Wideband configurable RF transceiver offers 100MHz bandwidth to 6 GHz

Wideband configurable RF transceiver offers 100MHz bandwidth to 6 GHz

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Analog Devices has extended the features and specification of its AD9361 transceiver chip, with the AD9371 integrated wideband RF transceiver, placing it at the centre of a package it has called RadioVerse, to offer versatile solutions for wireless infrastructure, aerospace and defence, and instrumentation applications.
By Peter Clarke


The aims of the RadioVerse programme, says ADI, are to solve more complex radio problems, and to relieve non-specialists of radio problems: increasingly, the radio link may be jut one part of a complex system architecture and it is essential the radio portion is executed quickly. Accordingly, the programme comprises integrated transceiver technologies, a design environment, and market-specific technical expertise intended to take radio designs from concept to creation quickly. Transceiver technologies reduce radio size, weight and power (SWaP), while the design environment offers board support packages, software and tools to simplify and accelerate radio development across a range of applications.

AD9371 is versatile, carrier-grade, system-on-chip radio with RF tuning range of 300 MHz to 6 GHz, 100-MHz signal bandwidth, and power consumption of less than 5W under standard operating conditions. It has been configured expressly for wideband applications (hence much higher power than the 9361); the company hints that future variants on the same theme will bring similar versatility to narrowband and low power sockets. It replaces or eliminates as many as 20 discrete radio components and can be used as a common design platform across multiple applications and standards, increasing R&D efficiency and reducing time-to-market of the end product.

The 9371 contains, among other blocks, two independent receive paths with 100 MHz bandwidth, capable of FDD or TDD operation; two transmitters with max large signal BW of 100MHz and max synthesis BW of 250 MHz; and further observation and sniffer receive paths (that you might use for setting digital pre-distortion, for example) with 250 MHz BW. On the baseband side all I/O is purely digital, with JESD204B interfaces; auxiliary DACs, ADCs and GPIO are provided. A spokesman commented that most applications of the device are expected to be in fixed-function sockets; although capable of being applied to reconfigurable, software-defined-radio tasks, most such applications will likely lie in defence or T&M areas. Other products in the wideband RF transceiver series include the AD9361 and AD9364.

As well as the integrated RF transceivers, software API, design support packages, documentation, and access to ADI’s EngineerZone online technical support community. RadioVerse provides integrated wideband RF transceiver evaluation boards that directly connect to an FPGA development platform, allowing engineers to perform chip-level performance evaluation and rapid prototyping of complete wireless scenarios using a single hardware platform. The boards are supported by a toolkit that includes HDL, Linux drivers, software API, a GUI, and design files. The reference design/evaluation board is s 14-layer design. An exact, verified model of the AD9371 transceiver, enabling advanced simulation and analysis of the transceiver, can be developed by using MATLAB and Simulink. End users can then use the model to configure the transceiver and verify performance, correct problems earlier, and accelerate completion of their RF system design.

The AD9371 further features fully integrated LO and clocking functions, and advanced on-chip calibration and correction algorithms. It supports a wide range of standards and applications, reducing the need for multiple design variants. ADI suggest that the chip will appear in; small-form-factor, multi-band base stations on buildings, light poles, and office walls; long-range, high-definition video links in unmanned aerial vehicles; wide bandwidth military satellite communication systems; and in elctronic test and measurement equipment supporting testing of multi-mode, multi-band applications.

ADI builds the chip in 65-micron CMOS; in a 12 x 12 mm, 196-ball CSP-BGA package the AD9371 will be priced at $245 (1000). The reference design/evaluation boaard is $1250.

Analog Devices; www.analog.com/RadioVerse and www.analog.com/AD9371

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