Antenna development remains one of the more mysterious sides of RF design, due to the complex electromagnetic (EM) fields transmitted and received by antennas. In the hopes of demystifying antennas for many wireless applications, Antenova Ltd. (Cambridge, England) has launched a range of antenna modules that integrate and match the antenna with the surrounding RF components. Available in various cellular, Personal Communications Services (PCS), and wireless-local-area-network (WLAN) frequency bands, the company hopes that these RADIONOVA integrated antenna modules will cut the cost and complexity of adding wireless connectivity to mobile telephones and other mobile electronic devices.

RADIONOVA antenna modules combine RF components with the company's unique high-efficiency high-dielectric-antenna (HDA) technology. The high dielectric constants of the materials used to fabricate these antennas results in designs that are much smaller than conventional printed antennas.

In contrast to conventional dipole (balanced) antennas which fare poorly in the presence of a full ground plane , Antenova's balanced designs can be surface-mounted on a cellular telephone's PCB while providing high omnidirectional gain.

The company's initial RADIONOVA antenna modules are the GSM RADIONOVA and the UMTS RADIONOVA (see figure). The first module incorporates the equivalent of a single antenna for one of the low-bands (either 850 or 900 MHz) and high-band (1710 to 1990 MHz) Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) operation. A dual-band CDMA module incorporating GPS (Global Positioning System) will soon be added to the range. The peak antenna element gain is 0 dBi while the return loss is −6 dB. The surface-mountable module exhibits 50-Ω impedance for an unbalanced feed and 100-Ω impedance for a balanced feed. The antenna element volume is less than 4.3 cm3 without the electronics bay and less than 5.1 cm3 with the electronics bay. The UMTS RADIONOVA module is slightly larger in volume with the electronics bay at 5.4 cm3. Designed for use in third-generation cellular (3G) Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) handsets, the module covers 1920 to 2170 MHz with similar electrical performance as that of the GSM RADIONOVA module. Antenova Ltd., Far Field House, Albert Rd., Stow-cum-Quy, Cambridge CB5 9AR, England; +44 (0) 1223 810600, FAX: +44 (0) 1223 810650, Internet: www.antenova.com.