Software underlies smart antenna

Sunday 7th October 2012
Sofant's MEMS evaluation kit

After seven years R&D at Edinburgh University, Sofant now aims to license its antenna designs to global smart phone manufacturers and is projecting a turnover of over £10m in year five. The smart phone market now larger than the PC market has an estimated five billion units to be manufactured over the next five years.

Sergio Tansini, (right) CEO of Sofant Technologies, explains: "Antenna design has not kept pace with the rapid evolution of the smart phone technology. New communication protocols, such as LTE and 4G, mean more pressure than ever on existing antenna technology, further impacting smart phone performance and user experience.
"Smart phone and tablet users expect to be able to make and take phone calls while browsing the web, send texts while downloading emails and stream data while uploading videos to YouTube.

"The reality is that, until now, the antenna has acted as a bottleneck to performance in mobile devices. As a result, every new generation of smart phone performs less well than its predecessor, resulting in dropped calls, lost signals, weak connections, slow internet and battery drain. Sofant's high performance miniaturised steerable antenna will change the performance and user experience of smart phones forever."

Sofant has integrated three core technologies to create the smallest smart antenna. The two designs family  comprise the tunable RF MEMS modules and Sofant Intelligent Software. Technologies can be licensed individually or as a single smart micro antenna system. Sofant has already licensed an early technology demonstrator to a large OEM, attracting considerable interest from leading manufacturers.

Sofant realises smart and software driven antenna and RF solutions for mobile devices. The technology allows the antenna to be miniaturized as well as being intelligent through the power of Sofant Intelligent Software (SISTM), SGATM antenna designs, SUMTM switches and proprietary algorithms.

Key enabler for Sofant antenna solutions is the novel proprietary RF MEMS switch technology. The switches are ultra low power, smaller and more reliable than any other MEMS switch on the market. Sofant's switches are unique as they are based on Sofant's SUMTM patented technology.

Sofant's software enables best performance, reliable connections, lower RF power consumption, better signal quality eliminating issues such as dead zones and weak signals. AvtoRFTM products range allow smart and automatically tunable RF for mobile devices. This allows best wireless performance with additional life to the mobile battery.

This technology is MIMO ready allowing higher data rates and continuous connectivity. Sofant targets various communication systems including WiFi, 3G, WiMAX, LTE, 4G.



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