Upping the ante on tenable celluar signals

November 8, 2012 - 01:20 PM |
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The duties of a mobile phone have changed drastically over the past decade, starting as a simple voice communications tool and evolving into today's video phones, movie players and occasionally productivity tools.  There is one thing inside every cell phone which has not changed at the same pace but is vital to the functionality of the phone, the antenna.  As the expectations of fast transfer speeds rise with the advent of new communication standards like LTE, phone manufacturers are faced with two growing problems.  The first is the diminishing tolerances allowed on the antennas, while less than perfect tuning was acceptable for GSM you cannot let the tuning slip with higher bandwidth standards.  The second is the growing electronic background noise which is omnipresent and growing each year, causing degradation of your cellular signal. The solution might be RF-MEMS ( Radio Frequency Micro-ElectroMechanical Systems) antennas with software controllable tuning which could ease the difficulties of providing tighter tolerances and boosting signals.  The Inquirer covers two companies working on this technology here.

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"Smartphones nowadays come with big screens, megapixel-packed cameras and, thanks to apps, many, many more features than anyone could have dreamed of in the early days of mobile telephony. It has even reached the stage where making telephone calls is just one small part of a modern phone. And yet the need to support all the radio technologies punters expect to be able to use, for voice and for data, ensures that wireless communications is still the hardest part of a phone’s design to get right."

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Source: The Register