Wireless Systems Design

Ultra Wideband Welcomes Antenna Development

Since Ultra Wideband (UWB) technology was released by the FCC for commercial use, it has been hailed as the short-range wireless-communications standard of the future. For one thing, it promises to simultaneously provide a high data rate and low power consumption. By sending very low-power pulses below the transmission-noise threshold, UWB also avoids interference—a characteristic that is vital to home-networking applications. Recog-nizing the industry's need for such a technology, both the IEEE and organizations in other countries are now working to develop UWB guidelines. It has become the responsibility of the wireless industry to help UWB make the transition from military applications to widespread commercial use.

By developing products around the standard, companies can push UWB's mainstream adoption. For example, the Taiyo Yuden R&D Center of America (www.trda-inc.com)—the U.S. R&D arm of Taiyo Yuden Co. Ltd.—has successfully developed the first ceramic chip antenna for Ultra Wideband applications (see figure). Such miniaturization was previously unattainable. In the past, this problem actively hindered the commercial progress of UWB.

Thanks to TRDA, UWB can soon begin reaping the benefits of a miniaturized antenna. Ultra Wideband technology can now be implemented in a host of commercial applications. For instance, it could enable the greater downsizing of portable devices. Or, UWB could make streaming video available for the 3.1-to-10.6-GHz frequency band.

To achieve this innovation, TRDA relied upon Taiyo Yuden's ceramic-material, multi-layer-stacking, and high-frequency design technologies. The result is a 10-×-8-×-1-mm UWB chip antenna. Aside from its impact on UWB, this antenna carries a special significance for the company. It completes Taiyo Yuden's offering of a total 1-mm antenna solution for the full range of current and next-generation products.

Currently, Taiyo Yuden is releasing engineering samples of the UWB antenna to standardization working groups in various locations, including Japan. Other companies also are working to fill in some UWB gaps. With standardization and product development underway, it seems that UWB may be conquering the short-range wireless world sooner than expected.

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