Fundamentals of RF and Wireless Performance Testing

Fundamentals of RF and Wireless Performance Testing

Personal communications have become ubiquitous in today’s society. Consider for a moment that modern smart phones may contain, in addition to a quad-band cellular transceiver, WLAN, GPS, and Bluetooth radios. As our need for wireless communications of all types continues to increase, engineers need a solid foundation on radio frequency and wireless principles. This course provides a system level overview of the building blocks of a modern digital radio. Participants will gain an understanding of the functions and performance parameters for each block. The course will then address the RF performance testing of the system and each component block, both for characterization with benchtop instrumentation and for production using high-speed, high-volume automated test equipment (ATE). Advanced topics addressing audience specific needs will also be discussed.

Currently Scheduled Course Dates

  • Jan 23, 2011 - Dallas, TX
  • Jan 24, 2011 - Austin, TX

Course Objectives

This short course will enable engineers who work in the RF/Wireless area to understand how modern transceivers function. The participants in this course will learn:

  • The differences between analog and digital radios
  • How a radio system is partitioned
  • What the different blocks are and what they do
  • How a transceiver is tested at the block level and as a system
  • Testing coverage trade-offs: bench vs. ATE

Course Overview

  • Overview of Applications
  • Analog and Digital Radios – A Brief Comparison
  • System Partition – RF and Baseband
  • Modulation Considerations
    • Analog and Digital Modulation
    • Modulation Efficiency
  • Transceiver Components
    • LNA
    • Mixers
    • Oscillators/Synthesizers
    • Filters
    • PA
    • ADCs/DACs
    • VGAs
  • Transceiver Architectures
    • Heterodyne Receivers
    • Homodyne Receivers
    • Direct-Conversion Transmitters
    • Two-Step Transmitters
  • RF Test and Measurement
    • Spurious Emissions
    • Sensitivity
    • Dynamic Range
    • BER
    • Power
    • Gain
    • Noise Figure
    • P1dB
    • TOI, IP3, and IM3
    • S-parameters
    • Input and Output Impedance
    • Phase Noise
    • Others, yes there are many other tests
  • Bench vs. ATE testing
    • System vs. Block Tests
    • Characterization Measurements
    • Production Testing
  • Advanced discussion on RF testing based on audience needs

Course Prerequisites

Basic understanding of radio transceiver architectures at the block level.

Sample slides

Who Should Attend

  • System Engineers
  • RF/Mixed-Signal and Analog Design Engineers
  • Product and Test engineers
  • Experienced engineers transitioning into the RF/Wireless arena
  • Product line managers who need a broad grasp of RF/Wireless system design
  • New engineering graduates

Course Materials

  • A hardcopy of the "Presentation materials" will be included as part of the course.

Instructor's Profile:Dr. Claudio Montiel

Claudio Montiel received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1988 from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and joined Western Geophysical Company (Houston, Texas) where he served in seismic data acquisition crews in Africa and Latin America for three years. He received his Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&I University (Kingsville) in 1993 and his Ph. D. in Electrical Engineering in 1997 from Texas A&M University (College Station). He has over 12 years of experience in the area of RF/Wireless production testing of RFICs for both mobile and infrastructure applications. At IBM, he developed RFIC test solutions for Roos and Teradyne ATEs. At Texas Instruments, he worked on tester platforms from TI, Teradyne, and Verigy. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering at Texas A&M University – Kingsville, where he teaches courses in electronics and RF/Microwave systems.

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