ECE 60423 - RF System Design

Course Details

Lecture Hours: 3 Credits: 1

Areas of Specialization:

  • Fields and Optics

Counts as:

Normally Offered:

Each Fall


On-campus and online


Primer on RF Design

Requisites by Topic:

Fundamentals of RF design, transmission lines, Smith chart

Catalog Description:

Following the "Primer on RF Design" course, this class focuses on system-level issues. We focus on several important design considerations including noise, nonlinearity, distortion, sensitivity and dynamic range and their impact in selecting the appropriate system architecture. The course also covers common receiver architectures including superheterodyne and direct-conversion receivers.

Required Text(s):

  1. Microwave and RF Design: Modules. Volume 4. (e-book link provided in Brightspace) , 3rd Edition , Steer, Michael , NC State University , 2019 , ISBN No. 1469656965
  2. Microwave and RF Design: Radio Systems. Volume 1. (e-book link provided in Brightspace) , 3rd Edition , Steer, Michael , NC State University , 2019 , ISBN No. 1469656906

Recommended Text(s):


Learning Outcomes

A student who successfully fulfills the course requirements will have demonstrated an ability to:

  • Describe and articulate the basic design principles of RF modules and transceivers.
  • Describe and articulate common transceiver architectures.
  • Use CAD tools and analysis techniques to estimate the impact of non-linear effects, noise and interferences on transceivers.

Lecture Outline:

Week Topic
1 Basic System-Level Concepts: Advanced modulation schemes-signal constellations; Nonlinearity: modeling, distortion effects, and impact on RF transceivers
2 Basic System-Level Concepts: Nonlinearity (contd.); Noise: modeling, effects, and impact on RF transceivers
3 System-Level Design: Cascaded systems: nonlinearity and noise in cascaded systems; Sensitivity and Dynamic Range
4 Receiver Architectures: History and obsolete (but impressive) receivers; Superheterodyne receiver
5 Receiver Architectures: Direct-conversion receiver; Low-IF receiver; Other receivers; Selected Research Topics on Adaptive RF Architectures

Assessment Method:

Homework and design project. (3/2022)