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PCB Design : 3D Wi-Fi Access Point

IntroductionZA-mall

The problem ZoneArt faced was how to locate a moving object in a 3 dimensional space as well as time.  A moving object only resides in a place at a moment in time. Pin pointing a useful location means providing a location in ‘space time’. Current systems will only roughly pinpoint an objects position, and there is a considerable time lag. This is not great if the object is moving. ZoneArt’s goal was to develop an access point that would provide high accuracy geolocation. It’s called Follow Spot.

Challenges

  • Integrate multiple 2.4GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi channels into one design, while ensuring consistent electrical performance between channels.
  • Import and manage the lifecycle of complex copper shapes.
  • Layer count restricted to 4 layers.
  • Multiple antennas & 50Ohm circuits.ZA-RF

Solution

  • Careful planning of schematic hierarchy to allow design re-use and ensure consistent circuit performance 2.4 and 5GHz circuit elements
  • Planning of 2.4 and 5GHz circuit elements and regional planes to control impedance within 4 Layer structure and meet manufacturing cost targets.
  • Footprints created from data supplied from the microwave CAD system to maintain integrity and properties added to source data to track shape lifecycle.

3D Wi-Fi Access Point Results

  • Testing has shown consistent performance from the repeated circuit elements.
  • 4 Layer PCB construction met electrical performance and product cost targets.
  • PCB Design met required form factor and first time fit.

What the Customer Said

“ This was a challenging PCB design, with a large number of constraints imposed by the microwave circuitry.  Quantum effectively became a part of the team during the PCB layout phase, with regular, detailed, interactions on many issues.  Without this commitment and flexibility on the part of Quantum, we would not have had the successful outcome we did.”  Dr Peter Kenington, CTO, ZoneArt Networks Ltd.