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Simplify antenna integration to accelerate product release

IoT antenna integration is fundamental to the performance of connected devices. Depending on the use case and device design, there are significant considerations to take into account when selecting antennas. These range from the obvious, such as whether to specify an embedded or external antenna, to the subtle, such as how to avoid interference.

As more and more devices connect, and become smaller and more sophisticated, antennas must now be selected to address size constraints, power consumption requirements and the need for flexible installation. Device developers and designers therefore need to consider antenna capabilities, characteristics and requirements at the design stage to ensure costly redesign isn’t required if antennas are added in later.

A recent Quectel Masterclass titled ‘Integrating antennas with new IoT devices: challenges and solutions’ set out key antenna criteria to demystify the antenna market for developers. The Masterclass, presented by Victor Pinazo, the antenna PDM for the EMEA region at Quectel, introduces the needs of modern IoT devices in relation to antennas and explains the challenges and trade-offs that developers can experience and address when making their antenna design decisions.

The Masterclass also introduces modern antenna technologies to help designers find an optimum balance between performance, cost, size and power consumption. In addition, the Masterclass details the Quectel range of antennas and the FAE support that Quectel can provide across the entire lifecycle to ensure certification and compliance, and ultimately to accelerate time-to-market for IoT devices. The Masterclass can be viewed here:

Antenna integration choices: 5G mmWave, external and combo antennas

A specific consideration for device designers is which antenna integration decisions to make for the 5G mmWave era. 5G introduces a range of new capabilities of which mmWave and beamforming have significant implications on antenna selection. A recent Quectel Masterclass, ‘Antenna design for the 5G mmWave era and beyond‘, explored the latest IoT antenna technologies and design considerations for achieving high data rates, low latency and reliable connections for mmWave frequency bands.

Presented by Andy Wang, an antenna FAE at Quectel, the session introduced mmWave and Quectel’s 5G antenna range before providing an overview of antenna arrays and sharing mmWave applications. Wang explains the essentials and challenges around beamforming, massive MIMO and phased array antennas. He also shared practical tips for optimizing antenna performance so developers can create IoT solutions that optimize integration of antennas. The Masterclass can be viewed here:

For use cases that need high redundancy and the ability to access multiple types of network connectivity, combination – or combo – antennas provide a means to accommodate multiple technologies in a single unit. As you would expect, combo antennas are more complex than single technology antennas and the inter-relationships between varying connectivity technologies such as 5G, LTE, Wi-Fi and GPS/GNSS need to be considered to ensure optimized application in the design of devices.

Combo antenna capabilities and how to optimize them while accounting for issues such as cable loss, varying IP rating standards and international certification, were explored in a recent Quectel Masterclass titled ‘Achieving flexible wireless connectivity with external and combo antennas – EMEA’. Presented by Victor Pinzano, the antenna PDM for the EMEA region at Quectel, and Alberto Bortolotti, an antenna technical sales manager, EMEA, at Quectel, the session introduces external and combo antennas, explores compatibility with different wireless technologies and explains how to overcome common installation challenges. The Masterclass can be viewed at:

All three Masterclass webinar videos provide indispensable information for designers and developers, helping to highlight important antenna attributes across the IoT landscape. The good news is that Quectel has a wide range of IoT antennas to suit every use case and developers can confidently select the antenna best suited to the network technology they select, the space available, the power consumption requirements and the performance characteristics of their device. Importantly, Quectel has the capability to integrate antennas with modules, enabling faster time to market and removing integration complexity from the antenna selection task.

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