Research work from Kent finds wide applications in mobile communications products

Mobile phone

Dr. Hang Xu and Professor Steven Gao at the School of Engineering and Digital Arts, in collaboration with industry partners, have proposed a new concept termed ‘Differential Mode (DM)/Common Mode (CM) design’ which has solved the classic problem of poor isolation between two closed-spaced antennas in mobile terminals.

The research was published in a paper entitled titled ‘A Highly Integrated MIMO Antenna Unit: Differential/Common Mode Design‘ in the journal IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation in November 2019. The paper immediately attracted significant attention from academic and industries worldwide, and was listed as a ‘popular article’ in the journal in November 2019, December 2019, and again in February 2020. Subsequently this concept has been exploited by telecommunications industries and has found wide applications in mobile terminals.

Dr. Hanyang Wang, Chief Terminal Antenna Expert at Huawei Technologies Ltd, one of the world’s largest mobile phone manufacturers, said: ‘For a typical 5G NR MIMO antenna design, two antennas operating at the same frequency bands are needed, whilst high isolation between the two antennas has to be satisfied despite the antennas usually being placed closely because of the very crowded design environment. It is obvious that this design difficulty cannot be circumvented by utilizing traditional approaches such as adding filters, duplexers, and multiplexers. The DM/CM concept proposed in this paper is a major and very significant step to solve this problem. One of the distinguishing features of the DM/CM approach is that high level of isolation between closely-spaced MIMO antennas can be achieved across very wide frequency bands without using any decoupling components’.

This DM/CM concept is currently being widely implemented in millions of commercial mobile terminal products, including smartphones, laptops, tablets, Bluetooth (BT) headsets, routers, and Internet of Things (IoT)‘.

Prof. Steven Gao is Principal Investigator of the research project and Head of Communications Research Group at the School of Engineering and Digital Arts. He said: ‘We at the University of Kent are very proud of our research and innovation in the field of antenna engineering. It is great to see that our research results have found wide applications in millions of mobile communication devices making important contributions to the society.’