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Thursday, August 17, 2017

First flexible 2.4GHz antenna designed specifically for metal surfaces

By Nick Flaherty

Laird has developed a flexible 2.4GHz antenna designed to be used directly on metal surfaces without detuning, boosting the performance of IoT applications. A higher performance antenna provides longer range or longer battery life.

The patented mFlexPIFA antenna is just 2mm thick and aimed at wirelessly connecting everything from household appliances and automated equipment to medical devices and millions of other items. It is based on a Planer Inverted-F Antenna (PIFA) structure comprised of a mylar antenna element with a foam core, resulting in a low profile, flexible antenna.

The mFlexPIFA antenna can be mounted in a wide range of embedded and external applications with metal surfaces and enclosures. It is available in a 2.4 GHz version for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Zigbee, Thread, and general ISM applications. It is also certified for use in selected Laird Bluetooth and Wi-Fi modules.

The key is that the antenna can be placed directly onto metal surfaces without detuning the antenna, which until now has been a major challenge for product designers and OEMs. It also can be used on concave or convex curved metal surfaces to provide greater flexibility in design.

“Products with a lot of integrated metal and metal enclosures have historically provided significant challenges for antenna implementation, and Laird has solved this problem with the mFlexPIFA,” said Scott Lordo, Laird’s senior vice president and general manager. “Typically, placing an antenna near metal surfaces will detune the antenna, but the mFlexPIFA addresses this critical technical challenge.

“The mFlexPIFA joins our family of antenna solutions that are engineered to provide unmatched quality and flexibility, and solve real-world antenna design challenges, especially in products that will become a part of the Internet of Things,” he said, adding that Laird is a trusted source for wireless design, and provides custom antenna design services, product development, and on-site EMC certification and testing.

For more information about Laird’s mFlexPIFA, click here

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