Laird offers first flexible PIFA antenna for metal surfaces
Believed to be the industry’s first adhesive-backed flexible antenna designed to be used directly on metal surfaces, the mFlexPIFA, will enable the internet of things (IoT) to continue its explosive growth to about 50 billion connected things worldwide by 2020, says Laird.
The patented Laird mFlexPIFA antenna is about the size and thickness of a quarter coin, and is suitable for wirelessly connecting everything from household appliances and automated equipment to medical devices and millions of other items, according to Laird. It is based on a planer inverted-F antenna (PIFA) structure comprised of a mylar antenna element with a foam core, resulting in a low profile, flexible antenna.
The mFlexPIFA antenna can be mounted in a range of embedded and external applications with metal surfaces and enclosures. It is available in a 2.4GHz version for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Zigbee, Thread, and general industrial, scientific and medical (ISM) applications. It is also certified for use in selected Laird Bluetooth and Wi-Fi modules.
Importantly, says Laird, the mFlexPIFA enables the antenna to be placed directly onto metal surfaces without detuning the antenna. Until now, this has been a major challenge faced by product designers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). It also can be used on curved — concave or convex — metal surfaces to provide greater flexibility in design and superior antenna gain and performance.
“Products with a lot of integrated metal and metal enclosures have historically provided significant challenges for antenna implementation, and Laird has solved this problem with the mFlexPIFA,” said Scott Lordo, Laird’s senior vice president and general manager. “Typically, placing an antenna near metal surfaces will detune the antenna, but the mFlexPIFA addresses this critical technical challenge,” he adds.
Laird is a global technology company that enables connectivity in mission-critical systems through innovative wireless applications and antenna solutions, and components and solutions that protect electronics from electromagnetic interference (EMI) and heat.
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