March 19, 2012 Press Release
* new technology for
antenna companies, communications OEMs, RF designers
* sub-10-cents BOM can slash the costs of multi-radio
Wallop, UK, March 19, 2012 --- A novel and low cost antenna design offering efficient performance across multiple
frequency bands is available from Ploughshare Innovations - the company that licenses intellectual property
developed by the UK's Defence Science and Technology Laboratory. With a bill of materials (BOM) cost that is
expected to be under 10 cents in volume, the new component can replace several antennas, to save on both the BOM
and manufacturing costs of new generations of radio-equipped products.
The patented new design concept
was created to eliminate the proliferation of antennas on military equipment, and is now being offered for
licensing and further development to suit commercial applications. Ploughshare expects the new intellectual
property to be of interest to antenna manufacturers, radio equipment OEMs, designers supporting wireless chipsets
with reference designs, and design consultants in the RF marketplace.
"The burgeoning demand for wireless
communications has led to an array of standards for different applications, and considerable market pull to
combine multiple protocols into one device," says Toby Proctor of Ploughshare Innovations. "This novel antenna
provides new flexibility for OEMs working in these market segments, and we are looking for a partner that has the
capability to take a proven design concept and adapt it for commercial applications."
wideband antenna is a cylindrical 'top hat' shape employing a novel capacitive coupling structure to provide good
radio frequency (RF) performance characteristics across multiple bands. Its ability to be tuned to operate across
a wide frequency band offers designers the potential to significantly reduce the size and build cost of many
emergent types of communications and consumer equipment. It can also substantially reduce the design complexity
that many electronics designers currently face as they attempt to integrate antennas for multiple RF protocols -
and often antenna diversity as well - into increasingly smaller spaces.
One current circuit-board-mountable prototype version of the antenna has been produced and tested for operation
over the 2.1 to 5 GHz band, where it offers an omnidirectional radiation pattern with a gain of 5 dBi, radiation
efficiency of more than 95%, and a 1.92:1 VSWR (voltage standing wave ratio). This high level of performance is
achieved by an antenna structure assembled from just four simple metal and dielectric parts with a BOM cost that
is expected to be under 10 cents in volume. The example design has an overall height of 1.5 cm and a footprint
diameter of 2 cm. By varying the mechanical geometries and the properties of the dielectric material, the
antenna's propagation characteristics may be tuned for other RF bands of interest to OEMs.
In this form,
Ploughshare believes the antenna has potential applications to simplify the design of a range of wireless
communications infrastructure equipment such as routers and in-building basestations, or in industrial and
consumer radio equipment such as smart utility meter reading terminals or media streaming devices in home
Ploughshare has also produced a design prototype for a second version of the
antenna that is capable of operating across an even wider range of frequencies - such as 100 MHz to 6 GHz. This
example design has a height of 10 cm and a footprint diameter of 20 cm.
A datasheet on the new antenna is downloadable from <www.ploughshareinnovations.com
About Ploughshare Innovations and Dstl
Ploughshare Innovations manages the commercial
licensing to industry of intellectual property developed by the UK's Defence Science and Technology Laboratory
(Dstl). Ploughshare’s goal is to give clients a competitive edge, by lowering technology risk, reducing R&D costs,
speeding time to market, and maximizing the business opportunity. It provides leading edge, application focused
technology, backed up with the assurance of advanced IP support and protection. Ploughshare is a wholly owned
subsidiary of Dstl. Dstl maximises the impact of science and technology for the defence and security of the UK. It
supplies sensitive and specialist science and technology services for the UK Ministry of Defence and wider
government, saving lives in the UK, overseas and on the frontline. For more information
Ploughshare Innovations Ltd
Nine Mile Water Business Park,
Nether Wallop, SO20 8DR, UK.
t: +44 (0)1794