Advanced American technology to assist Danish mobile research

Newly-developed American technology will be one of the magical ingredients in the mobile-technology research project "SAFE" that was recently kick-started in Aalborg, North Denmark, with sky-high techncial ambitions and a budget of DKK 48 million. Senior executives from fast-growing US development company WiSpry took the flight from sunny southern California to the north of Jutland to take part in initiating a new era.


The stated objective of the SAFE project ("Smart Antenna Front End") is to revolutionise the technology behind mobile antennas and make them smaller, cheaper and more energy-efficient without letting the quality suffer.

In addition to WiSpry, Aalborg University's Department for Electronic Systems, the Danish branch of Infineon Technologies and US electronic supplier Molex' research division in Nørresundby participate in the project. Head of the project is AAU professor Gert Frølund Pedersen, and he is happy that they have finally succeeded in bringing together the right partners and the necessary funding for taking on a challenge that he and his colleagues at the university have been pondering.


The Danish Advanced Technology Foundation are backing the project with DKK 25 million, and at the opening ceremony at Molex' laboratory-studded facilities, deputy director of the Foundation, Trine Aabo Andersen, underlined the importance of the international dimension:


-With this project, you attract new jobs and new possibilities to Denmark, and this is a very important goal for the projects that we in the Advanced Technology Foundation back. The great ambitions are of course accompanies by great expectations, so we are excited to follow your work on starting a new era within a field in which North Denmark and Aalborg University already hold a very strong position.


One size fits all

Since the establishment in 2002, WiSpry have raised more than DKK 100 million in venture capital, and the money has been invested in developing the company's unique tuner technology that enables one antenna to receive widely different types of signals. Thus, the company's technology may become the IT industry's counterpart to the clothing industry's tensile spandex fabric where "one size fits all".


- We have spent a lot of money developing and protecting our technology and making it flexible and scalable. The SAFE project presents us with a unique opportunity for us to show that our technology is as good as our word. Therefore, it is a great honour and an exciting and unique opportunity for us to become a part of this strong team that will create a complete platform. We are going to change the rules of the game and do something crucially different, says WiSpry founder and director Jeff Hilbert. In connection with the project, WiSpry will establish their first foreign division in Aalborg in close connection with the university.


Jeff Hilbert is used to people questioning the company's technological promises and the "one size fits all" principle.

- People ask about two things. First, whether it is possible at all, and second, if we can make it reliable. The answers are yes and yes, the WiSpry director says confidently. He is accompanied by technical director Arthur Morris during his stay in Aalborg.


Necessary development

Leader of Molex' research division in Nørresundby, RF Research Manager Morten Christensen, sees the new project as a natural and necessary next step in a development that began at the time when mobile antennas were visible components that were pulled out to improve their range.

-The next step were the integrated or "invisible" antennas inside the devices. What we are looking at now is to incorporate the reception of all bandwiths and radio technologies within one small unit that covers all the frequency bands that the market wants. It has to be constructed in such a way that the antenna works independently of whether it is placed in a small mobile phone, a tablet PC or a laptop, and this will be an enormous challenge, Morten Christensen explains.


He and his colleagues have had similar ambitions for some time, but they have been lacking the necessary components and opportunities that the collaboration in the SAFE project is now giving them.


- We are about to make a dish where all the participants are providing the ingredients they are best at. WiSpry's technology opens up to new ways of tuning the antenna, which we have not been able to do before. Therefore I believe that we will crack this project over the course of the next four years of intensive work on the project, Morten Christensen says.


Further information:

• Professor Gert Frølund Pedersen, project manager of the SAFE project, Department of Electronic Systems, AAU, tel.+ 45 9940 8660.
• RF Research Manager Morten Christensen, Antenna Business Unit, Molex, mobile +45 3065 4656.
• Director Per Hartmann Christensen, Infineon Technologies Denmark, tel. +45 7221 6300.
• Marten Seth, Director of Technical Marketing, WiSpry, Inc. (+1) 949 458 9477 x203.
• Head of communications Thomas Bjerre, Danish Advanced Technology Foundation, tel.+45 3363 7285.
• Science journalist Carsten Nielsen, Aalborg University, mobile +45 2340 6554.


Source: AAU news

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