Diversity Antenna Module Broadens Wireless Range

This dual-antenna solution provides designers with drop-in connectivity for MPCI cards, while supporting 802.11a and 802.11b networks.

Cross-compatibility is the standout feature of the DualNet mini-peripheral-component-interface (MPCI) Internal Antenna Module from Ethertronics (San Diego, CA). By operating on the 2.400-to-2.485-GHz and 5.150-to-5.825-GHz frequency bands, the MPCI module enables compatibility between the IEEE 802.11a and b protocols. With these multiband capabilities, original-equipment manufacturers (OEMs) should be able to easily integrate diversity into their products. They can support today's WLAN standards while preparing for the protocol of tomorrow—without needing an antenna upgrade.This module is designed for the internal MPCI cards that are integrated inside mobile devices. As a result, it leaves the personal-computer (PC)-card expansion slot vacant.

The module comprises two multiband Isolated-Magnetic-Dipole (IMD) antennas. As a result, the solution allows designers to deliver improved wireless range and performance in compact products (see figure). Because it comes equipped with its own ground plane and standard connector cables, the antenna pair can be easily mounted inside a device with minimal interaction with the host system. Its enhanced performance is derived from its increased range/data throughput with improved sensitivity in low signal environments. As a diversity solution, the module features two isolated antennas that deliver greater performance. With isolation above 15 dB, it promises better performance even in tough RF environments.

Thanks to the IMD antennas' proprietary shaping technology, the module controls and redirects the near-field electromagnetic (EM) distribution of the antenna's wave. It optimizes performance by improving signal strength and data quality inside buildings, as well as in noisy environments and fringe network-coverage areas. Within an enclosure, the product's typical characteristics include a peak gain of 2 dBi for the 2.400-to-2.485-GHz band and 5 dBi for the 5.150-to-5.350- and 5.725-to-5.825-GHz bands. Its efficiency is 80 percent in the lower band and 75 percent in the higher bands. The VSWR match is 2:1 across all frequencies. The module comes in a 137 × 23 × 3-mm package. The DualNet MPCI is now shipping for $9.95 each. Contact the company for quantity pricing. Ethertronics, 9605 Scranton Rd., Suite 850, San Diego, CA 92121; (858) 550-3820, FAX: (858) 550-3821, Internet: www.ethertronics.com.

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