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Tiny Surface-Mount GPS Antenna Delivers 80% Efficiency

In the W3011/3011A surface-mount GPS antenna, designers can take advantage of what's billed as the world's smallest GPS antenna and the highest-performing antenna in its size category. This miniscule ceramic device is highly suited for designing into any and all systems that must access satellite GPS signals, including mobile phones, navigation systems, and small portable GPS receivers.

Measuring 3.2 mm wide x 1.6 mm long x 1.1 mm tall and weighing 0.033 grams, the W3011 antenna boasts an efficiency of 80% across an operating-temperature range of -40 to +85C. It consumes a board footprint of 4 x 4.25 mm; despite its smallness, the antenna's footprint is designed using standard SMD compatible mechanics in order to meet electrical and mechanical installation requirements. The W3011A version is slightly larger and requires a bit more PCB area, but provides marginally more gain and efficiency.

By way of comparison, a standard patch antenna is some 440 times larger in volume (cubic millimeters) than the W3011. But according to Pulse, the W3011 is 20% more efficient than that much-larger patch antenna. Thus, it provides a viable answer to designers looking to incorporate GPS signal capability into their products, but have limited room for an antenna.

The antenna is designed for 1.575 GHz (10 MHz) and is suited for the L1 GPS band. The linear-polarization device provides an omnidirectional radiation pattern and is immune to the detuning effect caused by proximity to a user's hand or body. Return loss is a minimum of -12 dB on band edges. The antennas present an impedance of 50 Ω, unbalanced, to their feedline.

The W3011 antenna is RoHS compliant and compatible with lead-free, surface-mount processes and has been field-tested to ensure quality and reliability. The antenna is available in tape-and-reel format. Lead times for Pulse's ceramic GPS antennas are six to eight weeks with prices starting at $0.44 per unit for quantities of 100,000. Individual part pricing may vary due to order configuration and shipping destination. Contact Pulse directly for engineering samples.

Pulse Engineering Inc.

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