The Internet of Things (IoT) consists of billions of connected devices. By 2025, it is estimated that global IoT connections will reach more than 42 billion devices, a 5-year Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 24%. Enabling this massive growth in connectivity is an unassuming, yet critical device component that enables data to be sent up to the cloud: the antenna. Central to an IoT system, the antenna is also one of the most difficult components to get right to address not only IoT edge device performance, but also cost and physical design requirements.Failure to successfully integrate and optimize the performance of the antenna component results in IoT devices not meeting certification requirements, time-consuming and expensive re-designs, or, in the worst cases, project failure because of faulty hardware.
This whitepaper introduces a new approach to antenna technology, called the Virtual Antenna™ technology, which aims to remove complexity for the hardware designer and help OEMs streamline their approach to building IoT solutions. It starts with a discussion of the technology and business factors affecting IoT antenna choice. It then outlines the key antenna design requirements and the challenges faced by OEMs to meet these requirements, including an analysis of existing antenna types. The paper concludes with an examination of the Virtual Antenna™ technology’s benefits and limitations relative to current antenna technologies, including an assessment of the IoT antenna market opportunity.