Besser Course: Radio Systems - RF Transceiver Design from Antenna to Bits and Back

Feb 25, 2019 to Mar 1, 2019
Event location: 
San Diego, CA

This course teaches 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 how to perform quantitative performance evaluation using simple hand calculations and simulation. Participants are 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 are elucidated in the context of their impact on radio design. Participants 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:

  • Gain in-depth understanding of the different block-level specifications and impairments (e.g. noise, P1dB, IIP3, IIP2, gain, bandwidth, phase noise and spurs) and how to relate them to system level performance metrics (e.g. BER, EVM, modulation type, blocker performance, sensitivity and selectivity)
  • Traverse between block level specifications and overall system performance and backwards
  • Analyze and abstract (at block level) the most critical blocks in today’s RF modem (e.g. 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 trade-offs between block-level performance, choice of radio architecture and overall system performance (e.g. power, area and cost) in relation to a given communication standard
  • Learn the major aspects of the digital signal processing chain at both the modulation and demodulation ends
  • Use simple back-of-the-envelope calculations and understanding of path loss and fading to predict RF system’s performance in terms of link budget and link margin.
  • Evaluate thru simulation (at block level) various modem design aspects involving RF, analog and digital impairments.
  • Traverse across legacy wireless standards (e.g. BT, WiFi, GSM,..) and emerging LTE, 5G, MIMO standards and tie back to the impact on radio hardware.
  • Tie between system level performance parameters and test equipment specifications

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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