Radio dilemma [RF design]

Radio dilemma [RF design]

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The article is aimed at those engineers working in the wireless markets mainly concerned with ISM (industrial, scientific and medical) applications. These cover a multitude of generally non mass-market products for which, as yet, there is no general protocol. Deciding when a wireless device would be better served by an RFIC and when by a module can be tricky. The apparent obvious option, which appears to offer the lowest cost, is the RFIC. However, there are usually several external parts required and these can increase cost considerably. If the application is for considerable volumes, in the consumer or automotive industries, then the RFIC route is probably favourable. However, in more modest volume areas, then a modular solution is going to be certainly quicker and, in the long run, more cost-effective. As a rough guide, any application using less than 20,000 units per year is going to be more cost effective using a module, especially an intelligent one.

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