On the heels of a recent announcement of its collaboration with IBM, WiSpry Inc., a leader in tunable RF semiconductor products for the wireless industry, announced that it has won, along with key partners, a four year, $48 M DKK ($8 M USD), Smart Antenna Front End (SAFE) project to be funded by Denmark’s High Technology Foundation. WiSpry will work together with Aalborg University (AAU), antenna specialist Molex Interconnect, and chipset leader Infineon Technologies to develop tunable antennas and RF front-ends based on WiSpry’s tunable RF technology. To work closely with its partners, WiSpry will be establishing a technical presence in Aalborg, Denmark.

The Smart Antenna Front End (SAFE) project’s goal is to develop antennas and front-end technology platforms for the next generation of mobile handsets and media devices. SAFE will enable significant reduction in the size and cost of mobile devices while increasing their overall efficiency.

The SAFE project will be led by professor and antenna specialist Gert Frolund Pedersen at Aalborg University’s Department of Electrical Systems. Professor Pedersen said, “This will be of enormous importance, not only for cell phones, but eventually for all wireless communications.”

“Traditionally, RF and antenna development has been separate and this has led to suboptimal solutions. In this program we have, for the first time, brought together expertise from both sides. This consortium has the goal of developing specific control, as well as integration technology for both antenna and RF. This can potentially become a part of all mobile phones in the future,” said Per Hartmann Christensen from Infineon Technologies.

Morten Christensen from Molex stated, “During the last 10 years, Molex has built up a unique competency in the antenna area. With the SAFE program we, together with the other parties, have an opportunity to think differently and solve the technical challenges that includes the next generation of smart antennas. I expect this consortium will develop the world’s best (smartest) smart antenna systems.”

“Inherently agile radio front-ends will provide tomorrow’s mobile devices with peak performance at smaller form factors and lower costs,” said Arthur Morris, Chief Technology Officer, WiSpry. “Wispry’s RF tuning and sensing technologies have been developed specifically to provide wide tunability with high precision and easy integration. We expect the SAFE program to prove feasibility of this revolutionary wireless vision and we are excited to join the world-class team in Aalborg.”