Applied Radio Design: From System Architecture to PCB Implementation - CEI-Europe
Course #91

Applied Radio Design: From System Architecture to PCB Implementation

We recommend you to submit your preliminary or firm registration at least 4 weeks before course start to ensure a seat on the course.


Wireless technology penetrates more and more applications in the industry, the home and the office. The semiconductor industry offers a wide range of IC devices for wireless transmitters and receivers. It is the charter of the RF circuit designer to implement these ICs on a PCB according to the system architecture. 

Starting from a system level consideration and ending with an example of a practical realisation, the course enables the participant to implement a wireless data transmission system on the PCB level. 
Particular attention is paid on the tuition of immediately applicable knowledge. The tools most frequently used in RF engineering are introduced, their application is exercised on practical examples.


Wireless Data Transmission on the System Level 
This section gives an overview on the modulation formats and multiple access techniques used in wireless transmission systems. Typical transmitter and receiver architectures are introduced; their advantages and disadvantages will be discussed.

  • Analogue Modulation Methods: AM, FM, PM
  • Digital Modulation Methods: ASK, FSK, m-PSK
  • BER vs. Signal-to-Noise-Ratio
  • Multiple Access Techniques
  • Examples of Wireless Standards
  • Typical Transmitter and Receiver Architectures

RF Basics 
We discuss the exceptional features of the radio frequency range, 
complex numbers, logarithmic scales, impedance and admittance 
concepts. The features of ideal and real passive components at radio 
frequencies will be explained.

  • Complex Numbers
  • Logarithmic Scales
  • Passive Components
  • The Impact of Parasitics


RF Basics (cont´d) 
We consider resonant circuits, transmission lines, reflection, and matching. The use of the Smith Chart as a tool to solve matching tasks will be extensively practiced. A discussion of S-parameters, nonlinear distortions and noise completes the RF basic section.

  • Resonant Circuits
  • Reflection and Matching
  • The Smith Chart and Its Application
  • 2-port-parameters and S-parameters in Particular
  • Transmission Lines
  • RF PCB Design
  • Nonlinear Distortions
  • Noise Behaviour and Sensitivity Considerations
  • Network Analysis Software Tools

Building Blocks of Wireless Transmitters and Receivers 
Based on the knowledge obtained in the previous section, building blocks of wireless receivers and transmitters will be treated. The course lets the participant understand the principal function and the specifications of low noise amplifiers, power amplifiers, oscillators, and mixers. Practical hints to use integrated circuits that contain these building blocks are given.

  • Amplifier Design
  • Stability of Amplifiers
  • Loci of Constant Noise Figure
  • The available gain concept
  • LNA Design Example
  • Power Amplifiers
  • Oscillators
  • VCO Tank Circuit Design
  • Mixers


Phase Locked Loop Synthesisers 
We begin with a discussion of the control loop basics needed for the analysis of the dynamical behaviour of PLLs. Parameters that describe the phase fluctuations are introduced and the impact of the noise behaviour of a PLL on the receiver and transmitter performance in a wireless system is discussed. 
As the loop filter is a key element in any PLL, its dimensioning based on lock time and spurious requirements will be treated in great detail. We will also discuss sources of phase detector spurs, speed-up circuits and the problems linked to it. At the end of the session, we introduce fractional-N and Sigma-Delta-PLLs.

  • Transfer Functions
  • Stability Criteria
  • Characteristic Function
  • Bode Plots
  • Description of Phase Noise
  • Impact of Phase Noise on the System Performance
  • PLL with 1st Order Loop Filter
  • Lock Time, Natural Frequency, Damping Factor, and Phase Margin
  • Sources of Phase Noise in a PLL and Its Simulation
  • 2nd-, 3rd-, and High-order Filter
  • Phase and Frequency Modulation in a PLL
  • Loop Filter Dimensioning from Lock Time Requirements


Antennas and Propagation 
We explain parameters describing antennas and discuss the relationships between them. Antenna types for small and handheld devices are introduced; their advantages and disadvantages will be discussed from a practical point of view. Then we will consider the propagation of RF waves in free space and inside buildings, and introduce methods of predicting the maximum reach of a RF link. At the end of the session practical hints for the measurement of antenna parameters are given.

  • Antenna Parameters
  • Electrical Antennas
  • Magnetical Antennas
  • Practical Comparison of Antenna Types for an Example Application
  • The RF Link Budget
  • Path Loss Prediction in Free Space and Inside Buildings
  • Multipath Effects and Their Mitigation
  • Measurement of Antenna Parameters

Application Example 
The course concludes with an exercise starting with the requirements of a simple practical design task, ending up with the practical implementation using ICs including PCB layout and antenna.



CEI-Europe AB, Teknikringen 1F, SE-583 30 Linköping, Sweden Phone +46-13-100 730 Fax +46-13-100 731