Advanced Radio System Architectures

Course 214

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The ideas associated with sampling and digital signals that revolutionised modulation systems and are now revolutionising radio system design. This course continues the theme of block diagram rather than circuit diagram design, presenting an up to date view on concepts for advanced radio systems that incorporate digital signal processing at RF frequencies and the concepts of software defined radio. It is a practical approach for technical professionals to understand the latest designs and architectures for radio systems that include DSP.

Learning objectives

Upon completing the course you will be able to:

  • Understand important features of ADC/DAC with respect to sampling theory, filtering, Eb/No
  • perform cascade system analysis incorporating ADC functions
  • select oscillators, mixers, and frequency synthesizers for specific applications
  • understand PLL measurements of gain, phase margin, phase noise
  • create accurate IQ modulators and demodulators
  • weigh strengths and weaknesses of various system architectures including SuperHet and ZIF designs
  • plan and distribute frequency control and gain blocks including automatic control loops
  • balance analog/digital and hardware/software distribution for a given system

Target Audience

This is an intermediate to advanced level course for system architects, design engineers and managers looking for up to date information on recent advances in the field of radio system design. The objective is to expand the range of radio design into the DSP era. Learning objectives include identifying the critical RF parameters in wireless transceiver technology, understanding the various trade offs in different architectures and understanding the balance of analogue to digital processing for cost effective design solutions. These concepts have a broad range of application from low cost terminal devices for mobile communications, multifunction radio systems, remote sensing, advanced concept radios for radar/surveillance and enabling wireless connectivity in a variety of product and services.

The course is suitable for those working in radio as well as in the mobile phone industry, handset or base station, satellite communications, radar and EW / ECM.


Day One

Sampling, DSP and Software Defined Radio
 • Important features of ADC/DAC • Sampling theory • Baseband filtering • Eb/No • Digital processing • Digital down conversion - Software defined radio
System Level Parameters
 • Signal and noise levels • Intermodulation • Dynamic range • Standard cascade analysis extended to include ADC

Day Two

Local Oscillators
 • Stability • Tuning range • Linearity
 • Image band • Choice of IF • Spurious signal responses • Examples
Frequency synthesizers
 • Direct • Indirect • Digital • Examples showing options and designs
System Level Performance
 • Mixers, multipliers, PLL contributions to spurious and noise • Measurement techniques • PLL gain, phase margin, phase noise • IQ modulator/demodulators for accurate signals

Day Three

Transceiver Architecture Incorporating DSP
 • Examples of real system architectures • strengths and weaknesses • Superhet radio • Single/multiple IF designs • Direct conversion/zero IF (ZIF) • Near-zero IF • Frequency and Gain planning • Automatic gain control loops • Automatic frequency control loops
DSP Considerations
 • Relevance to radio system architecture • Balance of analog to digital functional blocks • Balance of hardware to software
Bonus Materials on Included CDROM
 • Custom applications • Spreadsheets • Simulation files • Selected application notes • Web links