Antenova Puts 802.11, Bluetooth Together

By Eric Griffith

February 18, 2003

The company's heavily-isolated ceramic 'co-existence antenna' may make it easier to create dual Bluetooth and Wi-Fi products.

In Cannes, France, at the 2003 3GSM World Congress this week, antenna maker Antenova took the wraps off a new antenna using its high dielectric antenna (HDA) technology that is says will allow Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, which both operate in the 2.4GHz radio frequency band, to work simultaneously in the same access point with limited distance between them, making for smaller hardware products.

The antennas, dubbed HDA 2000, are made from ceramic, not metal, and according to Colin Ribton, director of projects at the UK-based company, that means "they can be heavily isolated from their environment."

"We've put two antennas close together, less than six centimeters [2.4 inches] apart, but got 40dB of isolation," says Ribton. "That's something you can't do with an ordinary metal antenna. They couple together so both signals are the same, effectively. Now we can have two 2.4 GHz antennas, so Bluetooth toes through one, with an asynchronous 802.11b in another."

Each surface mounted antenna goes on the same side of the printed circuit board (PCB) and measure only 15.6 x 7.2 x 4.6 millimeters.

Ribton says the HDA design will let both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi run at their full data rate, without squeezing either.

He also says that the company has a client lined up already to make a dual-mode access point using the antennas, but without a release date set yet -- he expects in the begging of the second quarter of 2003.

While not a big player for access by devices in the United States, Bluetooth is making faster inroads in Europe in handsets and other products.

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