RFIC Design


Loadline Design

Loadline Design The output of a power amplifier (PA) is terminated with a specific impedance. This impedance is required for optimal linearity or power generation or efficiency or combination of such specs, and is determined by loadpull analysis. We call it loadline. While a loadline helps PA deliver its performance, the matching (VSWR) gets ruined […]

TX Receive Band Noise

TX Receive Band Noise Spec Explained As with any circuit, a TX comes with two basic impairments: distortion and noise. Some of these fall very close to the signal band, get transmitted out of antenna, and cause emissions in adjacent channels measured as ACLR. And some of these fall a little far away from signal […]

TX EVM Breakdown

TX EVM EVM is one of the key TX design spec. EVM is a measure of signal quality. It is a measure of in-band distortion and noise while ACLR was a measure of out-of-band distortion and noise. Funny enough that since it is in-band, you do not care as much about it as ACLR. If […]

Phase Noise Integration in ACLR

Estimate Noise Contribution in TX ACLR A TX is required to comply with Spectral Mask which basically says you cannot transmit x amount of power outside of your given frequency band. As with everything in life, TX is not ideal and ends up spilling some power in adjacent bands which is measured as ACLR. This […]

TX ACLR Breakdown

TX ACLR TX is one of the most challenging (and rewarding) block in RFIC design, and ACLR is one of the key TX design spec. ACLR is a measure of out-of-band distortion (and noise) that leaks to the neighboring band. While IM3 is a great test for distortion, it leaves a lot to be desired […]

mm-wave PA Design

final loadpull and source pull simulation results

A sneak peak into the design of a 94GHz mm-Wave PA using Keysight ADS, Cadence and Sonnet.

TX IQ Mixer

TX Quadrature Mixer

TX IQ Mixer We want to upconvert our baseband signal, (omega_{bb}) , to an RF frequency, (omega_{lo}+omega_{bb}). The easiest and probably the only way alive of doing so is to multiply (omega_{bb}) signal with (omega_{lo}) signal. This works and generates two sidebands, (omega_{lo}+omega_{bb}) & (omega_{lo}-omega_{bb}). But in almost all of the applications today, you just […]

TX HRM Mixer

TX HRM Mixer Your mixer has two frequencies going in, (omega_{bb}) and (omega_{lo}), and you desire only one frequency coming out, (omega_{lo}+omega_{bb}). With the risk of stating the obvious, that is not what happens in real world. Your mixer outputs a lot more trash than you would have ever imagined. Some of it lies far […]

TX Mixer

TX double sideband mixer

TX Mixer Consider a typical TX with DAC (digital to analog converter), BBF (baseband filter and/or amplifier) and MIX (mixer) as shown in image below. Say DAC outputs a sinusoid signal. Let’s do some math to see what happens to the signal when it makes it to the TX output. $$ DAC,(t): Vcos(omega_{bb},t)$$ This signal […]