Article | March 15, 2023

RF Antenna Design And Layout Tips For Your PCB

Source: Cadence Design Systems, Inc.

Key Takeaways

  • RF antennas come in many form factors, ranging from flat chip antennas integrated into ICs to copper antennas printed directly on a PCB.
  • Creating a layout with one or more antennas requires ensuring isolation between different circuit blocks in your PCB.
  • When you need to design an RF antenna, you should use CAD tools that help you design isolation structures, transition structures, and even printed antennas for your PCB.

These days, it’s hard to think of a consumer product that doesn’t contain an antenna. Even my garage door opener can connect to my phone via Bluetooth or WiFi. Each time a new RF antenna gets added to a PCB layout, it can create a new headache for RF designers, especially as analog design skills start to become critical again. With so many RF capabilities being added to new PCBs, how can designers ensure the signals in their system are not corrupted and signal integrity is preserved?

Thankfully, there are some simple design choices you can make to help ensure your RF signals are not degraded by nearby digital components. These same design choices will help prevent multiple analog signals from interfering with each other. While there are plenty of topics in RF design to consider when designing mixed signal or all-RF systems, antenna design and layout are probably two of the most important. Here’s what you need to know about RF antenna design in your PCB layout and how to ensure analog signal integrity.


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