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ADI 2006 RF Seminar

Chapter VI
A Detailed Look at Wireless
Signal Chain Architectures

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Receiver Architectures
‰Receivers are designed to detect and demodulate the
desired signal and remove unwanted blockers
‰Receiver must also get rid of unwanted signals that it
generates (e.g. mixer spurs)
‰Receiver uses variable gain and power detection
‰Most Receivers will have some form of Automatic Gain
Control
‰Diversity: Some Receiver Systems have two separate
Receive Paths (Antennas separated by a quarter
wavelength).
‰A Diversity Receiver will either pick the strongest signal or
“intelligently” combine both signals to increase signal power

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Blockers – a closer look
Transmit
Power (dBm) Signal
Out-of-Band
Blocker

In-Band
Blockers

A Desired
Signal

Freq
DC
Tx Band Rx Band

‰Blockers can be orders of magnitude larger than the desired


signal
‰Large Blockers can jam a receiver
‰Blockers can inter-modulate with each other and produce IMD
products right at the frequency of the desired signal
‰Some Blockers can be filtered (e.g. out-of-band) but others must
be tolerated.

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A Superheterodyne (Single Conversion) IF
Sampling Receiver
Channel Select
Band/Image Filter
Filter MIXER
I
B C D E F G H IF SAMPLING
VGA
ADC

A DUPLEXER RSSI
/AGC

TRANSMITTER

‰ Mixes the received signal from RF down to a single IF


‰ Uses SAW filters to remove blockers and unwanted mixing components
‰ Detects signal power and implements AGC at the IF
‰ Reduces number of down-conversions by sampling the spectrum at an
Intermediate Frequency but requires a high performance ADC
‰ Is the most popular architecture in non-cellular applications

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IF Sampling Signal Flow
Transmit
Power (dBm) Signal Power (dBm)
Out-of-Band
Blocker

In-Band
Blockers

F Channel Select Filter

A Desired
Signal

Freq
Freq
D
DC
DC
Tx Band Rx Band
Out-of-Band
Power (dBm) Blocker
AGC
&
Nqyuist
In-Band Filter SAMPLING
Blockers Power (dBm) CLOCK

B Transmit
Signal
Desired
Signal
H 2nd
Harmonic Freq
Freq
DC D
DC FIF FS
Tx Band Rx Band
In-Band
Blockers
Power (dBm) Power (dBm)

Blocker FFT
IMD
Desired

C/D Signal
Product

I
Freq Freq
D
DC D
DC FS-FIF FS/2
Tx Band Rx Band

FLO-FRF FLO+FRF

Power (dBm)

Desired LO
Signal Leakage

E
Freq
D
DC FLO

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How IF sampling works

‰The receiver uses RF and IF filters to eliminate the transmit


signal and blockers so that only the desired signal is
sampled
‰The ADC must sample at twice the signal bandwidth to meet
Nyquist criteria
‰Oversampling can be used to improve the signal to noise
ratio by 3 dB for each doubling of the sample frequency
‰Harmonics of ADC driver amp that are not filtered will
degrade performance
‰There is usually a clock recovery loop in an FPGA or DSP or
both that locks the sampling rate to a multiple of the symbol
rate

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Direct Conversion Receiver
IQ DEMOD
Band ADC
Filter
B C D E 0
VGA F G
90

RSSI ADC
A DUPLEXER
/AGC

TRANSMITTER

‰Saves money by mixing RF spectrum to baseband in a single


step
‰Reduces component count and eliminates IF SAW filters
‰There is a reason why RF engineers have not tried this
sooner – removing DC offsets at baseband

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Direct Conversion Receiver
Transmit
Power (dBm) Signal

In-Band
Desired Blocker IMD Blockers
In-Band
Blockers Signal Product

F DC Offset from
A Desired
Signal
LO Self Mixing
&
IP2 Intermodulation

Freq Freq
DC DC FS/2 FS
Tx Band Rx Band BB Amp
Distortion
Power (dBm)

In-Band Desired
Blockers
Carrier Nqyuist

G Filter

C Desired
Signal

Transmit
Signal
Freq Freq
DC DC FS/2 FS
Tx Band Rx Band

Power (dBm)

In-Band
Blockers

Blocker IMD
Product
E Desired
Signal
Transmit
Signal

Freq
DC
Tx Band Rx Band

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Direct Conversion Receiver
‰In-Band Blockers can only be eliminated at the end of the
signal chain or in the digital domain.
‰In-Band Blockers can mix in the Front End (before mixer) to
produce an unwanted product at baseband
‰LO leakage to the RF input causes self-mixing and produces
an unwanted dc offset at dc (right in the middle of the
desired signal)
‰Non-Ideal 90 degree balance in the Demodulator produces
unwanted images of blockers which can be close to the
carrier
‰Direct Conversion Receivers are cheaper and smaller (no IF
SAW filters, cheaper ADCs, only one mixer)

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Transmitter Architectures

‰Super Heterodyne with IQ Modulator


‰Super Heterodyne with Real IF DAC Synthesis
‰Direct Conversion
‰Low IF to RF Conversion

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Superheterodyne Transmitter using IQ
Modulator
Gain=10dB
NF=12 dB
-15 dBm
380 MHz -25 dBm
OIP3=20 dBm -15 dBm -18 dBm -3 dBm +45 dBm
P1 dB=10 dBm
PA
DAC ACTIVE
BAND DRIVER
FILTER PA
SAW MIXER
IF Diff
AMP +15dB 48 dB
to SE

-10 dB 0 to -20dB -3 dB
DAC
AD8345
C D E F G
TxDAC A B +10dB

-5 dBm

AD8362
1760 +/-30 MHz AD8362
380 MHz 60 dB RMS Detector
ADF4212L (Int-N) 1580 +/-30 MHz 60 dB RMS Detector
1462.5 +/-37.5 MHz
ADF4252 (Frac-N)

‰ Superheterodyne Transmitter uses one or more Intermediate Frequencies.


‰ DAC constructs the baseband signal, centered either at dc or at a low
Intermediate Frequency (IF)
‰ Gain control and filtering may be implemented at RF, IF, and baseband.
‰ Lots of power back-off to avoid distortion in non-constant envelope
systems
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Superheterodyne Transmitter using IQ
Modulator

A IMAGE LO

F E
DC Tx Band
IF
Tx Band F
B
DC
F F
IF Tx Band
Tx Band F

C
F
IF Tx Band

D G
F DC
F
Tx Band Tx Band
IF

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Superheterodyne Transmitter using IQ
Modulator
‰Noise and Spurs generated in the IF stage can be filtered
‰After mix to RF, band filtering removes out of band noise
along with the image
‰In-Band noise generated in mix to RF cannot be removed

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Example: Superhet with IF Synthesis of
signal in IQ format
AD8345
Step Power
Attenuator Amplifier
16-bit AD8343
AD9777 22 Mhz 40dB

16-bit C 380 MHz D E Band F G


Filter
A B
402 MHz 1.52 GHz

‰Driving IQ mod with a low IF creates a single-sideband-like


spectrum at the modulator output.
‰Once IF has been filtered (removing unwanted sideband and
LO), modulation quality (EVM) is excellent.

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Example: Superheterodyne Receiver with
IF Synthesis of signal in IQ format
LO
A IMAGES
LEAKAGE

F E
LOW IF
Tx Band F
B
LOW IF
F F
UNDESIRED
Tx Band F
LO UPPER
LEAKAGE SIDEBAND

C
IF
F

D G
F DC
IF
Tx Band F

‰Unwanted LO leakage and Upper Sideband are filtered at IF,


resulting in excellent EVM
‰If low IF is high enough, do a single up-conversion to RF
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Direct Conversion Zero IF Architecture
-15 dBm
-18 dBm -3 dBm +45 dBm

PA
DAC BAND DRIVER
FILTER PA

+15dB 48 dB

0 to -20dB -3 dB

DAC
AD8349

AD9767 TxDAC
-5 dBm

AD8362
AD8362 60 dB RMS Detector
1760 +/-30 MHz 60 dB RMS Detector
1580 +/-30 MHz
1462.5 +/-37.5 MHz

‰ Direct Conversion mixes a base-band signal from a dual DAC up to the transmission frequency in a
single step.
‰ With no IF, gain control, filtering, and equalization must be performed either in the digital backend, at
the reconstructed analog base-band output or at RF.
‰ Effects of LO leakage and Upper Sideband Leakage occur in-band potentially interfering with the
signal’s EVM.
‰ Dual channels are required to generate the complex signal, any channel mismatch causes In-band
distortion which cannot be filtered.
‰ High quality components are required to generate an accurate signal
‰ In-Band Modulator Noise cannot be filtered
‰ Calibration of LO leakage and Quadrature balance is generally necessary
‰ PA to LO leakage can modulate or “pull” the PLL

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Example: Direct Conversion Transmitter
-15 dBm
-18 dBm -3 dBm +45 dBm

PA
DAC BAND DRIVER
FILTER PA

+15dB 48 dB

0 to -20dB -3 dB

DAC
AD8349
C D E
AD9767 TxDAC
A B
-5 dBm

AD8362
AD8362 60 dB RMS Detector
1760 +/-30 MHz 60 dB RMS Detector
1580 +/-30 MHz
1462.5 +/-37.5 MHz

A
DC
D
Tx Band Freq
DC Tx Band Freq
B
DC Tx Band Freq

C E
Tx Band Freq DC Tx Band Freq
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Poor OIP3 causes Adjacent Channel
Leakage
Adjacent
Channel
Leakage
SNR

‰ Think of a broadband spectrum multiple tones inter-modulating with each


other
‰ IM3 products produce Adjacent Channel Power/Leakage/Distortion
‰ Use 3-to-1 decay of IMD products to reduce dBc IMD but this degrades
SNR
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ACPR and Noise vs. Output Power
-55.0 -150

-56.0 -151
ACP 2140 MHz
Noise Floor 2140 MHz
-57.0 -152

Noise Floor - dBm /Hz (25 M hz Carrier Offset)


-58.0 -153

-59.0 -154
ACP - dBc

-60.0 -155

-61.0 -156

-62.0 -157

-63.0 -158

-64.0 -159

-65.0 -160
-30 -28 -26 -24 -22 -20 -18
Per-Carrier Output Power - dBm

‰ACP degrades with increased output power due to IMD


‰Noise is independent of input and output power
‰At low power levels ACP degrades because of falling SNR
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Example: Low IF to RF Transmitter using
IF Synthesizing DAC and Passive Mixer
Gain= -5 dB
-16 dBm -6 dBm NF= 5 dB -14 dBm +1 dBm
-11 dBm +45 dBm
OIP3= +35 dBm
P1 dB= 25 dBm PA
BAND DRIVER
Pout -15 dBm ANTI PASSIVE FILTER PA
190 MHz ALIAS MIXER

AD9786 IF
+15dB 44 dB
AMP
DAC
0 to -20dB -3 dB
-1 dB
10 dB

+5 dB

-5 dBm

AD8362
2.33 GHz AD8362 60 dB RMS Detector
60 dB RMS Detector
2.15 GHz
2.03 GHz

‰Baseband DAC, IQ Modulator and PLL are replaced by an IF


Synthesizing DAC or DDS modulator
‰Trade Off: High Performance DDS/DAC + SAW + Mixer + PLL vs.
IQ DAC + Modulator + PLL
‰None of the problems typically associated with Direct Conversion
‰Probably more expensive than Direct Conversion

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Low IF to RF Architecture
ω LO

A
DC ωIF Tx Band ω
ω LO-ωIF ω LO ω LO+ ωIF
B
DC ωIF Tx Band ω

‰High Performance DAC generates “real” IF at a low IF (100-200


MHz)
‰Mixer performs Double Sideband Modulation
‰Advantage: Unwanted LO and Sideband are removed -> excellent
EVM
‰Challenge: To move unwanted LO and upper sideband out of band
means that the IF must be quite high

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