Meeting the wireless challenge

Cell phones, Wi-Fi and other wireless technologies have been around for quite a while, but there’s no sign that overall growth for wireless communications is headed anywhere other than sharply upward. The continuing explosion of new applications has a number of implications for board suppliers and EMS companies.

Medical is one of the latest fields to jump on the bandwagon of companies finding new ways to use the many wireless frequency ranges. Several firms are putting transmitters and receivers in or on patients, monitoring body temperature and many other parameters.

Usage in medical products underscores the need for EMI shielding, which is becoming more important in all industries as electronics take over more mission critical jobs. Researchers can’t agree whether it’s necessary to turn off cell phones in hospitals, so it seems to make sense to consider EMI issues if you’re adding RF communications to a pacemaker.

Wireless technologies are also a key player in the push to finer pitches. Devices designed for portable applications obviously need to be small, so it’s going to become progressively more difficult to route board traces to them. That issue will challenge engineers even when wireless is added to boards that have plenty of space elsewhere, since the chip’s pin spacings aren’t going to change.

Companies that figure out how to stay at the forefront of the wireless juggernaut are going to have a number of new markets over the next several years. A growing understanding of wireless reliability is opening up new markets like medical, military and industrial, with many more coming down the road.

One Comment

  1. TaxRefundGuarantee
    Posted January 21, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

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