Wearable technology actively improves our lifestyle by embedding technology as a part of our everyday lives. A smart wearable, classified under the Internet of Things (IoT), is a body-worn smart device that commonly monitors an individual’s health and wellness, motion and fitness and location. After COVID-19, many wearables are designed with the ability to monitor and predict illness symptoms in advance, practice social distancing and for contact tracing. Some common examples of smart wearables include watches, wristbands, rings, eyeglasses, earbuds, shoes, clothing and adhesive medical patches.

Wearable devices include a number of sensor units, hardware and software with connectivity to facilitate data exchange between two IoT devices. The connectivity protocols commonly include Bluetooth (BT / BLE), Ultra-Wide Band (UWB) and Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS)/ Global Positioning System (GPS.) While GPS is commonly employed for real-time location tracking outdoors, the recent Bluetooth 5.1 and UWB offer precision positioning indoors through Angle of Arrival (AoA) and Angle of Departure (AoD). BLE on the other hand combines the device performance with extended battery life. In addition to tracking or location identification, BT/BLE and UWB can be used to pair the smart wearables with smart devices such as cellphones to exchange sensed data.

Antennas play a critical role in establishing wireless communication between IoT devices. The proximity to the human body and the limitation in board space makes it extremely challenging to achieve greater efficiencies from the antenna. The miniature size of chip antennas makes it a more attractive choice for wearable applications. They are also less affected by the surroundings as their near field is maximally concentrated within the ceramic package. It is to be noted that the performance of chip antennas depend on the ground clearance space, size and shape of the ground plane, which is a valuable asset in compact wearable applications. In this scenario, with availability of slightly larger space for an antenna, a PCB-based ground independent board antenna can be employed.

Considering the customer requirements and challenges, Abracon has developed chip and board antennas suitable for smart wearable applications. The features of these antennas include a mix of compactness in size, lower profile and optimized gain levels. The table below highlights some of Abracon’s Tiny But Mighty antenna solutions.

Antenna Part Number Protocol Antenna Type Size (mm) Features
ACAG0201-2450-T BT/BLE/WiFi Chip 2 x 1.25 x 0.6 2.4 GHz, Most compact, Loop antenna
ACAG0301-2450-T BT/BLE/WiFi Chip 3.2 x 1.6 x 1.2 2.4 GHz, High gain, Monopole antenna
ACR0301E BT/BLE/WiFi Chip 3.2 x 1.6 x 1.2 2.4 GHz, Uniform gain pattern, Monopole antenna
ACR1004W BT/BLE/WiFi Chip 10 x 4 x 1.5 High efficiency, Uniform gain pattern, Monopole antenna
ACAG0301-15752450-T GPS + BT/BLE/Wi-Fi Chip 3.2 x 1.6 x 1.2 1.575 GHz + 2.4 GHz, Compact, Loop antenna
ABAR1504-S2450 BT/BLE/WiFi Board 15 x 4 x 0.8 2.4 GHz, Low profile, Compact
ACR1004U UWB Chip 10 x 4 x 1.5 3 ~ 6 GHz, High efficiency, Uniform gain pattern
ACR0301U UWB Chip 3.2 x 1.6 x 1.1 6.24 ~ 8.50 GHz, High efficiency, High gain, Monopole antenna

Abracon offers chip antenna optimization service by performing impedance tuning of the antenna. This facilitates maximization of the antenna performance in the application environment and helps achieve maximum power transfer between the antenna and rest of the RF chain. The benefits of impedance matching are many – including increased RF communication range, system sensitivity and optimal power consumption for extended battery life. Contact Abracon to learn more about our antenna solutions and optimization service.

About Abracon, LLC | The Heartbeat of the IoT™

Abracon is an industry leader in passive components, providing frequency control & timing devices, RF & antenna products, and inductor & connectivity solutions. With service and quality at the company’s core, Abracon enables innovative IoT solutions. Abracon powers the AEL Crystals, Ecliptek, Fox, ILSI, MMD, Oscilent and ProAnt brands, delivering the latest technical design support and global supply chain flexibility to solve customers’ unique challenges.

For more information, visit www.abracon.com or connect with us on LinkedIn.

< arrow < arrow READ MORE ARTICLES