Applied RF Techniques II

Course 003

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This five-day course is a follow up course to Applied RF Techniques I and provides participants with the critical tools to design, analyze, test, and integrate nonlinear transmitter and receiver circuits and subsystems. Circuit level engineers will master the latest nonlinear design techniques to both analyze and design transceiver circuits. System engineers will examine commercially available integrated circuit functions; learn the performance limits and how to establish specifications. Test engineers will learn how to test and evaluate circuits. Transceiver circuits to be covered include power amplifiers and the critical receiver elements: oscillators and mixers. Receiver architecture and synthesizer design to meet critical requirements will be presented. Techniques to successfully integrate circuit functions for the transceiver will be presented.

Students are encouraged to bring their laptop computers to class. CAD software will be used to simulate design examples.

Learning objectives

Upon completing the course you will be able to:

  • Understand and quantify nonlinear effects of transmit and receive systems
  • Use CAD nonlinear models to analyze/design circuits and transceivers
  • Design efficient linear power amplifiers, using load pull data, as well as full nonlinear techniques for digital and analog input signals
  • Compare and select various transmitter distortion reduction techniques
  • Design high dynamic range sensitive receivers with multiple input signals
  • Design signal sources using advanced phased lock loop techniques
  • Design/specify/test low noise oscillators (DROs, Crystal, VCOs, VCXOs) and predict/minimize phase noise
  • Design/specify/test passive and active mixers with various configurations and compare performance
  • Integrate circuit functions considering PCB selection, grounding, interconnection techniques, isolation, and component interaction

Target Audience

Component and system designers, engineering managers, test and engineering technicians will benefit from this course. Applied RF Techniques I or equivalent practical experience is recommended for this course.


Day One

Nonlinear Circuits & Concepts
High Efficiency Power Amplifier Design
 • Transmitter elements and modulation • PA transistors • Matching for maximum gain or output power • Load-pull measurement techniques • Predicting output power contours, design examples • High efficiency techniques • Class A, B, C, D, E, F, harmonic termination consideration • Power combining
Nonlinearities in RF Amplifiers

Day Two

Power Amplifier Distortion Reduction Techniques
 • power back-off • Cartesian feedback • fixed predistortion • RF predistortion • digital predistortion • feed-forward • LINC
Alternate transmitters
 • Kahn, Polar, Doherty, Chierix-Outphasing
CAD of Nonlinear Circuits
 • Nonlinear circuit analysis and transistor nonlinear models • Complete BJT and FET CAD circuit design example

Day Three

Receivers and Their Architecture
 • RF receiver types, performance characteristics, comparison • A/D considerations • Receiver nonlinearities
Modulation Techniques
 • AM, FM, digital • Receiver architectures and design - amplification, filtering, LO selection, mixing, demodulation • Testing
Frequency synthesis, PLL design

Day Four

Feedback and negative resistance oscillator design
 • RF stability, pushing, pulling considerations
AM FM Noise Considerations
 • Low phase-noise design • Post tuning drift
Dielectric Resonators
 • Dielectric resonator stability techniques
VCOs and crystal oscillators
 • Electronic tuning strategies • Oscillator specification, testing • Commercially available VCO’s

Day Five

Diode and Transistor Mixers
 • resistive and active, design examples • Mixer types - single, balanced, doubly balanced, image reject, image enhanced, harmonic • Conversion loss/gain
Harmonic suppression, linearity, and dynamic range
Integrated assemblies
 • PCB materials, grounding, layout and interconnection techniques, isolation, component interaction
Transceiver Integration
 • Commercially available transceiver IC chips