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Wireless Systems Design

WLAN Internal Antennas Increase Range


Designers are busy adding wireless networking to products everywhere. To do so effectively, however, they must have the product comply with IEEE 802.11b while preparing it for 802.11a. Operating on the 2.400-to-2.485-GHz and 5.150-to-5.825-GHz frequency bands, the DualNet MPCI module from Ethertronics enables such cross compatibility. At the same time, it allows product designers to deliver improved wireless range and performance in compact products.

The DualNet MPCI, or mini-PCI diversity antenna module, is the company's latest addition to the TrueNet line of WLAN internal antennas. It was designed for the internal mini-PCI cards that are integrated inside notebook computers and other mobile devices. It therefore leaves the PC-card expansion slot vacant.

The antenna module consists of two multiband antennas supporting 802.11a and b networks. They deliver up to twice the range of existing internal antenna systems. Because the pair is equipped with its own ground plane and standard connector cables, it can be easily mounted inside a notebook or portable device with minimal interaction with the host system.

This compact, cost-effective internal antenna solution promises to provide enhanced performance. It boasts in-creased range/data throughput with improved sensitivity in low signal environments. The solution features two isolated antennas that deliver greater performance (isolation >15 dB). As noted, its two isolated antennas cover several WLAN frequency bands, saving cost and space. The solution also offers flexible integration. The high isolation allows for easier integration and less interaction with the host system, offering consistent performance across multiple platforms.

This solution was spawned from the company's Isolated Magnetic Dipole (IMD) antennas. IMD antennas use proprietary "shaping technology" to control and redirect the near-field electromagnetic distribution of the antenna's wave. They minimize the interaction with surrounding objects or components as well.

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