The newest additions to a line of miniature antennas include surface-mount (SMT) ceramic devices optimized for 433- and 870-MHz operation. The antennas target low-data-transfer, unidirectional wireless communication systems. The 433-MHz version, which measures 37.5 by 6.8 by 0.9 mm, suits television and car ignition remote controls, remote fire detectors with a wireless connection to computer-controlled alarm systems, and wireless-based identification tags for routing luggage in airports. The 870-MHz version, which measures 16.5 by 14.0 by 0.9 mm, also fits in the aforementioned applications, as well as applications that require a faster response (e.g., remote-controlled garage-door opening systems). The miniature antennas connect to the RF module on the board via a 50-‡ transmission line. Both are manufactured using low-temperature co-fired ceramic (LTCC) multilayer technology. LTCC is sintered at a temperature of about 1000°C, saving energy when compared to standard ceramics that require sintering temperatures of around 1300°C. The ceramic is also manufactured using a proprietary nontoxic water-based production process with lead-free terminations. The ceramic antennas range in price from $0.72 to $0.88 each, depending on quantity ordered.
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