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Testing RF ICs with DigRF interconnects

Posted: 26 Nov 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:DigRF interconnects  RF IC testing  WiMAX 

The multi-gigabit DigRF standard is rapidly emerging as the next-generation serial interface between mobile base band (BB) and RF ICs because it removes the inter-chip communication bottleneck. However, the ongoing evolution of the DigRF standard introduces multiple levels of complexity in design and test due to protocol changes and a fast 3Gbit/s serial link. Couple that with the inclusion of MIMO techniques and new RF modulation formats within handset designs, and the problems become even tougher.

From turn-on through integration, the ability to gain greater confidence in these new designs depends on obtaining deeper insights that span the digital and RF domains. Within each wireless device, new insight begins in the digital domain at the physical and protocol layers. Next, ensuring proper over-the-air operation requires insight into the RF domain and its physical and protocol layers. With any new handset design, tools that work across the digital and RF domains can accelerate development, debugging and design validation.

Whether you are a digital engineer faced with making RF-type measurements or an RF engineer trying to make digital measurements, this application note will help you achieve your measurement goals. The content presented here covers four major areas—digital/physical, digital/protocol, RF/physical and RF/protocol—but focuses on the challenges of testing the RF ICs used in next-generation (3.9G) formats such as WiMAX and LTE. Today's designs have new measurement needs and will benefit from new test methodologies that address many of these challenges, providing useful results and new insights across the digital and RF domains.

View the PDF document for more information.

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