RF Fundamentals – Course Syllabus

Introduction – RF Terminology

Freespace wavelength
The Electromagnetic Spectrum
Mirocwave Spectrum
Bandwidth / Channel
DB / dBc / dBm
Decibels / Linear / Logarithmic
Digital Modulation & Distortion
Down-converter / Conversion Loss / Dynamic Range
Noise Floor / Pad / EMI
Frequency Modulation and Accuracy
Types of Signal Modulation
Harmonic Signals
IF / Impedance / Intercept Point / IP3
Isolation / Isolators / Network Analyzer
Noise Figure / P1dB / Small Signal Gain
Spurious-Free Dynamic Range / S/N / SNR
Wireless Standards
Class Exercise

RF Components

Connectors / N / BNC / SMA / SMB / SMC / SSMA / OSSM / BMA / OSP / OSSP
3.5 and 1mm Connectors
Spectrum Analyzer
Terminators and Attenuators
Directional Couplers / Coupling Factor
Power Divider

Generic RF Device Models

RF Circuitry
Receive Path – low noise amplifier / mixer
Transmit Path – modulator and VGA

Transmission Line Theory and S-Parameter

Wave Analogy
Transmission Line Termination
High Frequency Device Characterization
Scalar Transmission Measurements
Scalar Reflection Measurements
Reflection Coefficient / Return Loss
Standing Wave Ration
Forward Measurement
Reverse Measurement
Class Exercise

Smith Chart Concepts

Overview of Smith Charts
Class Exercise

RF Test Concepts

Time Domain / Combining Sine Waves
Measurement Setups
Power Gain / Gain Measurements
Amplifier Compression / P1dB Measurement
Common Types of Noise / Noise Figures
Phase Noise / Phase Relationships
Power Spectral Density / VCO Measurements
Signal Matching
Distortion and Mixer Measurements
Intermodulation Distortion
Third Order Intercept
Converters and Tuners
Down-converting Mixer Measurements
Adjacent Channel Power Ratio (ACPR)
Measuring ACPR
Low-Noise Amplifier / Frequency Synthesizers

RF Device Functionality Concepts

SOC – Increasing Levels of Integration
Block Diagram
Bluetooth Transmitter / Receiver Tests
Bluetooth ATE Tester Requirements
Typical Test List
Bit Error Rate / Time Domain / Synthesizer Lock / Bandwidth
What is WLAN
WLAN Standard
WLAN and Cellular
WLAN ATE test requirements
Test Parameters
Key Features
Measurements – 802.11a and 802.111b


Wireless Communications
Transmitting / Modulation
Demodulation Error Quantities
Frequency Errors / Amplitude Droop
Magnitude and Phase Errors – Making the Measurements

DUT Board Design, Fixturing and De-embedding

Fixturing Considerations
Test Head Fixtures
DUT Interface Fixtures
DUT Board Design Criteria
Materials and Board Fabrication
Contactors / Calibration / De-embedding
Standard Calibration vs. De-embedding

Course Summary Q & A

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