properties of plastic materials does impact antenna tuning, thus choice of material is very important for optimal RF performance. Impact of housing materials, its shape and size on antenna performance can be easily studied using state of the art simulation tools.

Deciding the position of antennas on system ground plane, should start at the beginning of the project, for example, for LTE antennas or any sub-GHz antennas use ground plane as main radiating element and needs a longer ground plane for optimal performance, thus typically, they are located on the short edge of the system PCB. Antenna positions also need to take consideration of user head and hand positions as well, if antenna is blocked by user hand, it will result in poor on-field performance, one good example is early iphone death grip, where the user finger covers antenna slot, essentially detuning antenna.

Expensive and well marketed off the shelf antenna doesn’t necessarily bring best antenna performance to your device, a simple , well designed and tuned PCB antenna might work well for your device. This will reduce your BOM and extra unnecessary assembling costs. Its not which antenna is used, rather how well an antenna is tuned to customer device is more important in order to achieve best wireless performance.

Modern 3D antenna/RF simulation tools enable to design an optimized antenna solution for your product, maximizing the RF performance and device range and thus it ensured a stable wireless communications and risk mitigation in rather expensive certification tests.

Typical customer requirements for IoT products :

Antenna performance requirement for IoT products :

Advantages of antenna simulation/ virtual prototyping:

Surface currents of an antenna positioned near to D-cell battery

Simulated antenna 3D radiation pattern

We, at CoreIoT Technologies Ltd., help companies in developing antenna solutions for their complex wireless systems. Our specialty in LTE, WiFi/BT, GPS, LoRa, Sub-GHz, 4G/5G, U.W.B, mmWave and custom antenna solutions for your wireless product.

 

Check how our engineers design and simulate antenna performance using state of the art EM-simulation tools.