Custom Antennas

LET US DESIGN FOR YOU

The wireless industry demands increased complexity and miniaturization of antennas, combined with a need to integrate a multi-radio environment into one component. We offer a wide array of customized antenna solutions to accommodate the mechanical constraints of your application, design and manufacture antennas that comply with the most stringent operating requirements, and are a pioneer of customized embedded antenna solutions. Let us design the antenna you have been looking for.

To manufacturing antennas for our customers, molded interconnect device (MID) technology is a tried and true method;  however, three dimensional printing is an emerging manufacturing process we are now using to produce antennas. In addition, our in-house capability for designing, assembling, and testing speaker acoustic modules (SAMs) allows us to design the antenna and acoustic chamber as one assembly. We offer details on these technologies and methods below.

Manufacturing Technologies

Molded Interconnect Device (MID) Technology

TE is one of the leading providers of MID technology with more than 25 years mass production experience. In its most basic form, MID technology is defined as a process that results in selectively plated plastic parts. This technology is most often used in three basic ways: electromechanical (signal or current carrying traces), RF technology (antennas), and for shielding applications. MIDs can integrate electrical and mechanical elements into almost any shape of interconnect device allowing entirely new functions to be created while facilitating the miniaturization of products.

Two Shot (2k) Molding

Two-shot (2k) molding

Two-shot molding is a mature and well understood process that remains viable for cost effective and repeatable production of MIDs. The basic process has only two steps, injection molding of two distinct thermoplastic polymers and the electroless plating process, resulting in a selectively plated component. In order to achieve the selectivity during plating, a catalyst doped “plateable” resin is molded in conjunction with a standard non-plateable resin to define the desired area to be plated. This area is metalized initially with copper, followed by nickel and, optionally, gold plating. The following are just a few of the advantages MID two-shot technology delivers compared to alternative technologies: Design flexibility for complex 3D geometries, ability to integrate multiple functions into one component, tightest tolerance for pattern registration to carrier, fewest manufacturing steps and processes, higher yields, improved scaleability.

2-Shot Molded Interconnect Device (English)

Manufacturing process for 2-shot molded interconnect device (MID) antennas, including molding, plating, RF test, and packaging.

Laser Direct Structuring (LDS)

Laser Direct Structuring (LDS)

Laser direct structuring (LDS) is an exciting technology used to create molded interconnect devices (MIDs). Through the use of the dedicated laser system and a variety of the proprietary resins, it opens up many possibilities to create 3D MIDs with finer line width and spacing than what is possible with the conventional MID processes. LDS is a three-step process. First, the antenna is molded in a standard single shot mold using one of the LDS resins. Second, the desired pattern is directly structured onto the antenna by the 3D laser system. Finally, the pattern is plated using industry-standard methods where the plating adheres to the plastic only where the plastic has been activated by the laser, thus creating a conductive pattern. LDS offers additional two-shot technology advantages: the ability to produce thin (0.15 mm) traces; flexibility for pattern changes during production; and simple, fastest, and lowest cost tooling.

LDS Molded Interconnect Device (English)

The laser direct structuring (LDS) manufacturing process for molded interconnect device (MID) antennas.

Printed Antenna

Printed antenna

Printing is an emerging manufacturing process being used to produce antennas. The antenna carrier is molded of standard resin materials, then the antenna pattern is structured onto the carrier by applying a conductive, non-plate particulate in a tightly controlled manner with a 3D print system. This process uses no special resins; requires no plating; offers flexibility to make pattern changes easily; and is a simple, fast, low-cost, and environmentally friendly tooling method.

Speaker Acoustic Module (SAM)

Speaker Acoustic Module (SAM)

TE has in-house capability for designing, assembling, and testing speaker acoustic modules (SAMs). The antenna and acoustic chamber are designed together as one assembly. The acoustic chamber becomes the carrier for the antenna using one of two different technologies to manufacture MID antennas: 2-shot molding or laser direct structuring (LDS). SAMs are 100 percent radio frequency (RF) and acoustic tested in the production line prior to packaging. This antenna offers a space-saving combination of acoustic chamber and antenna, as well as RF testing after speaker integration to SAM.

FPC Antenna Assembly (English)

Manual and automated assembly of a flexible printed circuit (FPC) antenna onto a molded plastic carrier.

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