For background context, the IEEE 802.11 ac standard (Wi-Fi 5) only functions on the 5 GHz band, while Wi-Fi 6 (IEEE 802.11 ax) incorporates both the 2.4 GHz and the 5 GHz frequency bands. As the number of wireless devices continues to grow, congestion in both of these bands will continue to increase and impact both Wi-Fi speed and bandwidth. Any device or hardware that expects optimal Wi-Fi 6 performance must be capable of effectively handling both frequency bands despite the high level of congestion.
In April of 2020, the FCC (U.S. Federal Communications Commission) voted for a proposal to open up the 6 GHz band to unlicensed use as an extension of Wi-Fi 6. This Wi-Fi band contains up to 1,200 MHz of new spectrum (5.925 GHz to 7.125 GHz). The introduction of the 6 GHz band is known as Wi-Fi 6E. While Wi-Fi 6E opens up the possibility to meet the demands of speed, higher data rate and lower latency, real-time communications, and better performance in congested environments, it also increases the degree of difficulty that accompanies the optimization of antenna performance in this expanded environment.
Successful implementation of Wi-Fi 6E requires a higher degree of integration between devices, access points, and other parts of the system because every part of the system is so interrelated. The tighter radio frequency (RF) specifications of the Wi-Fi 6E means that every aspect of the RF system design as well as antenna optimization becomes more complicated. Due to the increased complexity and higher expectation on the performance of Wi-Fi 6E, antennas designing-in must meet these higher level requirements to achieve best performance. Some of the challenges regarding to antenna performance optimization include:
- The need for multiple antennas with broader bandwidth.
- The increasingly-smaller dimensions of the enclosure of wireless devices with limited space for antenna installation.
- Antennas with various designs and processing technologies may co-exist inside a single device enclosure.
Unictron’s engineering team has extensive experience in working together with customers to develop and design-in Wi-Fi antennas in customer’s RF devices. We also have a comprehensive line-up of antennas for Wi-Fi applications including patented TELA chip antennas, PCB/FPC antennas and LDS antennas. The most recent release of the patented Pillar antenna is a high performance chip antenna which can be user-friendly installed almost anywhere on a circuit board without the limitation of ground clearance requirements. Pillar chip antennas for 6 GHz band Wi-Fi 6E applications are also available to provide customers with a SMT process compatible unique antenna solution.