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RF Transceiver Design

An RF transceiver module consists of two submodules: an RF transmitter and RF receiver. You can design an RF transceiver architecture and integrate it into your system design using RF Toolbox™ and RF Blockset™. This topic discusses RF transceiver design considerations and provides workflows.

Design Considerations

You can begin the transmitter or receiver design process with a budget specification for how much gain, noise figure (NF), and nonlinearity (IP3) the entire system must satisfy. To assure the feasibility of an architecture modeled as a simple cascade of RF elements, you can calculate both the per-stage and cascade values for gain, noise figure, and IP3 (third-intercept point) using the RF Budget Analyzer app. For example, you can design a superheterodyne transceiver architecture in the RF Budget Analyzer app and export this architecture to RF Blockset for circuit envelope analysis. You can also export this cascaded architecture to RF Blockset measurement testbench as a device under test (DUT) to verify the results obtained in the RF Budget Analyzer app.

You can design an RF receiver using the top-down methodology. For example, using a top-down approach, you can design an RF receiver in Zigbee®-like applications to verify BER impairment models. Designing RF transceivers for mm-wave systems often requires adding hybrid-beamforming antennas to your RF transceiver modules. Using RF Blockset, Phased Array System Toolbox™, and Communications Toolbox™ you can include these hybrid-beamforming antennas in your mm-wave transmitter and receiver modules and analyze RF imperfections and transmit radiation effects.

You can calculate RF impairments such as component noise, interference from blocker signals, LO phase noise, the dynamic range of the analog-to-digital convertor, and component mismatch in a low IF architecture using RF Blockset Circuit Envelope simulations. Using Communication Toolbox and RF Blockset, you can also integrate an RF receiver with baseband signal processing algorithms to model end-to-end communication systems.

You can also use RF Blockset Analog Devices® support software models AD9361 Models and AD9371 Models to simulate and verify agile RF transceiver designs. MathWorks® and Analog Devices co-developed the models and validated the values using lab measurements.

Design Workflows

You can design an RF transceiver using these cross-product workflows:

  • Superheterodyne Receiver Using RF Budget Analyzer App — This workflow shows how to build a superheterodyne receiver and analyze the RF budget of the receiver for gain, noise figure, and IP3 using the RF Budget Analyzer app.

  • Top-Down Design of RF Receiver — This workflow designs an RF receiver for a ZigBee-like application using a top-down methodology. It verifies the BER of an impairment-free design, then analyzes BER performance after the addition of impairment models. The example uses the RF Budget Analyzer app to rank the elements contributing to the noise and nonlinearity budget.

  • Modeling RF mmWave Transmitter with Hybrid Beamforming — This workflow illustrates a methodology for system-level modeling and simulation of a 66 GHz QPSK RF transmit and receive system with a 32-element hybrid beamforming antenna. The system includes RF imperfections, transmit array radiation effects, a narrowband receive array, and a baseband receiver with corrections for system impairments and message decoding. The antenna beamforming direction is defined using azimuth and elevation angles and it is estimated in the RF receive antenna using the root-MUSIC DOA algorithm.

  • Architectural Design of a Low IF Receiver System — This workflow shows how to use the RF Blockset Circuit Envelope library to simulate the performance of a low-IF architecture with RF impairments.

  • Communications System with Embedded RF Receiver — This workflow shows how to integrate an RF receiver with baseband signal processing algorithms to model an end-to-end communications system.

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