Taoglas has launched Axiom, a reference design for a low-profile, compact multiple-antenna solution for the next generation of connected cars. Taoglas is a provider of GNSS, automotive and Internet of Things (IoT) products.
The reference design will help automobile manufacturers overcome one of the biggest challenges of the connected car: where and how to place the multitude of antennas needed for maximum performance.
As many as 18 antennas are needed to power the next-generation connected car, including
- multiple cellular antennas for network connectivity;
- Wi-Fi for hotspot connectivity;
- GNSS for navigation, emergency call systems and other location-based technologies;
- satellite radio;
- AM/FM antennas;
- radar antennas for object detection;
- Bluetooth antennas for smartphones and other devices, and
- dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) antennas for vehicle-to-vehicle/infrastructure applications.
Locating these antennas in a vehicle in close proximity to each other and additional electronics systems while minimizing interference and maximizing performance is extremely challenging from a design and RF performance perspective.
Manufacturers also need to take into consideration both ease of installation and assembly, and antenna size to determine how they would best work with the vehicle’s aesthetics. Taoglas has worked with the automotive industry for more than a decade, providing antenna solutions to many of the major tier 1 automobile OEMs across the globe.
The Axiom reference design incorporates Taoglas’ wealth of knowledge and expertise gained over the years into a roadmap to help automobile manufacturers more quickly advance antenna configurations that work for their particular make and model.
“Getting that many antennas to work efficiently in a small space at a competitive cost is the number one challenge for the RF teams of automobile manufacturers,” said Dermot O’Shea, co-CEO of Taoglas. “While every car manufacturer will require a slightly different solution, having a multi-antenna reference design to work from allows them to see what they can do in terms of placement and size, and how that impacts performance — all without waiting months for a custom solution to test. They can take the prototype and test it in the field to prove out concepts. Using Taoglas’ Axiom reference design allows them move more quickly to market with solutions that work. We can also work with Tier 1 OEMs to integrate the elements of the Axiom antenna reference design quickly and efficiently directly onto the board of their telematic control units, achieving highest radiated power and sensitivity, while minimizing project time, cost and size, all in one single package.”
Taoglas’ Axiom reference design has integrated nine antennas, including:
- LTE Antennas: Four LTE antennas, each operating from 698 MHz to 6 GHz to fully cover LTE worldwide application bands.
- Wi-Fi Antennas: Two Wi-Fi elements, supporting both 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz bands for Wireless Local Area Network.
- GNSS Antenna: An active GNSS element to support GPS, GLONASS and BeiDou navigation systems. L1/L2 options available.
- SDARS Antenna: One SDARS element to support satellite radio applications.
- DSRC Antenna: One DSRC element, which supports V2V/V2X dedicated short range communication.
Taoglas’ advantage is its ability to integrate all of the antennas required for the connected car in a confined space and maintain maximum performance. The Axiom reference design uses a compact PCB all with SMT-mounted components, and also incorporates a unique board-to-board connector option, allowing the antennas and electronics systems to coexist in a single space inside the vehicle, with no RF cables or additional connectors required.
The Axiom reference design also helps auto manufacturers simplify manufacturing and assembly, with surface-mount solutions that feature the temperature and vibration resistance with the quality standards that manufacturers require. Installation is clipping the PCB into the telematics board.