Sofant Technologies are developing a unique solution to steer the radio signal towards the receiver—improving range and performance of the antenna, whilst reducing the power required to operate the network, thereby avoiding the need for expensive cooling systems. Sofant’s patented smart antenna technology enables the steering of radio signals in future wireless systems in the 5G and SatCom space.
Sofant’s product uses RF MEMS (radio-frequency micro-electromechanical system) which steers the signal passively reducing power consumption by more than 70% when compared to conventional semiconductor technology. This addresses a key operational problem of high heat signature of alternative technologies which reduces performance and requires additional capex into cooling systems. The technology is inherently low cost and allows simpler radio frequency system design, whilst improving performance and reducing power consumption.
Sofant was incorporated in Edinburgh in 2011, following 10yrs R&D at Scottish Microelectronics Centre at Edinburgh University. The technology initially came about from low power inter-satellite communication application research.
Sofant’s technology is wide-ranging in terms of markets and applications. However, the company is targeting two initial sizeable markets for which their technology’s benefits align most closely with industry pain-points.
- Satellite Communications: Ka band antennas for ground terminals are essential for satellite communications and relay of information. This is a rapidly growing sector with improved performance and cost benefits from using Sofant’s technology.
- 5G: mmWave frequencies need sophisticated antenna array technology to direct the radio beam towards its intended target. Base stations will be required every 150m in cities, requiring high volumes of antenna systems. The infrastructure elements are one of the main limiting factors in the adoption of widespread 5G. Sofant’s technology provides solutions to many of the current limitations.