Besser Course: Radio System RF Transceiver Design From Antenna to Bits and Back

May 7, 2018 to May 11, 2018
Event location: 
San Diego, CA

This course will teach participants how to apply intuitive system design methods to dissect the radio modem at RF, analog, and digital domains, with emphasis on a physical understanding of the interaction between components and different radio architectures, as well as quantitative performance evaluation using simple hand calculations and simulation. Participants will be exposed not only to theoretical analysis but also to concrete examples of radio architectures from existing commercial systems such as LTE, WCDMA, GSM, WLAN, Bluetooth, and more. Emerging technologies such as LTE and 5G will be elucidated in the context of their impact on radio design. Participants will perform various exercises using a commercial system design tool to analyze transmitter and receiver end-to-end system metrics such as BER, EVM, phase noise, and spectrum emission.

Upon completing the course, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the different block-level specifications and impairments (noise, P1dB, IIP3, IIP2, gain, bandwidth, phase noise, and spurs) and how to relate them to system-level performance metrics (BER, EVM, modulation type, blocker performance, sensitivity, and selectivity)
  • Traverse between block-level specifications and overall system performance and back 
  • Analyze and abstract (at block level) the most critical blocks in today’s RF modem (low noise amplifier, mixer, voltage-controlled oscillator, power amplifier, and analog and digital baseband circuits such A/Ds, D/As and filters)
  • Evaluate the impact of different impairments in radio front ends on performance, including interference, different noise sources, circuit nonlinearity, and phase noise
  • Understand the tradeoffs between block-level performance, choice of radio architecture, and overall system performance (power, area, and cost) in relation to a given communication standard

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Course Equipment/Hardware:

  • It is preferred that you bring your own laptop. 
  • Special note: 64-bit PCs are required to run the software. 
  • Software, licenses, and required training materials will be provided during the class.