ING-INF/01 - 9 CFU - 2° Semester

Teaching Staff


Learning Objectives

The course of Electronics for Telecommunications deals with architectural and circuital solutions of the radio frequency (RF) front-ends for the wireless communication systems, which are based on modern integration silicon VLSI technologies. The course aims at providing the knowledge of the main RF front-end architectures and of the electronic techniques for the most critical aspects of the RF processing, which are the high frequency, the high gain, the low noise and the high linearity.
At the end of the course, the student will acquire the knowledge of how a modern transceiver for the most widespread wireless telecommunication applications, such as mobile handsets, WLAN, WSN, Bluetooth, etc., is made, how it works, and how it is interfaced with the antenna on one side and with sensing and actuators on the other. Moreover, the student will be introduced to the design of the main RF processing building blocks (LNA, oscillator, PLL, etc.) thanks to the acquisition of the topologies of those circuits and their relative design equations.

Course Structure

The course is mainly based on lectures that will be recorded in both audio and written form and made available for students in the same day. The design of an important circuital block of the RF processing chain will be also carried out with CAD simulator. Visits to research labs will be organized and typical design and measurement work flows will be shown.

Detailed Course Content


WIRELES COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS: antenna, radio front-end, base-band analog front-end, digital signal processing (DSP), analog front-end for sensors and actuators.

PERFORMANCE PARAMETERS OF AN RF FRONT-END: sensitivity, operating frequency, voltage and power gain, noise figure, linearity parameters, phase noise, efficiency.

TRANSISTOR NOISE: noise sources of BJT and MOS transistors, noise voltage and current, signal to noise ratio, noise figure.

IMPEDANCE TRANSFORMATION AND MATCHING: the impedance transformation problem, propierties of reactive networks, impedance matching, impedance matching performance parameters.

FUNDAMENTAL BUILDING BLOCKS OF THE RF PROCESSING: low noise amplifier (LNA), simple and quadrature mixer, image rejection mixer, variable-gain amplifier (VGA), intermediate frequency (IF) amplifier, phase networks, power amplifier (notes).

PHASE LOCKED LOOP (PLL): performance parameters (operating frequency, tuning range, phase noise, spurious rejection, stability). PLL building blocks: reference oscillator, phase frequency detector (PFD), charge pump (CP), loop filter, voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO), frequency divider, PLL applications in the RF transceivers.

ARCHITECTURES OF RF FRONT-ENDS: superheterodyne conversion, homodyne conversion, low-IF conversion, sliding IF conversion.

Textbook Information

  1. B. Razavi, “RF Microelectronics”, Ed. Theodore S. R., Prentice Hall.

Teaching materials
1. Course notes;
2. Recorded lessons.

Open in PDF format Versione in italiano