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RF Wireless Circuits, Systems and Test Fundamentals - Online

Course 112

Available with RF Mentor Academy Subscription

  -  On Demand, Besser Associates Online Academy / Rick Fornes


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This course provides RF engineers, system designers, manufacturing engineers and other professionals with the essential concepts needed to understand effectively RF and wireless products. This program provides a thorough understanding of RF parameters and as they apply to Wireless applications. At the system level, this course combines theory with real-life examples, providing participants with a complete foundation in understanding architectures - the physical layer requirements and RF measurement techniques.

Recordings of instructor Rick Fornes recent live web classroom course can now be viewed online at your convenience anywhere you have internet access. This online course is presented in five recorded 3 hour sessions and available on-demand over a 60 day access period. You will also be able to download a PDF of the instructor's notes, so that you can follow along with the lecture.

This course is intended for registered students only. Please contact us for group rates at or 650-949-3300. Recording, copying, or re-transmission of classroom material is prohibited.

Learning objectives

Upon completing the course you will be able to:

  • Describe RF circuit parameters and terminology.
  • Analyze system performance.
  • Interpret S-parameters from measurements and datasheets.
  • Interpret key performance parameters such as P1dB, IP3, noise figure, Gain, Etc.
  • Develop wireless communication system budget profiles.
  • Understand RF system test standards and measurement techniques.
  • Describe test requirements needed for new (5G) wireless networks

Target Audience

Engineers, programmers, chip designers, and engineering managers involved in the design, planning, implementation, or testing of communication systems would benefit from this intermediate-level course. Participants should have a BSEE or equivalient.


Part One

RF Terminology and Fundamentals
 • Overview of fundamentals • Wave parameters: frequency, amplitude, and phase • Complex impedances and admittances • The basics of propagation • Understanding dB, dBm, and RF power • Characteristic impedances • Power-flow and traveling waves • Reflection coefficient, VSWR, Return Loss • Calculating mismatch losses

Part Two

Understanding Scattering (s) Parameters - Everything RF
 • Scattering (S) parameters • Differences between Small Signal and Large Signal S-parameters • Cascading building blocks
Optimizing RF Circuit Performance
 • Real and complex terminations • Bandwidth considerations • Component equivalent circuits • Component losses and parasitics • Test fixtures and de-embedding • Power flow in two port networks • Basic design techniques
Digital Performance Requirements for RF Radio Systems
 • Why Digital • Defining Performance Standards: Bit Error Rate (BER) and Block Error rate (BLER) • Data rates, symbol rates, Eb/No and C/N ratios • Trade-offs between Digital Modulation Techniques and RF Performance

Part Three

Key RF System Requirements
 • Noise figure (NF) • Sensitivity • Spurious free Dynamic range • Intermodulation distortion (IP3/IP2) • System analysis techniques
RF System Architectures
 • System Architectures and Integration Techniques • Defining System Performance Requirements • Direct Conversion Vs. Up/Down conversion • Architecture Examples
RF Test Setups and Measurement Techniques
 • Wireless standards • RF Test Systems • RF Test methods • Qualification and Regulatory approval • Receiver - Sensitivity - C/I Performance - Blocking Performance - Intermodulation Performance - Pin Max • Transmitter - Output power - Tx output spectrum - Modulation characteristics - Carrier frequency shift - Adjacent Channel Power (ACP) - Out-of-Band spurious emissions