Applied RF II: Advanced Wireless and Microwave Techniques

Course 086

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This five-day course provides participants with an in-depth examination of advanced RF and microwave design techniques. Antennas and filters are covered briefly, followed by a detailed discussion of figures of merit. Mixers and oscillator designs are also evaluated. Considerable attention is devoted to defining, classifying, and improving the efficiency and linearity of power amplifiers. Numerous design examples are provided for participant exploration.

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:

  • Select optimum receiver architectures.
  • Describe the practical limitations of small antennas and filters.
  • Detect hot spots in proposed designs.
  • Use figures of merit to optimize new designs and available integrated circuits.
  • Evaluate spurious responses.
  • Evaluate tradeoffs between noise figure, IIP3, match, isolation and DC power.
  • Design low noise and highly linear amplifiers.
  • Design passive and active mixers.
  • Explain and design VCOs and stable oscillators.
  • Design low distortion and efficient power amplifiers.
  • Utilize modern circuit simulators and a simple system simulator.

Target Audience

Component and system level designers, as well as engineering managers will benefit from this course. Basic knowledge of microwave measurements and transmission line (Smith Chart) theory is assumed.


Day One - Receivers and Their Components

Small Antennas
 • Simple • Diversity • Small size • Efficiency • Tuning
Filters: a 1 hour overview
 • Performance • Limitations • RF Filter loss • Selectivity • Size • Cost • Active vs. passive
Receiver Types
 • Architectures • Performance • Limitations • Modulation - how that impacts architecture • Hot spots, the problem areas
Figures of merit: preparing to evaluate circuit techniques, IC's
 • Noise figure • IIP3 • Match • Isolation • DC power tradeoffs • Spurious response effects • Comparing technologies

Day Two - Linear Receiver Circuits

LNA Design - A 2 Hour Review
 • Specification hierarchy • Design - noise figure - gain - match • How to choose a device • Review design of a 2.5 GHz low noise amplifier • LNA and IF amplifier - reducing non-linearity • Intermodulation, cross modulation, and blocking • Evaluating IC performance • Design - Noise figure - gain - IIP3 • Detailed design of a 1.9 GHz high IIP3 LNA • Appying the techniques to a high performance IF amplifier
 • Specifications • Evaluating available Ics • Mixer types
 • Balance • Size • Loss • Cost • Some solutions

Day Three - Non-Linear Design

Mixers: Diode or FET, Active or Passive?
 • Harmonic mixers • Spurious responses • Design of an active, a passive, and a doubling mixer
LO - Local Oscillator
 • Specifications - noise - spurs - stability • How to choose a device - gain - size - current - technology tradeoffs • Feedback vs. negative resistance oscillators • Circuit design overview - loop gain - crossing angle - topology - types • Detailed designs - 1GHz VCO - 2GHz LO - 5 GHz DRO • Stabilization - supply - load - temperature effects - squegging

Day Four - Oscillators and Power Amplifier Design

Crystal Oscillators
 • An overview • Crystal characteristics and equivalent circuit • Overtone oscillator - what affects noise - spurious output
Power Amplifiers
 • Introduction • Amplifiers classes A through Z • Straightforward (Cripps) approach • Real device characteristics and their impact • Modelling with harmonic balance and SPICE • Design of a class AB amplifier

Day Five - Power Amplifier Design

Improving Efficiency
 • Class B and C amplifiers - gain - load line - efficiency enhancement • Class E, F and harmonic termination amplifiers: realistic expectations • Push- pull amplifiers, bipolar and FET
Multistage design theory
 • Driver amplifiers and interstage matching, some solutions • Balanced amplifiers, a solution to some matching problems • Design of a 2 stage amplifier
Linearization Techniques
 • Predistortion • Feed-forward • Lossless feedback