June 03, 2019

Improve Wi-Fi Performances While Saving Costs with the Technicolor Antenna Lab.

With new wireless technology standards gaining momentum, such as Wi-Fi 6 and EasyMesh, NSPs’ subscribers are going to experience several improvements in the way content and data are distributed simultaneously across several devices in the home.

With new wireless technology standards gaining momentum, such as Wi-Fi 6 and EasyMesh, NSPs’ subscribers are going to experience several improvements in the way content and data are distributed simultaneously across several devices in the home. However, if the implementation of a Wi-Fi 6 / EasyMesh chipset can be done in a snap, it is not enough to deliver a best-in-class solution at a controlled cost.

Technicolor has proven many times that the latest Wi-Fi standards coupled with the maximum number of antennas does not necessarily offer the best performance at the best price. Careful antenna design and placement associated with extensive testing plays a big role in cost and performance optimization.

Technicolor has unique expertise in this area through their dedicated Antenna Lab which has locations in France, USA and China. The Lab works in conjunction with ODMs, chipset vendors and customers. Our experts oversee requirement definitions, design, conception, optimization and characterization of antennas. Our expertise covers a wide spectrum of standards and technologies, including: Wi-Fi, DECT, RF4CE, Bluetooth, Zigbee, Zwave, 4G/LTE, GPS, 433/868MHz radios, NFC and of course 5G.

In fact, there are several constraints to deal with when positioning and designing antennas. On the mechanical side, antennas must be placed “far” from metallic parts (heat-spreader, shielding, huge components, HDD) and far from the main board because these factors have significant effects on the antenna characteristics (directivity, frequency bandwidth, impedance, etc.).

Antennas also need to be kept away from noise sources (metallic parts as well as SoC, DDR, SATA and USB connectors). A good isolation must also be ensured between antennas themselves (Wi-Fi but also other Bluetooth, Zigbee, LTE). Radiations must also be considered to deliver a quasi-omnidirectional performance. The main challenge is therefore to arrange antennas in a way thatmaximizes the isolation between them and provide a diversity of radiation.

To guarantee the best performances on the market, Technicolor has massively invested in several testing tools over the years. Our team of experts has access to on-site anechoic chambers and 3D electromagnetic simulation tools to deliver highly efficient antenna designs; analyze electrostatic discharge (ESD), Electromagnetic interference (EMI), signal integrity and radio coexistence issues.  We also own two real houses dedicated to wireless tests, based in Rennes, France and Lawrenceville, US.  

Mastering these tools and technologies ensures our products have the best quality and performance. Many tests regularly requested by our customers who want to involve competitive products have demonstrated our ability to deliver superior results. And these facilities also allow us to cut time to market for our customers as we move through the different stages of product design and development.

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