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Char t Anal ysi s Enhanced

wi t h Mat hcad

Flexible general-purpose mathematics sof tware can be customized for RF design

By Alan Victor
he graphi c anal ysi s used i n RF ci rcui t
desi gn has hi stori cal l y benefi tted from
the i nventi on of the Smi th

Chart [1, 2].

Now, wi th the advent of math packages such as
Matl ab

, Mathemati ca

, Mathcad

and others,
further enhancements are possi bl e. Thi s arti cl e
revi ews cl assi c desi gn exampl es.
Wi th the capabi l i ti es of packages such as
Mathcad, a desi gner can i mprove producti vi ty
and enhance anal ysi s capabi l i ty wi th mi ni mum
effort. Thi s arti cl e di scusses the generati on of
the chart i n Mathcad; drawi ng on the chart
wi thi n Mathcad; and sol vi ng ci rcui t desi gn prob-
l ems. I n addi ti on, Mathcad shows the capabi l i ty
of comparati ve anal ysi s (for exampl e, devi ce
scatteri ng parameter compari sons), model i ng
parasi ti cs i n devi ces, extracti ng Q, devi ce stabi l -
i ty, mappi ng, use of the extended chart and
other RF desi gn capabi l i ti es. Many of these
capabi l i ti es benefi t di rectl y from the ease i n
whi ch the math package handl es compl ex num-
bers, coupl ed wi th the ease of presenti ng output
i n graphi c form.
Numerous di scussi ons have occurred wi thi n
the Mathcad col l aboratory and other si tes [3, 4]
addressi ng chart constructi on and techni ques.
Mathemati ca i s an excel l ent exampl e of some of
the possi bl e RF desi gn techni ques [6]. Some of
the earl i er approaches were too compl i cated and
i mpeded the real uti l i ty of the chart. Ei ther the
programmi ng detai l was l ong and i nfl exi bl e, or
the axi s ti tl es requi red i n the graphi cs di spl ay
mode were so numerous [5] that addi ti onal
desi red data to be di spl ayed was l ost i n the
maze. A return to the fundamental defi ni ti on
and constructi on of the chart di scussed i n thi s
arti cl e streaml i ned the process.
Char t const ruct i on i n Mat hcad
Constructi ng the chart i n Mathcad i s a three-
step process. I t i s i l l ustrated i n Appendi x A,
shown on page 56. Fi rst, we generate the real
contour ci rcl es. Second, we generate the si n-
gl e real axi s. Fi nal l y, we generate the reac-
tance contours.
I f the i nductance and capaci tance regi ons are
treated as separate constructs, four l abel s are
r equi r ed for gr aphi cs output. Al though the
i nductance and capaci tance contours are mi rror
i mages, the separate constructi ons have been
l eft i ntact for cl ari ty. Mi ni mi zi ng the number of
requi red l abel s keeps the di spl ay overhead down
and provi des space for the desi red data to be
pl otted.
The chart i s constructed i n a recti l i near sys-
tem i nstead of pol ar, therefore entry i nto the
chart requi res conversi on from a pol ar coordi -
nate system to a recti l i near system. Data entry
coul d i ncl ude ci rcl e l ocati ons for power gai n,
noi se fi gure, stabi l i ty, refl ecti on coeffi ci ent ci r-
cl es that maxi mi ze output power and general -
i zed feedback mappi ng contours.
The chart requi res mani pul ati on of the com-
pl ex refl ecti on coeffi ci ent G. The l ocati on of G
wi l l be gi ven as a vector wi th magni tude and
angl e. I n addi ti on, for general appl i cati ons, a
compl ete descri pti on for the l ocati on of G shoul d
be provi ded i n the form of a ci rcul ar l ocati on,
i ncl udi ng a val ue for center and radi us. Al l of
these possi bi l i ti es ar e r eadi l y handl ed i n
Mathcad wi th the fol l owi ng equati ons:
x = c + r cos(q) (1)
y = c + ir si n(q) (2)
where i i s the i magi nary compl ex number, q i s a runni ng
vari abl e from 0 to 2p radi ans, r i s the radi us or magni -
tude of the G ci rcl e or refl ecti on coeffi ci ent, and c i s the
center l ocati on i f a ci rcl e contour i s requi red (thi s wi l l be
requi red for appl i cati ons, such as gai n pl ots, stabi l i ty
pl ane l ocati ons and noi se contours). When the chart i s
pl otted i n Mathcad and no bounds are set, al l four quad-
rants of ci rcul ar contours are created. Thi s extended
chart i s useful for studyi ng desi gns wi th G greater than
uni ty. The extended chart expands past the Smi th chart
uni t ci rcl e and i ncl udes negati ve real resi stance.
The case normal l y encountered i n usi ng the Smi th
chart for passi ve networks and non generati ve ci rcui t
cases contai ns onl y the uni t ci rcl e and al l the reactance
contours termi nate on thi s ci rcl e. The addi ti on of con-
trol statements i n Mathcad coul d constrai n reactance
contours so that they termi nate on the uni t ci rcl e. For
thi s arti cl e, we have cl i pped the chart as requi red to con-
tai n whatever regi on may be of i nterest.
Ext ended char t
I n Mathcad, the char t i s si mpl y bounded and
cl i pped to uni ty, as i l l ustrated i n Appendi x B on page
58. I f negati ve resi stance regi ons or stabi l i ty anal ysi s
requi res extendi ng the chart, then the cl i p i s extend-
ed or removed. I n Fi gure 3, the boundary i s extended to
twi ce the uni t ci rcl e radi us.
Addi ti onal negati ve resi stance contours are added by
extendi ng the R array tabl e, as shown i n Fi gure 4 and
extendi ng the cl i p area. The X array tabl e i s al so
i ncreased for more detai l and a popul ar sequence set i s
i n a 1-2-5 format. Or, the tabl e can be set to match any
of the di spl ays associ ated wi th a VNA such as the
HP8753 seri es. I n Fi gure 4, i s i ncreased to 10 and
addi ti onal negati ve resi stance contours are exposed. I f
the same chart cl i ps to = 1, then the uni t ci rcl e wi l l be
detai l ed.
Goi ng around i n ci rcl es
Ci rcl e pl otti ng requi res onl y the entry of center l oca-
ti on and radi us. For exampl e, the l ocati on of constant
VSWR contours requi res a val ue of that vari es wi th
radi us proporti onal to an i mpedance, and a center at the
ori gi n of the chart. The equati ons and entry i nto
Mathcad are shown bel ow. Thi s same concept i s extend-
ed for computi ng and pl otti ng noi se contours, stabi l i ty
pl anes, feedback and n-port mappi ng, and eval uati ng
component performance, for exampl e Q. Thi s i s i l l us-
trated wi th the exampl e i n Appendi x C that eval uates a
devi ce from the measured data secti on.
The SWR i s assi gned to an array tabl e consi sti ng of
four fi xed val ues. The associ ated wi th each SWR val ue
i s cal cul ated and the ci rcl e swept and x, y coordi nated
val ues entered i nto the chart. Thi s construct coul d have
been any type of contour. I n the speci fi c case of noi se fi g-
ure [7], the l ocati on of the ci rcl es woul d be geocentri c
wi th respect to F
and the r
of a devi ce and at a spe-
ci fi c angl e set by the noi se parameters associ ated wi th
that devi ce.
Eval uat i on of devi ce f rom measured dat a
A set of Q contours are added to the chart by con-
necti ng al l equal R-X contours, as shown i n Appendi x C
on page 60. Thi s woul d i ncl ude the capaci ti ve and i nduc-
ti ve ci rcl es as they i ntersect the correspondi ng R val ues.
Two ci rcl es are l ocated wi th a radi us of 1.414 and cen-
ters at normal i zed R = 1 and normal i zed jX = +1 and
1 [8]. Wi th ci rcul ar arcs drawn on the chart, thi s con-
struct i s used to eval uate component l oaded Q.
The scatteri ng data tabl e i s read from the VNA
i mported to the chart program and then pl otted wi th the
chart as an overl ay. The component Q of a shunt confi g-
ured-tuned i nductor wi th paral l el shunt parasi ti c capac-
i tance i s determi ned from the 3 dB bandwi dth equati on.
The square data poi nts i ntersect the Q contours at
the 3 dB power poi nt, and f
i s l ocated as crosses the
real axi s (di amond ti ck). The cl ockwi se contour sweep i s

, , ,
, , ,

L Fi gure 4. Ext ended Smi t h char t : = 10. L Fi gure 5. Uni t Smi t h char t : = 1.
i ndi cati ve of a paral l el resonance network. A mi rror
i mage of thi s contour exi sts for the dual , seri es resonant
Scatteri ng data i s i mported as a tabul ar array, pl otted
as a coeffi ci ent, and markers added where the one port
refl ecti on coeffi ci ent i ntersects or cuts the Q-contour
(shown i n Appendi x D on page 60). The markers are
associ ated wi th a tabl e of as wel l as frequency. The Q
i s computed di rectl y from the defi ni ti on of Df/f
wi thi n
Mathcad and i s i l l ustrated i n Fi gure 8. A data array i s
read from the VNA and consi sts of 200 data poi nts.
Ei ther one port S-parameters for a shunt measured el e-
ment or two port measurement of a seri es confi gured
el ement may be used. The two port data i s mani pul ated
i n Mathcad and converted to an equi val ent set of one
port refl ecti on coeffi ci ent set and pl otted.
The center frequency data poi nt i s noted as the di a-
mond ti ck i n Fi gure 8 (shown i n Appendi x E on page 60),
and the 3 dB power poi nts are noted as square ti ck
Comparat i ve anal ysi s
Scatteri ng data i s i mported to Mathcad ei ther vi a the
seri al port or a text fi l e from a VNA. Other fi l e formats
such as CI TI are al so acceptabl e because they can be eas-
i l y modi fi ed to a text fi l e and pl aced i nto a Touchstone
format. The previ ous exampl e i l l ustrated the eval ua-
ti on of the Q of a passi ve component. Measured data
from the VNA i s i mported to Mathcad, and usi ng Smi th
chart constructi on techni ques i n Mathcad, unl oaded Q
i s eval uated. Another powerful techni que i s the compar-
ati ve anal ysi s of scatteri ng data pl ots for devi ces operat-
i ng at di fferent vol tages or currents.
Comparati ve pl ots for devi ces duri ng desi gn and
devel opment are useful for gai ni ng i nsi ght i nto devi ce
model s and sensi ti vi ty. The r ead fi l e command i n
Mathcad pr ovi des easy, si mul taneous i nspecti on of
devi ce parameter vari ati ons. Up to 12 di fferent pl ots
may be added to the chart and grouped for comparati ve
anal ysi s. For exampl e, the fol l owi ng arrangement i s
used to compare i nput i mpedance and any parasi ti c res-
onance i n a devi ce as a functi on of current. Scatteri ng
data i s di rectl y read from the VNA and i mported to con-
struct routi ne and i s di spl ayed. The data array i s 201
el ements l ong and i n standard Touchstone format, mag-
ni tude and angl e.
Entry to the chart requi res conversi on to recti l i near
coor di nates. The pl ots bel ow show the r esul t of
i ncreased col l ector current at constant col l ector vol tage
for a bi pol ar devi ce over a 6 GHz frequency span.
The i ncreasi ng frequency sweep i s cl ockwi se. The
devi ce package shows a resonance bel ow 6 GHz, and the
l ow frequency performance (for exampl e, the i nput
i mpedance) i s typi cal . An i ncrease i n r
occurs as the
total emi tter current i s decreased. Wi th i ncreasi ng fre-
quency, the i nput i mpedance i s domi nated by the pack-
age parasi ti c, and at the end of the frequency sweep, no
di scerni bl e di fference i s seen.
Concl usi on
The Smi th chart construct i n ci rcui t desi gn and
anal ysi s i s a power ful tool and gr aphi cs ai d.
Compl ementi ng thi s wi th a mathemati cs package such
as Mathcad makes a desi rabl e anal yti c and desi gn tool .
The desi gner can qui ckl y veri fy and val i date model s and
desi gns and can add addi ti onal mathemati cal processes
to the system. Thi s capabi l i ty i s not readi l y possi bl e i n
many of the current RF si mul ati on and desi gn packages
avai l abl e. I
Ref erences
1. P. Smi th, Tr ansmi ssi on Li ne Cal cul ator,
Electronics, Vol . 12, 1939 and 1944: 2931.
2. P. Smi th, Electronic Applications of the Smith
Chart, Atl anta, GA: Nobl e Publ i shi ng, 1996.
3. Mathcad

Col l abor ator y and Appl i cati ons.

Avai l abl e onl i ne at www.mathsoft.com/appsi ndex.html
and www.mathsoft.com.
end rows a
rows a
n end
aS x a a
aS y a a
n n
n n
: ..
: cos deg
: si n deg
( )
( )
( )

( )

( )

( )

2 3
2 3

HP8753 Smith Plot S11
scale ref=1
y r

yxl rxl
yxc rxl
x ,
real ax ( )
1 1 ,x r
xx rxl
x , xx rxl
x , ax , aS11x , bS11x , cS11x ,
L Fi gure 9. The resul t of i ncreased col l ect or current at con-
st ant col l ect or vol t age f or a bi pol ar devi ce over a 6 GHz
f requency span.
4. Leonar d M. Schwab, The Smi th Char t for
I mpedance Matchi ng (al so see whi te paper, The Smi th
Chart i s Al i ve and Wel l i n Cyber Worl d ), OnLine
Symposium for Electronics Engineers (archi ve at Analog
and RF Electronics), October 24, 2000. Avai l abl e onl i ne
at www.osee.net.
5. H.J. Del gado and Mi chael H. Thursby, Deri vati on
of the Smi th Chart Equati ons for use wi th Mathcad,
I EEE Antennas and Propagation Magazine, Vol . 40, No.
2, Apr i l 1998: 99101. Avai l abl e onl i ne at
http://ee.fi t.edu/el ectri cal /asl _page/journal .html .
6. Al fred Ri ddl e and Samuel Di ck, Applied Electronic
Engineering with Mathematica, Boston: Addi son-Wesl ey,
7. H. Fukui , Avai l abl e Power Gai n, Noi se Fi gure and
Noi se Measur e of Two-Por ts and Thei r Gr aphi cal
Representati on, I EEE Transactions Circuit Theory,
Vol . CT-13, No. 2, June 1966: 137142.
8. Mi cr owave Networ k Anal yzer Appl i cati ons,
Hewl ett Packard AN117-1, June 1970.
Aut hor i nf ormat i on
Al an Vi ctor i s empl oyed wi th the I BM Mi croel ectro-
ni cs Group, l ocated i n Research Tri angl e Park, NC. Hi s
work i nvol ves si l i con germani um ci rcui t devel opment
and appl i cati ons; he has recentl y begun addressi ng hi gh-
speed i nterconnecti on, si gnal i ntegri ty and package
model i ng. He pr evi ousl y wor ked for the Motor ol a
Communi cati ons Sector, co-founded an el ectroni cs man-
ufacturi ng company and was a consul tant. He i s cur-
r entl y pur sui ng a Ph.D. at Nor th Car ol i na State
Uni ver si ty. He may be r eached by e-mai l at
avi ctor@ us.i bm.com.
R t abl e
Ci rcl e sweep for conduc-
tance and reactance con-
tour s, .01 r adi an step
shoul d gi ve fi ne resol uti on.
The tabl e vector ar r ay
descr i bes r. Four val ues
are used to generate the
conductance ci rcl es at 150
ohms, 50 ohms, 16.67
ohms and the uni t ci rcl e.
The r tabl e i s i nput as a
vector tabl e and entr i es
are made by i nputti ng the
fi rst val ue fol l owed by a
comma for addi ti onal val -
xand yval ues generate the
ci rcl es of conductance.
Thi s sequence forms the
real axi s.
X t abl e
Same q sweep used here,
but a di ffer ent angl e
sweep i s per mi tted to
achi eve more or l ess reso-
l uti on than the real axi s.
Thi s set of sequences
generates the X
and X
r eactance ci r cl es. Note
that xx() i s used for both
contour s and that the
two other contours di ffer
by a si gn change. Agai n,
rxlj i s a vector tabl e
l oaded wi th val ues for
three reactance contours:
100 ohms, 50 ohms, 25
These tabl es can be extended and changed to add more detai l to the chart. The R and X tabl es used here con-
struct a chart that emul ates the defaul t chart used on the HP8753 seri es VNA. The chart provi des for the
i nscri pti on of a 3:1 VSWR ci rcl e.
continued on next page
i : = 1..5 q :=1,.1..2
: =
x r
r r
, : cos ( ) ( ) =
+ 1
y r
, : si n ( ) ( ) =
ax : = 1..1
real (ax) : = 0
j : = 1..3
rxl : =
xx rxl
, : cos ( ) ( ) = + 1
yxl rxl
rxl rxl
, : si n ( ) ( ) = + + 1
1 1
yxc rxl
rxl rxl
, : si n ( )

( ) = + + 1
1 1
L Fi gure 1. Al l f our t races are shown.
L Fi gure 2. Al l t races are set t o red; l egends and l abel s
are t urned of f.
The char t s are l i mi t ed i n x and y di mensi on by cl i ppi ng al l val ues t o + 1 and 1.
Ci rcl es on t he char t
Though the chart appears pol ar, the entry i s i n rec-
ti l i near. The chart i s si tti ng on a coordi nate system
bounded by x= (1, 0, +1) and y= (1, 0, +1). To pl ace
a ci rcl e anywhere on the uni t ci rcl e or outsi de the uni t
ci rcl e to the extended chart, use the fol l owi ng:
a : = 0, .1..2 p
b : = 1.2 radi us
d : = 45 degrees center l ocati on
The val ues above coul d represent a stabi l i ty ci rcl e
l ocati on. Usi ng an extended chart, the enti re (un)sta-
bl e l ocus i s l ocated and provi des a techni que for map-
pi ng feedback networks useful i n osci l l ator desi gn.
Convert the center l ocati on i nto a (x, y) pai r.
xc : = b cos (d)
yc : = b si n (d)
Create the ci rcl e on the chart.
xcir (b, a) : = b cos(a) + xc
ycir (b, a) : = b si n(a) + yc

L Fi gure 3. Char t i ng ci rcl es.

yxl (rxl
real (ax)
Generat i ng Qci rcl es f or t he char t
The Q contours i ntersect al l poi nts where R =
or jX
. The center of such a ci rcl e i s at x = 0, y
= 1, and the radi us i s 1.414 or root (2).
1 0.5 0 0.5 1
y r
yxl rxl
yxc rxl

real ax ( )
yQu rad , ( )
yQl rad , ( )
x r
, xx rxl
, , xx rxl
, , ax , xQ rad , ( ) ,
Smith Chart with Q contours
As a test of the Q chart, i nput a set of measured S-
parameters wi th a gi ven refl ecti on coeffi ci ent . f
i s
1.9 GHz and Q unl oaded i s to be determi ned.

0 0.1 2 .. rad 2 cent 1

xQ rad , ( ) rad cos ( )

yQu rad , ( ) rad sin ( )
yQl rad , ( ) rad sin ( )
VSWR Contours
1 0.5 0 0.5 1
y r
yxl rxl
yxc rxl
real ax ( )
x r
, xx rxl
, , xx rxl
, , ax , x SWR
, ,

Select Circles or VSWR Plots:
k 1 4 .. 0 .1 2 ..
x SWR ( )
cos ()
y SWR , ( )
sin ( )
, Q