Wireless Communications

EPAMO - Energy-efficient piezo-MEMS tunable RF front-end antenna systems for mobile devices

Research grant by ENIAC (EU)/ BMBF (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung)

Timeframe: 01.04.2011 - 30.09.2014

Website: www.epamo.eu




Future wireless communication systems need to cope with the increased number of frequency bands and advanced mobile phone standards supporting high data rates. At the same time mobile phone systems have to become more energy-efficient in order to contribute to the Grand Challenge “CO2-reduction”. The EPAMO project will address both aspects by exploring and implementing multiple innovative process and testing technologies to realise an adaptive antenna front-end system for 4G mobile phones. Due to closed-loop antenna tuning the radio power levels can be reduced in the mobile phone by more than 50%, in the base stations by at least 10%. It is estimated that the implementation of this technology has a global energy saving potential of more than 10.000 GWh per year.

EPAMO has the objective to explore the potential of unprecedented ultra-high density RF-MEMS switch arrays to be integrated in an energy-efficient agile RF transceiver with reconfigurable antenna. Key crosscutting More-than-Moore and heterogeneous integration technologies are high-force piezoelectric MEMS actuators based on Lead Zirconate Titanate (PZT) thin films, high reliability metallic contact switches, and low-loss silicon and composite glass-silicon 8” wafer substrates.CWC will contribute to RF modeling of the MEMS and will be responsible for the definition and characterization of the mobile terminal demonstrator containing the reconfigurable antenna tuner module.

Achieved tasks in EPAMO project (CAU):

1. CAU has successfully designed and realized an energy-efficient adaptive antenna tuning system including a compact mobile antenna and a tunable matching circuit.


The fabricated entire mock-up-system:


The measured total efficiency of the mock-up-system with and without the proposed matching circuit in the anechoic chamber in CAU.


Our shielded anechoic chamber can be used for 2D and 3D antenna characterization and RF module testing.

Features include:

- Manufacturer: Siemens Matsushita (now: Albatros Projects)

- Outer dimensions (7.9 m x 4 m x 3.6 m)

- fully shielded

- Absorbers: Emerson & Cuming Eccosorb VHP-8/12/18/26-NRL

- 2D turntable and 3D positioner

For the bands until f = 2.7 GHz, the average value of the total efficiency η for the mock-up-system in the presence of hand (right) phantom is η = 45% and under the influence of the head and hand (right) phantom is η = 19%.

2. A MIMO antenna based adaptive system has also been designed and evaluated in order to reach a better communication quality.


The concept in two scenarios results in an EM isolation between the antennas of more than 21dB and is therefore proven and can be easily extended to more ports or different E-UTRA bands as well.

3. CAU has developed a range of antenna measurements and benchmarking steps, applicable for, e.g., mobile communication devices.


The EPAMO adaptive antenna system shows a better overall performance in the predefined usage scenarios with respect to the measured efficiencies.

More detailed information can be found on the EPAMO website at: www.epamo.eu



  1. Metzger. T, Ebefors, T., Pudas, M., Haapalinna, A., Martens, R., Lisec, T., "RF Solutions for Future Generation Mobile Phones," European Nanoelectronics Forum, Barcelona, November 2013. DOI
  2. Chen, Y., Martens, R., Valkonen, R., and Manteuffel, D. , "A Varactor-Based Tunable Matching Network for a Non-Resonant Mobile Terminal Antenna,", In Antennas and Propagation (EUCAP), 2014 8th European Conference on., The Hague, April 2014, pp. 2225-2229.
  3. Martens, R. and Manteuffel, D. , "Mobile LTE-A Handset Antenna Using a Hybrid Coupling Element", Antennas and Propagation Society International Symposium (APSURSI), 2014 IEEE, Memphis, US, July 2014, pp. 1419-1420
  4. Martens, R., Chen, Y., and Manteuffel, D., "Tunability Comparsion of a Capacitive Coupling Element and a Planar Inverted-F Antenna," LAPC 2014 - Loughborough Antennas and Propagation Conference, Loughborough University, UK, November 2014, pp. 667-668.
  5. Chen, Y., Martens, R., Valkonen, R., and Manteuffel, D. , "Evaluation of Adaptive Impedance Tuning for Reducing the Form Factor of Handset Antennas", Antennas and Propagation, IEEE Transactions on., vol.63, no.2, pp.703-710, Feb. 2015.
  6. Martens, R. and Manteuffel, D. , "Optimal Placement of PCB-integrated Diversity Elements in a Compact Tunable Handset Antenna", in Antennas and Propagation (EUCAP), 2015 9th European Conference on., Lisbon, Portugal, April 12-17, 2015.