I'm designing an asset tracking product that needs to fit in a very compact space. I can just about squeeze the nrf9160 and my two antennas (un-amplified PulseLarsen W3011 for GPS, Taoglas NCP5820 for nb-IoT) onto the top of the board whilst respecting the antennas' keep out zones, but is this a good idea?

On the plus side, it allows us to have very short traces from the antennas to the nrf9160, with no unnecessary vias (which we'd need if we were to relocate the chip onto the bottom of the board). On the other hand, it puts a large chip with a metal cap right next to our antennas (it's my understanding that the antennas should be kept away from metal objects), and possibly introduces noise onto the ground plane of our antennas?

This is our first foray into rf design so any pointers will be gladly received!

  • \$\begingroup\$ well, they are keep out zones. If the datasheets say if you keep out of these, things will be alright, then I'd trust the datasheet. However, really make sure you're correctly interpreting the datasheet! \$\endgroup\$ – Marcus Müller Mar 5 at 9:33

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