Multilayer Chip Antenna Placement & Matching

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  • Author: Muhammad Ali Khalid, Simon Mark & DR. Richard Blakey

The trend to miniaturize wireless communication devices has led to decreased PCB sizes and increased component densities. Although this shift to miniaturized technology has aided many areas of electronic design, it constrains RF front-end design. Due to the nature of antennas sending and receiving electromagnetic signals, they interact and are affected by the entire surrounding environment and are extremely sensitive to electromagnetic fields. This can be extremely problematic for RF engineers when integrating into a design an antenna that is small, has good gain and efficiency in the frequency range of operation, and is able to work as desired indifferent PCB environments. Multilayer chip antennas are an interesting choice for engineers, who are restricted by cost and space requirements in wireless system design. Low temperature co-fired ceramic (LTCC) multilayer chip antennas are formed from several layers of dielectric material, which are pressed and fired together into a monolithic structure. Each dielectric layer has patterned metallization on the surface that connects to other layers through vias.The layers and vias form a helical multilayer antenna. This application note explains how to get the maximum performance from the Würth Elektronik WE-MCA Multilayer Chip Antenna with respect to antenna placement on a PCB and effective impedance matching.

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