3/18/2003 - Etenna Corporation, an antenna developer for commercial wireless applications, unveiled its new FlexWaveTM internal antenna product line, and announced that Mobicom Corporation, a designer and manufacturer of advanced GSM cellular phones, is the first FlexWave customer. The antennas are designed to be embedded in any handheld wireless device ranging from mobile phones to personal digital assistants (PDAs). The FlexWave antennas will be incorporated into Mobicom’s Multi-Media CommunicatorTM (MMC) PDA phone in high volume and will be available to consumers this summer.
Unlike metal antennas, the FlexWave antennas provide substantially more design flexibility. FlexWave antennas incorporate Etenna’s patented frequency selective surface (FSS) technology, which enables the creation of very small internal antennas that are resistant to detuning – making the performance of these antennas much less sensitive to environmental factors such as other components in the product or the human body. Etenna’s FSS technology is used within the FlexWave antennas to control surface currents and thus reduce detuning, resulting in much better in-situ performance than conventional internal antennas.
The FSS technology used in FlexWave antennas is similar to the technology used in Etenna’s AccuWaveTM antennas, which are used in BluetoothTM and 802.11 products. The difference is that FlexWave antennas are constructed using a flex circuit that is attached to the housing and connected to the main circuit board with standard spring contacts. This manufacturing approach, coupled with more stable frequency response from the FSS, allows the antenna design to be modified as needed to accommodate product changes as the phone is developed and reaches volume production. Expensive tooling with long lead times is completely eliminated. This flexible approach also allows the FSS internal antenna to be easily modified to fit into almost any shape and location available within the wireless product.
“Internal antennas have become the antenna of choice for handheld devices because they are more pleasing aesthetically than external antennas and also are not mechanically prone to damage,” said Etenna’s executive vice president Greg Mendolia. “Etenna’s new FlexWave product line makes embedded antennas even more attractive by delivering higher performance antennas that are more easily integrated into a phone’s design. These benefits are exactly why Mobicom chose our FlexWave solution for use in their first product.”
Mobicom Corporation is a Holmdel, New Jersey-based wireless manufacturer that is focused on the fast-growing mobile phone market in China. Mobicom is incorporating FlexWave into the MMC, a high performance PDA with a very unique form factor and full keyboard, scheduled for release in late Q2. The MMC is designed to work globally, offering tri-band operation at 900 MHz, 1800 MHz and 1900 MHz.
“We had tested many embedded antenna solutions before selecting Etenna’s FlexWave antenna, which provided us with the best solution for our challenging form factor. FlexWave allowed us to create a product with a very innovative design, without compromising its wireless performance,” said Winston Lieu, CTO and vice president of engineering at Mobicom. “This allowed our teams at both companies to work together seamlessly and more efficiently. We look forward to the MMC’s successful product launch, our first product to eliminate external antennas.”
The first FlexWave antenna (EF900) is a tri-band antenna that operates in the 900, 1800 and 1900 MHz frequency bands. FlexWave antennas are competitively priced and ready for high volume production. Future FlexWave products will include antennas that operate in frequency combinations of 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz and 1900 MHz, operating across many desired technology standards ranging from CDMA and GSM to UMTS.
About Etenna Corporation
Headquartered in Laurel, Md., Etenna Corporation designs and produces antennas for applications ranging from mobile phones to 802.11 and BluetoothTM wireless devices. Employing Etenna’s proprietary antenna technologies, the company significantly improves the size, performance and cost of wireless devices and equipment. In addition, Etenna makes use of patented Artificial Magnetic Conductor (AMC) technology to enable high antenna performance and isolation in an attractive form factor for wireless products. Backed by a dedicated team of researchers and design engineers, Etenna’s intellectual property (IP) portfolio includes more than 30 issued or pending patents. San Diego-based The Titan Corporation (NYSE: TTN), New York-based Archery Capital and McLean, Va., based ECentury Capital are primary investors in the company. Etenna website: http://www.etenna.com
About Mobicom Corporation
Mobicom Corporation was incorporated in July 1998 and funded by Beijing Telecommunications Equipment Factory of China and Crossroads Venture Capital L.L.C. of California. The founding members of the Mobicom team are experienced in GSM, CDMA, TDMA, and AMPS based products and technologies. With headquarters in Holmdel, New Jersey (USA), Mobicom designs, develops, manufactures and markets in cooperation with Beijing Telecommunications Equipment Factory advanced GSM and CDMA cellular phones in China and other selected world markets.
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