INTRODUCTION TO RF

CIRCUIT DESIGN
P.M. Palsodkar
Department of Electronics Engineering
Yeshwantrao Chavan College of
Engineering, Nagpur
Introduction
• The field of high frequency circuit design is
receiving significant industrial attention due
to RF & microwave applications.
• Improved semiconductor devices has made it
possible to design digital and analog systems
such as RADAR, global positioning etc….
• The basic of RF can be studied by having
knowledge of EMF and Kirchhoff‟s laws.
• But EMF and Kirchhoff laws failed to address
the issues related to practical high frequency
design principle‟s.
• Both the approach deals with wave guide and
transmission lines but fail‟s to explain the
important aspects of designing high frequency
amplifiers, mixers & oscillators circuits.

Objectives

• Motivation – why this course?

• Importance of RF Design

• What differentiates low from high
frequency circuits?
Motivation
• Both analog & digital design engineers are continually developing
and refining circuits for increasingly higher operational
frequencies.

• Analog circuits for wireless communication in the GHz range and
digital circuits for ever increasing clock speeds of computer
circuits.

• Due to rapid expansion of wireless communication, more compact
amplifiers, filter, oscillator and mixer circuits are being
designed to operate at frequencies above 1 GHz.

• As the frequency increases and the associated wavelengths of
the EM waves becomes comparable to the dimensions of the
discrete components such as resistors, capacitors & inductors,
these components start to deviate in their electric responses
from the ideal frequency behavior.
Importance of RF Design
• When the frequency of operation extends into RF and microwave
domains, it becomes necessary to know the theoretical and practical
aspects of analog circuit design.
• We all know about the conventional Kirchhoff-type voltage &
current law analysis, but apparently it is applicable only to DC and
low frequency lumped parameters systems consisting of networks
of resistors, capacitors & inductors. This analysis fails when applied
to circuits which are governed by EM wave propagation.
• Now question arises as
when and at what frequency the conventional circuits become
inappropriate?
What characteristics makes the high frequency behavior of
electric components so different from their low frequency
behavior?
What new theory has to be employed?
How this theory can be applied to practical design at high
frequency?

Generic RF System
Typical frequency
ranges:

• 890 - 960 MHz
(GSM)

• 824 – 894 MHz

• 1.9 – 2.5 GHz
(CDMA, WCDMA)
Contd…
• The block diagram can also be called as transceiver,
since it consists of both transmitter and receiver
circuits and it uses a single antenna for
communication.

• Here the input signal is first digitally processed. If
the input signal is a voice signal as in cellular phones,
then the voice signal is first converted into digital
form then compressed to reduce the time of
transmission and finally coded to suppress noise and
communication errors.


• After the input is digitally processed, it is converted
back to analog form by DAC.

• This low frequency signal is mixed a high frequency
carrier signal provided by local oscillator.

• The combined signal is amplified by power amplifier
and then routed to the antenna which radiates the
encoded information as EM waves into free space.
Contd…
Dimensions and Units
• In free space, plane EM wave propagation in the
positive z-direction in sinusoidal form is represented
as
E
x
= E
0x
cos (ωt – βz) --------- 1

Hy = H
0y
cos (ωt – βz) --------- 2

where
E
x
& H
y
are the x-directed electric and y-directed
magnetic field vector components.
E
ox
and H
0y
represent constant amplitude factors in
units of V/m and A/m.


• These waves possess an angular frequency „ω‟ and a
propagation constant β where β = 2π/λ.

• The ratio of electric & magnetic field components is
called as intrinsic impedance Z
0
.




• The field components are orthogonal to each other and
both are orthogonal to the direction of propagation. This
is called as Transverse electromagnetic mode (TEM).
• The phase velocity of TEM wave is

Contd…
Solution
Frequency Spectrum
RF Behavior of Passive Components
• Conventional AC analysis suggests that resistance R is frequency
independent and capacitor C and inductor L can be specified by
reactance's X
c
and X
L
as follows:-

•At low frequencies of 60 Hz, capacitor (C=1pF) and inductor (L=1nH)
will act as open circuit and short circuit respectively because
• Resistances, capacitances and inductances are not
only created by wires, plates and coils as we see in
conventional low-frequency electronics, even a single
straight wire or copper segment of a PCB layout
possesses frequency dependent resistance and
inductance.


High Frequency Resistors
• Resistor is the most common circuit element in low-
frequency electronics which produces a voltage drop.
• Types of resistors:
 Carbon-composite resistors of high density dielectric
granules
 Wire-wound resistors
Metal-film resistors of temperature suitable materials
Thin-film chip resistors
• Mainly thin-film resistors find applications in RF &
microwave circuits as SMD‟s as they can be produced in
extremely small sizes.

• In RF Circuits chip capacitors find variety of application for tuning
of filters and matching networks, biasing of active components such
as transistors.

• General Analysis defines capacitance for parallel plate capacitor as-
High Frequency Capacitors
• Where A is plate surface area, d is distance between plate
separation.

• At high frequencies, the dielectric materials become lossy.

• The impedance of capacitor as a parallel combination of conductance
G
e
and susceptance wC is:


Contd…
• The construction of surface mounted ceramic capacitor is as
follows:-
• The capacitor is a rectangular block of a ceramic dielectric into
which a number of interleaved metal electrodes are sandwiched.

• Capacitance values range from 0.47 pF to 100 nF with the
operating voltage ranging from 16V to 63V.

• Not often employed as resistors and capacitors, inductors are
used in transistor biasing networks. (Eg: as RF Coils to short
circuit a device to DC voltage conditions).

• Figure shows a distributed capacitance and series resistance in
the inductor coil.
High Frequency Inductors
• The equivalent circuit model of inductor is shown below. The
parasitic shunt capacitance Cs and series resistance Rs represent
composite effects of distributed capacitance Cd and resistance Rd
respectively.
The practical realization of
passive components on RF
circuit boards is
accomplished in chip form
which are placed on specially
fabricated board materials.
Chip Components & Circuit Board
Considerations
• Size :-
As small as 40 by 20 mils ( 1 mil = 0.001inch =
0.0254mm) for 0.5 W power rating
1 by 1 inch for 1000 W rating.

• The general rule to determine the size of chip
components from the size code is: -
The first two digits in the code denote the length L in
terms of tens of mils
The last two digits denote the width W of the component.

• Resistance values ranges from 1/10 Ohms to several
M ohms.

Chip Resistors
• Higher values resistor are difficult to manufacture
and result in high tolerances.

• Typical tolerance value :- + 5 % to + 0.01 %.

• High value resistors are prone to produce parasitic
fields which affects the linearity of the resistance
versus frequency behaviour.
• Table below shows the chip resistor sizes which are
most commonly used in circuits.
• A conventional chip resistor realization is shown below:-
• A metal film (nichrome) layer is deposited on ceramic body (Aluminum
oxide).
• This resistive layer is trimmed to the desired nominal value by reducing its
length and inserting inner electrodes.
• Contact are made on both ends of the resistor.
• The resistive film is coated with protective layer to prevent environmental
interferences.
• Chip capacitors can be either conventional single plate
or a multiple-layer design.

• Single plate capacitors are combined in clusters of
two or four elements sharing a single dielectric
material and a common electrode as shown below.
Chip Capacitors
• Size:- 15 mils square in a single layer to 400 by 425 mils at higher
values.
• Tolerance : + 2% to + 50%
• Implemented by using wire-wound coil.

• Size:- 60 by 30 mils to 180 by 120 mils.

• Values:- 1nH to 1000 uH.

• When it has to be used with micro-strip transmission lines, flat
inductors are used as their thickness is very small.
Surface Mounted Inductors
Summary
Numericals
Transmission Line Analysis
 Transmission Line Analysis
 Equivalent Circuit Representation
 Circuit Parameters for a Parallel Plate Transmission Line
 Microstrip Transmission Line
 Terminated Lossless Transmission Line
 Special Termination Conditions
 Source & Loaded Transmission Line
Preamble:
• Higher Frequencies Imply decreasing wavelengths.

• The voltages & Currents no longer remains spatially
uniform for RF Circuits.

• The main purpose of this topic is to outline the physical
reason for transitioning from lumped to distributed
circuit representation & to develop useful equation for
dependent impedance representation of generic RF
transmission line.

Objectives
• How do voltages and currents propagate at high
frequency?

• What is a transmission line?

• What is the electric circuit representation of a
transmission line?
Transmission Line Analysis
• Wave Field Represented as

E
x
= E
0x
cos (ωt – kz )

Space Factor
Time Factor
• This is an x-directed electric field propagating in positive
z-direction in free space.
• Now if the wave is confined to a conducting medium which is aligned
along z-axis, then the electric field has a longitudinal component E
z
,
which when integrated in z-direction, produces a voltage drop i.e
V (z,t) = E
0x
sin (ωt – kz )


k
• Now the cosine term in the equation has space & time factor.

• These space & time factor are coupled such a way that the
sinusoidal behavior is characterized by wavelength along the z-
axis.

• Also the sinusoidal behavior is quantified by the time period T =
1 / f along the time axis.

• This is called as speed of evolution i.e. Constant phase velocity
in the form v
p
:



High frequency implies spatial voltage
distribution
•Voltage has a time and
space behavior

• Space is neglected for
low frequency applications

• For RF there can be a
large spatial variation
Generic way to measure spatial voltage
variations
• Now we try to analyze a simple electric circuit consisting of load
resistor R
L
& sinusoidal voltage source V
G
with internal
resistance R
G
connected to the load by long copper wires of
length 1.5 cm.

• Also it is assumed that the copper wires are aligned along the z-
axis and it has negligible resistance.

• If the generator is set to a frequency of 1 MHz, the wavelength
will be 94.86 m.

• Now suppose the frequency is increased to 10 MHz, then the
wavelength reduces to 0.949 cm which is 2/3 of the length of
the copper wire.


What’s the conclusion???
• If the voltage measurements is conducted along the 1.5 cm wire,
location becomes very important in determining the phase
reference of the signal.

• What we observe from the circuit is that, it can only be
analyzed with Kirchhoff's voltage law



Where V
i
( i = 1, . . . . , N) represents the voltage drops over N
discrete components.



When the frequency reaches high values, the Kirchhoff‟s laws
cannot be applied directly.

• Such situations can be overcome if the line is subdivided into
elements of small length over which the voltage & current can be
assumed to remain constant. This is shown in figure below.
• Therefore, the transmission line cannot be represented in terms
of lumped parameters, but it must be represented by
distributed parameters R, L, C & G.

• A Rule of Thumb: When the average size L
A
of the discrete
component is more than a tenth of the wavelength, transmission
line theory should be applied.

Examples of Transmission Lines
• Two – Wire Lines

• Coaxial Line

• Microstrip Lines

Two – Wire Lines
• Use of two –wire line is the most unsuitable way of
transmitting high-frequency voltage & current waves.
• Alternating electric
field between conductors

• Alternating magnetic
field surrounding
conductors

• Dielectric medium
tends to confine field
inside material
Geometry & field distribution in
two-wire parallel condcutor
transmission line
• The main drawback of two –wire transmission line is that the
electric & magnetic field lines extend to infinity which
influences electronic equipment in the vicinity of the line.

• Also the radiation loss is very high.

• Applications in RF Domain:

56 -60 Hz power lines
 Local telephone connections
• Most commonly used for externally connected RF systems or
measurement equipment at frequencies upto 10 GHz.
Coaxial Line
• It consists of an inner cylindrical
conductor of radius a, an outer conductor
of radius b and a dielectric medium
layered in between.

• Electric field is completely contained
within both conductors

• Perfect shielding of magnetic field

• TEM modes up to a certain cut-off
frequency
• Normally Planar PCB are used as a medium to implement most
electronics systems but at RF frequencies, the behavior of
conducting strips etched on PCB‟s plays an important role.



Microstrip Lines
• Main disadvantage of single layered PCB is that they have high
radiation loss and are more prone to interference between
neighboring conductor traces.


• The severity of field leakage depends on the relative dielectric
constants as shown in figure above.

• Hence to get high board density of the component layout,
substrates with high dielectric constants are used as they
minimizes field leakages & cross coupling.
• Use of multilayer techniques is another way to reduce radiation
losses and interference where microstrip line is sandwiched
between two ground planes.
Parallel Plate Transmission Line
• It is commonly used for low impedance, high power applications.
•The current and voltage flow is confined to two plates separated by a
dielectric medium.
Equivalent Circuit Representation
• Consider a two wire transmission line.

• In figure transmission line is aligned along the z-axis and
segmented into elements of length

• Consider a single section between z & z+ . Each conductor (1
& 2) looks like a series combination of resistor and inductor ( R1,
L1 & R2, L2).

• Also the charge separation by conductors induces capacitive
effect which is denoted by C.

• As we know that all dielectric suffers losses, therefore a
conductance G is also included.
• A generic form of an electric equivalent circuit is as shown in
figure, where the resistances & inductances of the two
conductors are combined into single element.
Advantages versus Disadvantages of
electric circuit representation
• Clear intuitive physical
picture

• Yields a standardized
two-port network
representation

• Serves as building blocks
to go from microscopic to
macroscopic forms
•Basically a one-dimensional
representation (cannot take
into account interferences
from neighboring elements)

• Material nonlinearities,
(hysteresis) and
temperature effects are
not accounted
• Main objective is to find R, L, C & G for a section of a
transmission line as shown in figure.
Circuit Parameters for
a Parallel Plate Transmission line
• To avoid confusion σ
cond
& σ
diel
is used to represents
conductivity of conductor and dielectric respectively.
• Assuming that the plate width „w‟ is large compared to
plate separation „d‟ for 1-dimensional analysis.

• Also assume that the skin depth „δ‟ is small compared
to the thickness „d
p
‟ of the plates.

• From the assumption, the electric and magnetic fields
in the conducting plates is represented as
E = z E
z
(x,z) e
jwt



H = y H
y
(x,z) e
jwt


The term

e
jwt
represents time dependence of the
sinusoidal electric & magnetic fields & phasor E
z
(x,z)
& H
y
(x,z) encode spatial variations.
• Since field is not dependent on „y‟ axis, hence
electromagnetic fields do not change appreciably
along the „y‟ axis.

• Applying differential form of Ampere‟s & Faraday‟s
laws:
--1
--2
• Differentiating equation 2 with respect to x and
substituting in eqn 1, we get
--3
where p
2
=

--4
• The second order differential equation 4 is
H
y
= A e
-px
+ Be
px


The Coefficient A & B are integration constant.

Therefore

p =

Transmission line
Key point about transmission line
operation
The major deviation from circuit theory with
transmission line, distributed networks is this
positional dependence of voltage and current!
– Must think in terms of position and time to
understand transmission line behavior
– This positional dependence is added when the
assumption of the size of the circuit being
small compared to the signaling wavelength
( )
( ) t z f I
t z f V
,
,
=
=
V
1
V
2
dz
I
2
I
1
Voltage and current on a transmission line
is a function of both time and position.
Source
Load
Relevant Transmission Line Equations
Propagation equation
| o e e ¸ j C j G L j R + = + + = ) )( (
) (
) (
0
C j G
L j R
Z
e
e
+
+
=
Characteristic Impedance equation
o is the attenuation (loss) factor
| is the phase (velocity) factor
Ideal Transmission Line Parameters
• Knowing any two out of Z
0
, T
d
,
C
0
, and L
0
, the other two can
be calculated.
• C
0
and L
0
are reciprocal
functions of the line cross-
sectional dimensions and are
related by constant m*e.
• e is electric permittivity
e
0
= 8.85 X 10
-12
F/m (free
space)
e
r
i s relative dielectric
constant
• m is magnetic permeability
m
0
= 4p X 10
-7
H/m (free
space)
m
r
is relative permeability
. ;
; ;
1
; ;
; ;
0 0
0 0 0
0 0 0
0
0
0
0 0 d
0
0
0
c c c µ µ µ
µc
µc
r r
L C v
T Z L
Z
T
C
C L T
C
L
Z
= =
= =
= =
= =
Don’t forget these relationships and what they mean!
Reflection coefficient
• Signal on a transmission line can be analyzed by
keeping track of and adding reflections and
transmissions from the “bumps” (discontinuities)
• Refection coefficient
– Amount of signal reflected from the “bump”
– Frequency domain r=sign(S11)*|S11|
– If at load or source the reflection may be called
gamma (G
L
or G
s
)
– Time domain r is only defined a location
• The “bump”
– Time domain analysis is causal.
– Frequency domain is for all time.
– We use similar terms – be careful
• Reflection diagrams – more later
Reflection and Transmission
µ
1+µ
Incident
Reflected
Transmitted
Reflection Coeficient Transmission Coeffiecent
t 1 µ +
( )
"" "" ÷ t 1
Zt Z0 ÷
Zt Z0 +
+
µ
Zt Z0 ÷
Zt Z0 +
t
2 Zt ·
Zt Z0 +
Special Cases to Remember
1
=
+ ·
÷ ·
=
Zo
Zo
µ
0
=
+
÷
=
Zo Zo
Zo Zo
µ
1
0
0
÷ =
+
÷
=
Zo
Zo
µ
Vs
Zs
Zo
Zo
A: Terminated in Zo
Vs
Zs
Zo
B: Short Circuit
Vs
Zs
Zo
C: Open Circuit
Solving Transmission Line Problems
This slide will establish a procedure that will explain
the procedure to solve transmission line problems
without the aid of a simulator. Following are the
steps that will be presented:
1.Determination of launch voltage & final “DC” or
“t=0” voltage
2.Calculation of load reflection coefficient and voltage
delivered to the load
3.Calculation of source reflection coefficient and
resultant source voltage
These are the steps for solving
all t-line problems.
The Terminated Lossless Transmission
Lines
The total voltage and current on the line
0 0
0 0
0 0
( ) + ,
( ) (2.34)
j z j z
j z j z
V z V e V e
V V
I z e e
Z Z
| |
| |
+ ÷ ÷
+ ÷
÷ +
=
= ÷
• The total voltage and current at the load are
related by the load impedance, so at z = 0


• The voltage reflection coefficient:


• The total voltage and current on the line:
0 0
0
0 0
(0)
= =
(0)
L
V V V
Z Z
I V V
+ ÷
+ ÷
+
÷
0
0 0
0
L
L
Z Z
V V
Z Z
÷ +
÷
=
+
0 0
0 0
(2.35)
L
L
V Z Z
V Z Z
÷
+
÷
I = =
+
0
0
0
( ) + ,
( ) (2.36)
j z j z
j z j z
V z V e e
V
I z e e
Z
| |
| |
+ ÷
+
÷
(
= I
¸ ¸
(
= ÷I
¸ ¸
• It is seen that the voltage and current on the
line consist of a superposition of an incident
and reflected wave.  standing waves
• When Γ= 0  matched.
• For the time-average power flow along the
line at the point z:
{ }
{ }
( )
2
2 0
2 2
0
2
2 0
0
1 1
Re ( ) ( ) Re 1
2 2
1
1
2
j z j z
avg
V
P V z I z e e
Z
V
Z
| |
+
- - ÷
+
= = ÷I +I ÷ I
= ÷ I
• When the load is mismatched, not all of the
available power from the generator is
delivered to the load. This “loss” is return loss
(RL):
RL = -20 log|Γ| dB
• If the load is matched to the line, Γ= 0 and
|V(z)| = |V
0
+
| (constant)  “flat”.
• When the load is mismatched,
2 2 ( 2 )
0 0 0
( ) 1 1 1 (2.39)
j z j l j l
V z V e V e V e
| | u | + + ÷ + ÷
= +I = +I = + I
( ) ( )
max 0 min 0
1 , 1 (2.40) V V V V
+ +
= + I = ÷ I
• A measure of the mismatch of a line, called
the voltage standing wave ratio (VSWR)


• From (2.39), the distance between 2
successive voltage maxima (or minima) is l =
2π/2β = λ/2 (2βl = 2π), while the distance
between a maximum and a minimum is l = π/2β
= λ/4.
• From (2.34) with z = -l,
1
1
SWR
+ I
=
÷ I
2
0
0
( ) (0) (2.42)
j l
j l
j l
V e
l e
V e
|
|
|
÷ ÷
÷
+
I = = I
• At a distance l = -z,








 Transmission line impedance equation
2
0
0 0
2
0
0 0
0
0 0
0
0
0
0
0
0
( ) 1
(2.43)
( ) 1
( ) ( )
( ) ( )
cos sin
cos sin
tan

tan
j l j l j l
in
j l j l j l
j l j l
L L
j l j l
L L
L
L
L
L
V V l e e e
Z Z Z
I l V e e e
Z Z e Z Z e
Z
Z Z e Z Z e
Z l jZ l
Z
Z l jZ l
Z jZ l
Z
Z jZ l
| | |
| | |
| |
| |
| |
| |
|
|
+ ÷ ÷
+ ÷ ÷
÷
÷
(
÷ +I +I
= = =
(
÷ ÷I ÷I
¸ ¸
+ + ÷
=
+ ÷ ÷
+
=
+
+
=
+
(2.44)
Special Cases of Terminated
Transmission Lines
• Short-circuited line
Z
L
= 0  Γ= -1
0 0
0 0
0 0
( ) 2 sin ,
( ) 2 cos
j z j z
j z j z
V z V e e jV z
V V
I z e e z
Z Z
| |
| |
|
|
+ ÷ +
+ +
÷
(
= ÷ = ÷
¸ ¸
(
= + =
¸ ¸
0
tan (2.45)
in
Z jZ l | =

(a) Voltage, (b)
current, and (c)
impedance (R
in
= 0 or
·) variation along a
short-circuited
transmission line.
• Open-circuited line
Z
L
= ∞  Γ= 1
0 0
0 0
0 0
( ) 2 cos ,
2
( ) sin (2.46)
j z j z
j z j z
V z V e e V z
V jV
I z e e z
Z Z
| |
| |
|
|
+ ÷ +
+ +
÷
( = + =
¸ ¸
÷
(
= ÷ =
¸ ¸
0
cot
in
Z jZ l | = ÷
(a) Voltage, (b) current,
and
(c) impedance (R
in
= 0 or
·) variation along an
open-circuited
transmission line.
• Terminated transmission lines with special
lengths.
• If l = λ/2, Z
in
= Z
L
.
• If the line is a quarter-wavelength long, or,
l = λ/4+ nλ/2 (n = 1,2,3…), Z
in
= Z
0
2
/Z
L
. 
quarter-wave transformer
Reflection and transmission at the
junction of two transmission lines with
different characteristic impedances.