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Why are antenna simulations crucial for your wireless product success?

Building physical prototypes of complex products can be costly and time-consuming. Antenna/RF solutions for today’s wireless product require sophisticated 3D simulations to estimate actual antenna performance even before prototypes are built.

Here, we like to give some insights into 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 se 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 massive difference between a well-tuned antenna, and one customer assumes its well-tuned.

Dielectric properties of plastic materials do impact antenna tuning. Thus the choice of material is essential for optimal RF performance. The 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 the system ground plane should start at the beginning of the project. For example, for LTE antennas or any sub-GHz antennas, use the ground plane as the main radiating element and needs a more extended 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 the user’s head and hand views as well. If the antenna is blocked by the user’s hand, it will result in poor on-field performance; one good example is the new 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 the best antenna performance to your device, a simple, well designed and tuned PCB antenna might work well for your device. It will reduce your BOM and extra unnecessary assembling costs. It’s not which antenna is used; instead of how well an antenna is tuned to the customer device is more critical to achieving the best wireless performance.

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

Typical customer requirements for IoT & other products :

The antenna performance requirement for IoT & other 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, UWB, 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.