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Radio Frequency (RF) covers the spectrum from 3 kHz up to 300 GHz. RF work has gained a reputation of being something of a “black art”. It is a fact that, in general, RF products will need to be tuned as simulation tools and models are not accurate enough to get to first pass success without tuning. However, a lot of issues occur needlessly from sloppy work and a lack of understanding of basic principles. This means that, in general, a lot of issues can be solved before they even occur. This requires that the basic principles of RF are understood and there is rigorous attention to detail in all phases of design and test.

This course is an introduction to RF for design engineers, test engineers and product engineers or anyone else who needs to work with RF or has an interest in the field of RF. The emphasis of the course will be on the practical aspect rather than the mathematical aspect. The aim is for engineers to obtain an intuitive understanding of the concepts to allow them to apply these concepts in their work. 

The internet offers a lot of resources for the RF engineer and it is not the objective of this course to supplant the internet, but to offer a guide for the engineer to know what to look for and where to find it. Engineers who take this course should leave knowing the basics of RF design and test, what to look for on the internet and where to find the relevant articles and calculators to help them during their work.

 
LEARNING OBJECTIVES
Upon completing the course, the participants will be able to:
  • Understand RF fundamentals
  • Understand RF terminology
  • Work with transmission lines
  • Have an understanding of mismatch and the importance of matching
  • Understand the performance of passive devices at RF
  • Work with passive devices at RF
  • Have a basic understanding of active devices at RF
  • Track down grounding and signal return issues
  • Find relevant articles on the internet to fill in blanks in their knowledge
  • Find online calculators to calculate RF parameters
COURSE OUTLINE
  • RF basics
  • Transmission lines
  • S-parameters
  • The Smith chart
  • Passive components
  • Active components
  • RF circuits
  • Terminations and matching
  • Grounding
  • Coupling and decoupling considerations
  • Noise
  • Small signal and large signal
  • Harmonics
  • Frequency conversion and mixing
  • Designing for tunability
  • Debugging
 
KEY CONCEPTS
Energy transmission at RF frequencies · electromagnetic waves · dB representation of power and voltage · s-parameters · component matching · grounding issues · noise in RF circuits · non-linear effects in RF circuits · tuning · debugging

TOOLS USED
No tools are required for this course.
 
COURSE LENGTH
The course will be online. It will consist of one 1.5-hour session every day for 5 days.


WHO SHOULD ATTEND
Engineers working with RF. Engineers working on RF integrated circuits. Design and layout engineers tasked with undertaking RF or high-speed digital board design. Technicians and test engineers involved in test and debug using RF products. Technical management needing an understanding of RF. Anyone with an interest in RF. The course aims to impart an intuitive understanding of the concepts involved, but there is a mathematical basis to most of the content and the student will need to be comfortable dealing with engineering mathematics.
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