The launch of the Raspberry Pi Zero W again astounds us how much can be achieved in an integrated circuit. In this new version of the small and compact Raspberry Pi Zero there is however a special surprise: the design of your antenna.
This component is vital to good WiFi reception quality, and The Raspberry Pi Foundation engineers have collaborated with a Swedish company called Proant to create a great antenna design.
Long live resonant cavities
Roger Thornton, responsible for the development of the Raspberry Pi Zero W, explained in an interview for The MagPi magazine how the design of the Zero made it virtually impossible to integrate Raspberry Pi 3 circuitry with WiFi on the Zero plate.
The key to antenna integration has been precisely that antenna, which in the Raspberry Pi 3 is a trapezoidal chip that is located at the corner of the GPIO connector, and as indicated by Thornton" is a component mounted on the surface, while in The Zero W antenna is a resonant cavity formed by removing copper from each layer of the PCB (Printed Circuit Board) structure.
The technology was licensed to the company Proant (in fact there is a text in the back of the RPi Zero W indicating it), whose antenna Proant Niche was key. As explained in the article, the resonant cavity makes radio waves resonate with just frequency, and then "captured" by the two small capacitors in the lower part of that plane.
A small masterpiece of electronics that continues to surprise by its benefits, and, of course, by that almost ridiculous price of 10 dollars.