Chip antennas

Chip antenna
Chip antenna

Chip antennas are valued for their small space requirement. They are usually assembled onto the PCB. Chip antennas emit and receive electromagnetic waves like any external antenna. The biggest difference is their small size. They can be built into small electronic devices. They are also inexpensive.

Chip antennas are divided into electrical and magnetic antennas. Electrical antennas are sensitive to nearby objects and can be built with a wide bandwidth. Magnetic antennas are less sensitive to objects near the antenna. Unfortunately, this means that the bandwidth is smaller.

The chip antenna is one half of the antenna system. The PCB ground plane is the other half. As with any monopole antenna, the tuning and radiation pattern of a chip antenna depends on the shape and size of the ground plane.

The associated data sheets give radiation patterns, bandwidth, peak gain, return loss and other parameters for the antenna. However, these parameters refer to and enclosed reference drawing, so your final results may well differ. For this reason, it is important to pay close attention to the PCB dimensions in the enclosed reference drawing. Note that these power measurements refer to the exact dimensions of the ground plane.

The right chip antenna for your application will be different on a case-by-case basis. The Crout Team will be happy to help with advice. To avoid unpleasant surprises, we recommend a test setup with the chip antenna in the plastic enclosure of the planned IoT device with a test PCB without components. This test PCB only requires one coaxial connector and some pads for the parts in the matching circuit. The coaxial connector is used to generate a test signal with the Vector Network Analyser and measure the return loss. More about this test setup here.