Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers Overcome Barrier to Shrinking Wireless Devices

23.07.2004


James Bond-style technologies such as cell phones the size of earpieces and invisible sensors sprinkled about to detect toxins are closer to reality. University of Michigan researchers have figured out how to build wireless systems even smaller while still retaining range and power efficiency.

One obstacle to further shrink small wireless devices has been trying to fit all the components onto one chip but U-M researchers have built a tiny silicon-compatible antenna and frequency resonator that will do just that.

The antenna and resonator are two of the most problematic off-chip components in wireless systems. The two components require large amounts of space off the chip---think of a cell phone antenna extending outward---thus limiting how small a device can be built.



Until now, small antennas weren’t power efficient and resonators were not accurate, said Kamal Sarabandi, director of the radiation laboratory department in electrical engineering and computer science (EECS). His research group developed the antenna.

The technology is being developed for use in environmental sensors, but could be applied to cell phones, laptops and other wireless devices, said Michael Flynn, head of the wireless interface group. "We could have cell phones almost the size of an earpiece," Flynn said. "You could have sensor nodes that are almost invisible, you could just sprinkle them around."

Rather than using a traditional wire antenna, researchers built a slot antenna. In a slot antenna, instead of the metal wire, imagine covering an entire plane with metal, leaving only a slot or groove in the metal bare. Wire surrounds the groove so it’s much more effective at radiating electromagnetic waves in a small antenna, Sarabandi said. Because of the antenna’s shape, the wireless system does not need a network to match the antenna’s frequency to the rest of the electronic device.

Sarabandi’s group has been talking with Intel about a possible collaboration. Intel is interested in using the technology in laptop computers, Sarabandi said.

The second component U-M scientists replaced is the quartz frequency resonator, which allows a wireless device to focus on a specific signal and ignore others. The work was done by EECS associate professor Clark Nguyen’s group.

Instead of quartz, U-M scientists used MEMS-based technology to build the resonator so it can be fitted onto the chip. It functions similarly to how the rim of a wine glass thrums when flicked by a finger. The wine-glass rim design helps retain the purity of the signal.

| newswise
Further information:
http://www.engin.umich.edu

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Harvesting the Sun for Power and Produce
24.11.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Solare Energiesysteme ISE

nachricht Batteries with better performance and improved safety
23.11.2017 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New proton record: Researchers measure magnetic moment with greatest possible precision

High-precision measurement of the g-factor eleven times more precise than before / Results indicate a strong similarity between protons and antiprotons

The magnetic moment of an individual proton is inconceivably small, but can still be quantified. The basis for undertaking this measurement was laid over ten...

Im Focus: Frictional Heat Powers Hydrothermal Activity on Enceladus

Computer simulation shows how the icy moon heats water in a porous rock core

Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

IceCube experiment finds Earth can block high-energy particles from nuclear reactions

24.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 'half-hearted' solution to one-sided heart failure

24.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

Heidelberg Researchers Study Unique Underwater Stalactites

24.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>