Shrinking tracker designs with the ‘Pharaoh’ 4G antenna

8th April 2022
Sam Holland

Antenova Ltd has halved the footprint of its 4G cellular antennas with its latest offering, the Pharaoh SMD (surface mount device) antenna.

Designed for small PCBs, Antenova’s Pharaoh antenna (P/N SR4L073) covers all 4G frequencies: 698 to 824MHz, 824 to 960MHz, 1,710 to 2,170MHz, 2,300 to 2,400MHz and 2,500 to 2,690MHz.

The Pharaoh’s small ground requirement offers designers a huge advantage in designs on a small circuit board, such as miniature pet trackers, wearables or OBD-II designs.

This antenna was tested with evaluation boards of 50 by 40mm and 60 by 40mm and its performance-to-footprint ratio out-ranked competing 4G antennas for small circuit boards. They typically require a minimum 60 by 40 milimetres of space, utilise large and costly band switching networks and display lower levels of efficiency.

Critically, the Pharaoh’s performance on small PCBs is above the level required to pass PTCRB tests for cellular networks.

Michael Castle, Product Marketing Manager at Antenova Ltd explains: “The performance of an antenna is directly related to the length of its ground plane. At the lowest 4G frequency, 698MHz, the wavelength λ for electromagnetic radiation is 42.95cm. Most antennas require a ground plane of a quarter wavelength, which means they need a space of 107mm to operate effectively. Our Pharaoh antenna smashes this rule and uses about half of this area.”

Antenova supplies the Pharaoh SR4L073 antenna with a reference design and matching network to help integrate the antenna into a device and shorten the design cycle.

Pharaoh is the latest addition to Antenova’s product portfolio which includes a range of tiny, embedded antennas for LTE, 5G and LP-WAN.

Antenova is committed to helping customers integrate embedded antennas into devices of all kinds and provides consultancy and testing services and a selection of online tools and calculators to help designers achieve a successful integration and a high performance wireless device.

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