Optimize in seconds the performance of the off-the-shelf antenna that you embed in your IoT device!
RFxpert is the only real-time, compact, bench-top antenna measurement device.
Various LPWAN networks represent a challenge to the IoT device manufacturer
IoT products run on LPWAN (Low-power WAN) networks. One of the challenges for an IoT product manufacturer is that LPWAN lacks a standard on which everyone agrees. There are various service providers with different standards like Weightless, SigFox, LoRa, LTE-Cat M, IEEE P802.11ah, Dash7 Alliance Protocol 1.0, Ingenu RPMA and nWave, to name a few. The frequency band of these standards ranges anywhere between 400 MHz to 915 MHz. This not only represents an economical challenge but a design challenge as well i.e. do I design an IoT product with multiple antennas that can work on all different networks or design the same IoT product with different antennas for different networks?
The other key challenges for an IoT manufacturer include reliability and performance
Antennas react differently to RF environmental conditions, such as the proximity of the user’s head or hand, or nearby object. Behaviour of an antenna on the IoT device may be detuned by hand, body and environmental effects. An IoT device that performs well in free space may not be able to connect to the network when placed on another object (tracker) or a person for example. These factors make it challenging for manufacturers to design an IoT device that provides consistently high performance across all bands and in a wide variety of RF environments.
Receiver sensitivity is crucial to power consumption
There is also receiver sensitivity that needs to be taken into account as the sensitivity has a direct impact on the power consumption. Free space/path loss is the dominant factor that greatly reduces the received power of an IoT device which typically requires long transmission paths. Therefore, IoT receivers should have a very good receiver sensitivity.
The IoT market is extremely price-sensitive so manufacturers generally prefer to quickly and cost-effectively embed off-the-shelf antennas to their IoT devices instead of designing antennas from ground-up.
With RFxpert, in less than one second you can easily:
- Optimize the off-shelf-antenna embedded in your IoT device for all the different standards
- Measure and visualize proximity effects
- Prototype & test new designs, components and forms
- Review effects of different packing materials & layout changes
- Verify final product performance in real-time
…all for a fraction of the cost of an anechoic chamber.
EMSCAN collaborated with a CTIA listed phantom fixture manufacturer, IndexSAR, to provide an OTA Performance bench top test fixture with phantom head, hand and wrist. This dedicated test fixture is used with the RFX2 scanner and performs fast accurate measurements with excellent correlation to a full compliant OTA test system (Note to SA: I am going to use wrist photos in this section).
How accurate is the result compared to a CTIA anechoic chamber?
RFxpert measures the characteristics of an antenna in one second compared to hours (including the set-up time) in an anechoic chamber. RFxpert accuracy is +/- 1.5dB. Below are comparative test results: