Antenna Designs for Notebook Computers - Pattern Measurements and Performance Considerations

The proliferation of WiFi connectivity has brought with it the need to embedded antenna solutions for a variety of platforms. The most common integration effort recently has been associated with laptop and notebook portable computers. Historically, this includes the PCMCIA card, the USB 802.11 dongle, and the totally integrated solution with radio and antenna in notebook base or screen (lid). Each of these efforts represented a learning process for the industry specifically with respect to production performance variability, radiation efficiency, pattern coverage, and cost. Cost reduction has been the trend in all aspects of WiFi integration with specific minimum requirements for performance.

This paper describes several issues related to the integration of WiFi antennas into notebook computers—specifically choice of location and resulting pattern coverage, radiation efficiency, and antenna design factors relating to cost. In addition, it is intended to illustrate some of the pitfalls, successes, and performance expectations achievable with certain designs and possible solutions for improvement.