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 The role of Sodium for the Enhancement of Solar Cells
17.07.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung GmbH

nachricht Behavior-influencing policies are critical for mass market success of low carbon vehicles
17.07.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

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: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Microscopic trampoline may help create networks of quantum computers

17.07.2018 | Information Technology

In borophene, boundaries are no barrier

17.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

The role of Sodium for the Enhancement of Solar Cells

17.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>