Ethertronics delivered its first active antenna in the Samsung Galaxy S2 for Japan’s Docomo in December 2011. “It’s the only one we’ve done so far,” he said.
Others are working on similar designs including competitors Amphenol and Tyco as well as handset makers doing in-house designs.
“One of next steps for the antenna community is to come up with beam steering, and we are quite far along,” said Shamblin. “We have done it in prototypes and close to commercialization,” he said.
“It would wind up providing higher data rates so users get faster downloads, less dropped calls and longer battery life, but it’s too early to tell how much data rates will go up,” he added.
Click on image to enlarge.
Nevertheless Shamblin provided a table (above) showing some of the expected gains with active antennas.
On the next page we present two more slides from Shamblin’s Design West presentation. They illustrate requirements and challenges of active antennas.