LONDON Ė Programmable radio frequency (RF) MEMS chip specialist WiSpry Inc. (Irvine, Calif.) has announced the introduction to the market of the WS2018 antenna tuning component. The WS2018 is designed to sit between the antenna and the RF front-end module of a mobile phone to provide impedance optimization over a frequency range from 824-MHz to 2.17-GHz.
The component is based on WiSpry's digitally tunable MEMS capacitor technology, which allows digital control of capacitance values so that the WS2018 can be reprogrammed quickly to compensate for antenna load changes that can be caused by a variety of effects including head, hand and body proximity and which are different at different carrier frequencies, the company said.
The control is applied by either the MIPI Alliance RFFE interface or SPI serial interface.
The WS2018 can be driven by an existing single supply rail such as an LDO regulator output or directly from the battery supply. It includes a charge pump, serial bus and driver circuits integrated on the same CMOS die as the MEMS capacitor elements.
"Our new WS2018 antenna tuner combines the industry's best RF performance with the smallest form factor and the ability to tune any phase, any VSWR for 2G, 3G and LTE frequency bands," said Victor Steel, vice president of products at WiSpry, in a statement.
WiSpry did not provide details of how many discrete capacitance values are available, the price, packaging, or where it gets the component made although WiSpry announced a development deal with IBM in 2010.
This is a promising technology and good news to smartphone manufacturers. If WiSPry can deliver as promised then this technology can save precious space and battery and deliver better signal quality at the same time. Way to go.