Ceramic Antennas vs Stamped Metal Antenna


Anyone know the key difference between ceramic antenna and stamped metal antenna? Both goes under SMD/chip antenna. From what I understand the ceramic ones can be smaller and are easier to manufacture, while the metal ones are a bit better?

Stamped Metal Antenna Pictures

Ceramic Antenna

“Chip” ceramic antennae generally have poorer range than PCB trace or stamped metal MIFA / IFA designs. This Cypress app note gives a good overview:


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With antennas, almost all the time bigger means better. It has less to do with the type of construction, and more to do with the size of the elements. There are many chip antennas that are actually quite large related to center frequency.

Some ceramic antennas are just PIFA type with a high dielectric to get miniaturization. Most stamped metal antennas are of the PIFA topology.

However, most ceramic antennas are really just matched inductive loads. In many cases, I’ll use a ceramic chip antenna at a high frequency (e.g. 3 GHz) and extend a trace from it to get a lower frequency (e.g. 1575 MHz). The circuit for this is just like a monopole trace with inductor and capacitor components for size reduction (usually bandwidth reduction, too), but instead of two-three components it’s one component, the price break is sometimes better, and there’s less time spent fooling around on the VNA.

Here’s a nice page with chip antennas and stamped metal antennas. IMO, Ethertronics (now AVX) makes the best chip antennas in the business, but they are usually not no simple to use as, say Johanson. It’s important to know what is the topology of a chip antenna before you integrate it.


Thanks both of you! This made things a lot more clearer. I just got a full feature ESP32 and that had a stamped metal antenna, while most seem to have PCB trace. Then I fell down the antenna rabbit hole and this ceramic appeared. What I am working on is to build something that controls multiple LED strips from scratch, so will need antennas.

Would also recommend everyone who don’t know much about antennas but are interested to read " AN91445 Antenna Design and RF Layout Guidelines.pdf" in this link. It is very compact and explain most stuff I have been wondering about regarding antennas.