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1996 - 2016
Webmaster:
Kirt Blattenberger,
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RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling 2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed formulas and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit design engineer. The Internet was still largely an unknown entity at the time and not much was available in the form of WYSIWYG ...

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Finding articles on RF communications system design on the Internet is pretty hard to do, as you have probably discovered on your way to landing on this page. I have found that one of the best sources for RF system design is from college / university websites where professors have their class notes posted for download by students. A few are buried inside the protected IEEE annals, and some can be found in application notes by vendors. Here are a few of the ones I've located while looking for information for my own use. In some cases, the papers are particular to something like RFIC design, but the basic system design principles are the same.

When searching for yourself, try using terms like: rf system design course notes

 

Advanced ICs for Communications | rfic.eecs.berkeley.edu/~niknejad/ee242/lectures.html
By Berkeley Wireless Research Center.

CDMA2000 RF System Design: Spreadsheet or RF System Design Software? Understanding the Tradeoffs | eesof.tm.agilent.com/pdf/cdma2000_rf_system_design.pdf
Article from Agilent EEsof EDA, by Anitha Swaminathan.

Comprehending Circuit And Physical Phenomena In RF System Design And Integration | rfglobalnet.com/article.mvc/Comprehending-Circuit-And-Physical-Phenomena-0001?VNETCOOKIE=NO
By James Spoto, George Chrisikos, Michael Heimlich, and Steve Maas.

Consider Overall Cascaded Performance When Comparing Integrated RF Frequency Mixers to Passive Mixer Solutions | maxim-ic.com/appnotes.cfm/appnote_number/2371
Compares the features of an integrated RF and passive mixer solution.

Dynamic Performance Requirements for High-Performance ADCs and RF Components in Digital Receiver Applications | maxim-ic.com/appnotes.cfm/appnote_number/3062
Application note from Maxim Integrated Products, Dallas Semiconductor.

High-Performance RF Modulator Enables Multi-Carrier Communications Transmitters | maxim-ic.com/appnotes.cfm/appnote_number/3559
Application note from Maxim Integrated Products, Dallas Semiconductor.

High Speed Communication Circuits | ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/Electrical-Engineering-and-Computer-Science/6-776Spring-2005/CourseHome/index.htm
By MIT OpenCourseWare.

Introduction to RF Front-End Design | ek.isy.liu.se/~jdab/RF-PhDcourse.html
By Jerzy Dabrowski
Linköpings University.

Mixer 2x2 Spurious Response and IP2 Relationship | maxim-ic.com/appnotes.cfm/appnote_number/1838
Details the definitions for 2nd order intercept point (IP2) and 2x2 spurious response, parameters frequently found in RF-related component datasheets such as mixers.

Principles of Wireless Communications | ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/Electrical-Engineering-and-Computer-Science/6-452Spring-2006/DownloadthisCourse/index.htm
By MIT OpenCourseWare.

RF Circuits and Systems | rf-circuits.info/index.html
This website is targeted to explain the theory, design and simulation of RF circuits and systems.

Receiver Architectures: Fundamentals and Properties | amesp02.tamu.edu/~sanchez/665 Lect 2-Receiver-Topologies 2006.pdf
By Texas A&M University (ESS).

Receivers, Antennas, and Signals | ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/Electrical-Engineering-and-Computer-Science/6-661Spring2003/CourseHome/index.htm
by MIT OpenCourseWare.

Receiver Sensitivity Equation for Spread Spectrum Systems | maxim-ic.com/appnotes.cfm/appnote_number/1140
Provides insight into how the sensitivity of a spread spectrum application is defined and how the desired sensitivity level for digital communication receivers can be calculated.

Simplifying Tomorrow's LO Drive Designs with the MAX9987-90 Family of LO Buffers/Splitters | maxim-ic.com/appnotes.cfm/appnote_number/1917
Provides an insight into the features and functionality of Maxim's LO buffer/splitter family MAX9987 and MAX9990.

Specifications and Measurement of Local Oscillator Noise in Integrated Circuit Base Station Mixers | .maxim-ic.com/appnotes.cfm/appnote_number/2021
Application note from Maxim Integrated Products, Dallas Semiconductor.

Wideband LO Noise in Passive Transmit-Receive Mixer ICs | maxim-ic.com/appnotes.cfm/appnote_number/3632
Application note from Maxim Integrated Products, Dallas Semiconductor.