Antennas Up at e-tenna

By Matthew Peretz

March 18, 2002

Hi-performance antenna designs for 802.11b and Bluetooth

The ClearLink 2400 Antenna, announced today by e-tenna Corporation, is designed to boost performance of 802.11b and Bluetooth networks. e-tenna, which is a subsidiary of The Titan Corporation, describes the antenna as an ultra-small, low-cost, low-profile antenna that the company states should have a positive impact on the overall bill of materials and performance characteristics for the wireless networks.

The ClearLink 2400 is available now for integration with 2.4 GHz devices. The company stated that the product can be integrated by manufacturers into any device in this class, including handsets, PDAs, and laptops. OEMs can also use the antenna to design a Bluetooth or 802.11b accessory that plugs into these devices.

ClearLink 2400 antenna design differentiates itself from conventional antenna design in its ability to control RF signals, stated e-tenna. Conventional antennas' performance characteristics are adversely affected by proximity to other radio components, including the battery, and size has a direct bearing on sensitivity. The result is typically that custom antennas must be designed individually for varying WLAN and PAN devices, with resultant cost increases and lags in product design cycles.

The ClearLink 2400 instead uses e-tenna's patented RF Mirror artificial magnetic conductor (AMC) technology to control RF energy and isolate the antenna from nearby components that could degrade system performance.

ClearLink's characteristics enable integration into a wireless module that can achieve a single-chip solution. The company stated that the antenna is 9mm x 13mm x 2.4mm (approximately) and weighs .25 grams. e-tenna stated that the ClearLink 2400 is "10 times smaller, 100 times lighter, and as much as 50 percent less costly than other wireless networking antenna solutions currently on the market."

e-tenna also stated that the design could be used to alleviate potential interference between Bluetooth and 802.11b, an issue that raised some concerns about the longevity of the former several months ago.

e-tenna reported that the ClearLink 2400 antenna can be integrated into devices today. Future plans include devices for the 5.2 GHz and 5.8 GHz wireless markets.

Matthew Peretz is Managing Editor of 802.11-Planet.com



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