With its ability to enable secure data exchange between two devices with a simple touch gesture, NFC has become a very popular technology for identification and authentication in contactless payment transactions, ticketing, asset tracking, and similar applications. No pairing, configuring, or tweaking is required – just a simple swipe across the reader, that’s all it takes. By making its way into many different models of smartphones, the NFC technology has become easily accessible to many, and thus, it has quickly become an integral part of life.
The NFC technology relies on the inductive coupling principle. Therefore, it requires two antennas, which allow the coupling to be established. In practice, most NFC antennas are made of copper traces on a PCB. However, due to the elusive nature of the Radio-Frequency (RF) domain, antenna design can be intimidating for many engineers who haven’t specialized in RF designs.
To help engineers take full advantage of this popular and accessible technology, EBV Elektronik offers antenna design services, covering a broad range of different use cases. Starting with basic antenna design courses, all the way to complete antenna designs based on customer specifications, there’s a suitable offer for everyone interested in NFC technology.
To support customers during the design-in phase, EBV offers the following services:
• Tailored antenna design training
• Review and evaluation of customer antenna designs
• Antenna design as a service
Tailored Antenna Design Training
Antenna Design is the most comprehensive training course specifically tailored for those who want to learn how to design their own NFC antenna. It includes basic training with theoretical lessons, as well as practical, hands-on training. Theoretical lessons cover various aspects of antenna design, including topics such as HF fundamentals, basic formulas, antenna design and tuning principles, how to measure and test antennas, and more. The advanced training course includes practical lessons, antenna calculation, measurement, optimization, and component proposal.
The course is designed for a single customer at a time, which allows our lecturers to focus on their demand entirely, ensuring that he/she acquires sufficient knowledge to develop his/her own antenna design. EBV Elektronik provides the printed training material, as well as all the necessary training equipment, including demo boards, tags samples, and everything else needed for the training.
Besides training courses, EBV Elektronik also offers antenna design review services. This service includes a review of the existing customer design in either Altium or Eagle format: schematics and layout of the reader, antenna, and the matching circuit. This service also includes a performance check and a review report with suggestions for components and design improvement. An option for compliance testing support (ISO, EMCO, NFC forum) is also available on demand from our external partner network.
Antenna Design as a Service
For those who would rather leave the antenna design to professionals and focus on other aspects of their design instead, EBV Elektronik offers the antenna design service, based on customer specifications. EBV will provide a complete reader design, including antenna geometry, matching circuit, component proposal, and the antenna prototype. The schematics, along with the PCB layout, will be delivered in an Eagle compatible format.
The Next Step
Confident that the RF front-end of your NFC design is adequately designed and properly optimized, you will be able to concentrate on your application, focusing on what really matters. For further details, please contact our Security and Identification expert Christian Krieber at Christian.Krieber@ebv.com.