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The design flow of RF module design

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t4kdungdung

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Hi all!

I'm a newbie in RF module design field, so please kindly help me. Currently I'm trying to design a RF module using MAXIM's RF transceiver chip. I am really confused right now :sad:. My questions are :
1. Can anybody help me to explain the RF module design flow?
2. Suppose I want to design & simulate the RF module using the MAXIM's RF transceiver chip, how to model the MAXIM's RF transceiver chip? Do I need to define each circuit within it based on MAXIM IC's data sheet? I wonder if modeling the MAXIM IC's chip using this way is valid.
Or do the MAXIM IC already provide the model of their chip for various CAD tools? If yes, how can I get those models

Thanks all. I really appreciate any suggestion. :)
 

Hi Hanif! Thanks for your reply :)

Hmm..I think I should say that what I'm looking for is RF SiP design flow. I just checked the RF SiP design flow overview from Cadence and Agilent, and I got some information and clues from that. Do anyone have / know tutorial about RF SiP design?
Thanks
 

Do you have any RF simulation tool to run RF model?
 

@volker_muehlhaus ah....I just realized now. There was misperception when I read my task description and I thought too complex about my task >.<. It was not about RF SiP design.

So let me re-explain my situation. My task is to design a circuit module which consists of two RF transceiver chips (well the RF transceiver type aren't decided yet) and an ASIC. When I design the module, do I also need to simulate my design? Or do I just only need to design the schematic & PCB layout? If the simulation (time, frequency, and EM simulation) are not needed, how can I ensure that my module is free from coupling problem and other problems due to parasitic effects on interconnect between blocks, especially in the RF part? Otherwise, if the complete simulations are needed to be done, how can I get the complete model of the RF transceiver chips?


Thank you.
 

When I design the module, do I also need to simulate my design? Or do I just only need to design the schematic & PCB layout?

If you design something based on the chip manufacturers application note, but with modifications to the layout, it's a good idea to do some EM analysis of your layout. This will allow you to detect possible coupling and resonance issues. I have seen quite a few design with flawed ground routing, where designers focused on the signal line and did not pay enough attention to the ground path.

For EM modelling of the PCB, I would model the chip as a black box with internal ports at the RF output/RF ground. The impedance of that RF interface is given in the data sheet.

If you design you own chip, you can go one step further and include some on-chip details, but in you case this is not needed and you don't have that information anyway.
 
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@volker_muehlhaus Ah I got it! Thanks for your explanation. Since I'm a newbie, do you know any good references or website that give more practical explanation about RF module design?
 

You don't even know a tranceiver IC will have NO modelled representation but you want to design your own IC..

Good luck..
 

Since I'm a newbie, do you know any good references or website that give more practical explanation about RF module design?

I studied RF/microwave 20 years ago, so I do not know what "hand's on" books to recommend to you. Just in general, I think that you should look for books on RF PCB design, because your module is essentially a PCB.

For one project, I worked with a Robert Lacoste, who has published some nice RF getting started documents. These have now been published as a book:
Robert Lacoste's The Darker Side ... - Google Books

For an introduction to EM analysis at PCB level, you might try this book (in Japanese; I only know the authors but not the book)
link here

Sorry, that's all I have for now.
Maybe others can recommend some books on getting started with RF PCB design?
 

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