You don’t need an inter-planetary antenna to realise the difference Greg McCray has made to the fortunes of Antenova since he became CEO.Tech savvy and markets streetwise, McCray has presided over a huge improvement in fortunes and perception for the Cambridge-based integrated antenna and RF solutions company.
Its latest play is its greatest example. Antenova has launched in July 2012 an LTE antenna reference design for smartphones which covers the global LTE bands.
McCray said Antenova’s “wideband and efficient” antenna design overcame the difficulty of covering all the LTE frequency bands without the use of switches or tunable active components.
This promises to result in a significantly lower cost LTE MIMO (Multiple-In-Multiple-Out) antenna system for smartphones.
McCray says: “LTE is the fastest developing mobile system technology ever and is on every mobile device makers’ roadmap. However the goal of a truly global LTE smartphone imposes great challenges on the antenna system.
“While the current majority of LTE user devices operate in the 700 MHz band, which has been heavily driven by the US market, rollout of LTE networks in other regions now require devices to operate in the LTE frequency bands utilised in those markets as well.
“Antenova has been working with Tier 1 smartphone, tablet and notebook vendors and providing them with patented and novel LTE antenna solutions with both custom antenna designs and antenna reference designs.”
The new A10453 is a fixed frequency LTE antenna that covers LTE 700, GSM850, GSM900, DCS1800, PCS1900, WCDMA2100, LTE B7 (2500-2690 MHz), LTE B38 (2570-2620 MHz), and LTE B40 (2300 – 2400 MHz) bands.
According to the company, when utilised in Antenova’s MIMO configuration, the antenna system provides:-
• Total efficiencies of more than 50 per cent over all bands with an average efficiency over all bands of 61 per cent
• Isolation between two antenna elements below -10dB over all bands
• Return loss better than 6dB over all frequency bands and better than 10dB on LTE B7
• Superior hand and head performance
McCray says the A10453 could be realised using flexi or LDS on a plastic carrier and customised to fit specific mechanical IDs. “The extremely wide frequency range and MIMO requirements of the LTE specification poses many technical challenges to the antenna design as well as bill of materials (BOM) costs as more active components are normally required to cover all the LTE bands.
“Antenova has overcome these challenges and can now provide device manufacturers an LTE Antenna Reference Design which provides high efficiency across all LTE bands, a lower BOM cost than active solutions and excellent hand and head performance.”
Antenova was founded in 1999 with the objective of commercially exploiting smart antenna technology and research from Sheffield University in the UK and Griffith University, Australia. But it is a vastly more mature business in technology terms.
Antenova has corporate, sales and R & D headquarters in Cambridge, UK. Antenova Asia Ltd. has its office in Taipei, serving wider Asia. Antenova also has a design and support centre in Chicago, Illinois, which also serves as its North American headquarters and RF center of excellence.
The company has further sales and support locations in Shanghai and Shenzhen in China and Seoul, the capital of South Korea.
• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Greg McCray