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Small SMD antenna optimizes use of PCB space

25 May 2012

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Molex Inc. has announced its 2.4GHz SMD on-ground antenna, the smallest molded interconnect device antenna in the market. The company claims that having been developed with the power and precision of laser direct structuring (LDS) technology, Molex's antenna offers significant PCB real-estate savings. It also requires no PCB ground clearance, and it only weighs 0.03g. It is used in portable electronic devices based on Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, ZigBee and other wireless standards, including tablets, headsets, and smart meters.

The antenna has an extremely small footprint, at only 3x3x4mm (0.118x0.118x0.157in). This allows board makers to save on PCB space by leaving the ground layers in the PCB intact. It also frees up the same area on the reverse side of the PCB for additional component assemblies, since it is mounted only on one side of the PCB. The LCP body of the antenna offers good thermal properties and provides a higher mechanical strain tolerance than ceramic ones. The accuracy and precision of the LDS process ensures consistent RF performance.

Says Ellen McMillan, vice president and general manager, antenna business unit, commercial products division at Molex "OEMs and other device makers are under a lot of pressure to make 2.4GHz wireless implementations highly compact, Molex is now offering the smallest SMD antenna in its class, for optimal use of PCB space."

The 2.4GHz SMD on-ground antenna is a monopole antenna with an omni-directional radiation pattern. It requires only simple stripline matching on the PCB itself, without the need for discrete components.

The antenna is fully compatible with SMD and reflow processes and is usable as a standalone device without the need for cable connection. It offers users greater ease of component integration, assembly and lower cost. The antenna is RoHS-compliant and halogen-free and is available in standard tape-on-reel packaging.

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