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Introduction to

RFIC receiver architecture

Special Topics in Computers and Circuits


30(Wed), March, 2011
2007144078 Min, Kyungsik

Context
Terminology
Local Oscillator (LO)
Low Noise Amplifier (LNA)
Intermediate Frequency (IF)

Receiver Architecture

Heterodyne
SuperHeterodyne
Direct-Conversion (Zero-IF)
Low-IF
Quasi-IF

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Terminology
Receiver Architecture

Local Oscillator(LO)

converting a signal of interest to a different frequency using a mixer


(by wikipedia)

Heterodyning : process of conversion


produces the sum and difference frequencies of the frequency of the local oscillat
or and frequency of the input signal of interest.

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LNA

first amplifier in the receiver,


right after the antenna and the
duplex filter

To boost the received signal out from


the noise and reduce the
noise interference

The gain of the LNA helps to suppress


the noise of the subsequent blocks
in the receiver.

Friis Equation
++

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Intermediate Frequency(IF)
Definition

a frequency to which a carrier frequency is shifted as an intermediate step in trans


mission or reception
Created by mixing the carrier signal with a local oscillator signal

Used in superheterodying radio receivers

Merits

can be used in many devices

To convert the various different frequencies of the stations

Improve frequency selectivity

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Intermediate Frequency(IF)
Television receivers: 30 MHz to 900 MHz
Analogue television receivers using system M: 41.25 MHz (audio) and 45.75 MHz (video). Note, the c
hannel is flipped over in the conversion process in an intercarrier system, so the audio IF frequency is l
ower than the video IF frequency.
Analogue television receivers using system B and similar systems: 33.4 MHz. for aural and 38.9 MHz.
for visual signal.
FM radio receivers: 262 kHz, 455 kHz, 1.6 MHz, 5.5 MHz, 10.7 MHz, 10.8 MHz, 11.2 MHz, 11.7 MH
z, 11.8 MHz, 21.4 MHz, 75 MHz and 98 MHz.
AM radio receivers: 450 kHz, 455 kHz, 460 kHz, 465 kHz, 470 kHz, 475 kHz, 480 kHz
Satellite uplink-downlink equipment: 70 MHz, 950-1450 Downlink first IF
Terrestrial microwave equipment: 250 MHz, 70 MHz or 75 MHz
Radar: 30 MHz
RF Test Equipment: 310.7 MHz, 160 MHz, 21.4 MHz

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Terminology
Receiver Architecture

Heterodyne receiver

Traditional heterodyne receiver architecture based on the parallel data


detector concept
the original radio receiver design
introduced in 1901 by Reginald Fessenden (Canadian inventor-engineer)

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Heterodyne receiver

exploits high quality filters to provide desired performance

1st filter
: duplex filter

2nd filter
: image rejection filter

3rd filter
: channel selection filter
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Heterodyne receiver
Problem #1 : It is very difficult to tune an amplifier and/or filter!

We can change the frequency response of an amplifier/filter by changing the valu


es of the reactive components(i.e., inductors and capacitors).

But the center frequency and bandwidth of an amplifier/filter are related to the in
ductor and capacitor values in very indirect and complex ways.

Additionally, a filter of high selectivity(i.e., fast roll-off) will be a filter of high ord
er -> high order means many inductors and capacitors!

Result : Tuning a good heterodyne receiver can be very difficult, requiring a precise ad
justment of many control knobs!

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Heterodyne receiver
Problem #2 : The signal reaching the detector can be any one of many frequencies(e.
g., w1, w2, w3, w4) distributed across a very wide bandwidth.

As a result, the detector must be wideband!


Unfortunately, a good wideband detector/ demodulator is difficult to build. Generally
speaking, a detector/demodulator will work well at some frequencies, but less well at
others.

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Superheterodyne receiver

superheterodyne : creating a beat frequency that is lower than the original signal

to purposely mix in another frequency in the receiver, so as to reduce the signal fr


equency prior to processing

Incoming signal, centered at


the carrier frequency

Introduction to RFIC receiver architecture

Intermediate frequency signal,


at constant frequency, IF

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Superheterodyne receiver
Advantages of using Superheterodying (receiver)
Reduces the signal from very high frequency sources where ordinary compon
ents wouldnt work(like in a radar receiver)
Devices can be optimized or made more inexpensively
Can be used to improve signal isolation by arithmetic selectivity

Difficulty
Hard to treat high quality of digital signal
Duplication of original signal and image signal

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Direct-conversion

Direct-conversion receiver architecture

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Direct conversion

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Direct conversion

Amplification and filtering : performed at baseband


Low current drain in amplifiers and active filters
No task of image-rejection

Wide tuning and high selectivity

Two high frequency conversion stages in parallel


LO frequency deviation
Spurious LO leakage
DC offset connected to direct-conversion

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Low-IF

Low-IF receiver architecture

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Low-IF

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Low-IF

Analog implementation : hard to provided superior performance and a degree of


flexibility
downconversion of information signal to a low-IF frequency

no duplication of desired signal with image frequency

power consumption

Use of I/Q-demodulation

I/Q demodulation providing for 20-40 dBs of image rejection


a less selective filter

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Quasi-IF

Quasi-IF receiver architecture

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Quasi-IF

Combining a non-tunable I/Q down-conversion mixer and a tunable image rejecti


on mixer for down-conversion to baseband and channel selection

Advantages
first LO : optimized with respect to phase noise as no switching requirements are
now present

Tunable second LO : operates at low frequencies whereby phase noise and undesir
ed non-linearities may be minimized

absence of IF filter

Disadvantages
DC offset

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Comparison
Heterodyne

Direct-conversion

Low-IF

Selectivity

Low

High

High

Analog
Requirements

High

Moderate

Low

Flexibility

Low

Low

High

CMOS
Compatibility

Low

Moderate

High

Noise

Low

Moderate

Low

Dynamic Range

High

High

High

Comparison of various receiver architecture key parameters

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Comparison
Advantages

Difficulties

Directconversion

No IF filters(2 LPFs)
No image
Low power consumption
Easy integration

LO leakage
DC offset due to device
mismatch
1/f noise
High linearity mixer

Low-IF

Low freq. low Q BPF


No LO leakage
No DC offset
Easy integration

Image rejection
Path matching
Increased hardware than
direct-conv.

Quasi-IF

No IF filters(2 LPFs)
No LO leak
Low phase noise
Easy integration

Image rejection
Path matching
Increased hardware than
direct-conv.

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Thank you.