Hi, you are logged in as , if you are not , please click here

RF Circuit and System Design: 9-13 July 2018

More Info

Course Information

Printed Circuit Board

This five day course has been specifically designed to cover the major elements relevant to engineers working or starting out in the RF field and should provide them with the expertise required to excel in this, their chosen field. By joining some of the foremost experts in the field of RF engineering delegates will quickly be given the tools to get to grips with the major aspects of RF Circuit & System Design.  The course material is enhanced by practical hands-on work in the laboratories using real test equipment.  The labs will have a maximum of 12 people per session. 

Course Code

SB1148 - 2018

Course Dates

9th July 2018 – 13th July 2018

Course Leader

Barbara Steel
Course Description

Please note that the University of Surrey reserves the right to update and alter these courses – please check our website for updates


This course is intended for delegates wishing to consolidate and upgrade their RF knowledge to improve their effectiveness in the radio industry.  Delegates will obtain an understanding of the technologies behind transmitter and receiver design including small signal RF amplifiers, synthesisers and PA design. The course material progresses to an advanced level equivalent to that required to an MSc module.

RF Transmission Lines – Dr Charles Free

An introduction to the properties and characteristics of transmission lines for use at RF will be given.  Included in the presentation will be an introduction to the Smith Chart, and its uses in RF circuit design.

Planar Circuit Design – Dr Charles Free

The presentation will focus on microstrip, and the application of this technology for the design of RF circuits.  The theory and design of some common matching circuits will be included, and the treatment extended to consider the design of planar lumped components.

The Smith Chart and Lumped Element Circuit Matching – Dr Tim Brown

Smith chart principles and trajectories. Designing of lumped element L-matching networks using a Smith chart. Wideband PI- and T-networks. 

CAD Laboratory: Smith Chart and Matching – Dr Tim Brown

Experimentation with the Smith chart and lumped elements using computer aided design software.

Transistor Circuits and Automatic Gain Control – Dr Tim Brown

Understanding bipolar junction transistors and field effect transistors and their usage in RF circuits. The long tail pair. Use of long tail pair in an automatic gain control. Applications of automatic gain control.

RF Antennas and Propagation – Dr Tim Brown

Introduction to the key concepts of antennas: radiation patterns, gain, directivity, efficiency, polarisation, impedance. Simple free space propagation, multipath. Snell’s laws and ionospheric refraction. Fade margin.

RF Receivers – Dr Tim Brown

Regenerative, tuned radio and superheterodyne receivers. Mixer products. Noise and noise figure. Noise matching.

CAD Amplifier Design Laboratory – Dr Tim Brown

This laboratory covers a number of aspects of RF amplifier design, in particular matching, stability, gain and noise figure.

RF Power Amplifiers – tba

Overview of power amplifiers (PAs). Which Technology? PA Non-linearity and effect on Waveform. PA Efficiency and Class. Introduction to Class AB. Introduction to Doherty. Highly Efficient PA Techniques. PA Architectures. Reliability and Thermal Considerations.

PA Linearisation – tba

Why Linearise? Modelling Device Non-linearity. Linearisation Choices. Introduction to PolarLoopTransmitter. Introduction to Feed-Forward Linearisation. Introduction to Digital Pre-Distortion. Practical Considerations.

RF Noise and Measurement Laboratory – Dr Tim Brown

Measurement and tuning of simple lumped element RF band pass filters. Measurement of RF noise and low noise amplifiers.  

Vector Network Analyser Measurements – Nick Ridler

Network Analyser Basics; Coaxial Cables & Connectors; Calibration Methods; Calibration in Coaxial line; On-wafer Measurements Overview; On-wafer calibration

Mixers and Modulation – Prof Mike Underhill

Intermediate Frequency Filters. Mixers, intermodulation, phase noise effects in mixers.

Software Radio Basics and Demo – Prof Mike Underhill

Receiver architecture. Signal representation. Modulation spectra. Bandwidth and noise. Digital filtering. Software defined radio receiver demonstration.


Oscillators and Frequency Synthesisers – Prof Mike Underhill

Phase noise and time jitter. Phase lock loop principles, frequency synthesis. Phase comparator noise and noise sources in the phase lock loop. Types of phase comparator. Divider techniques. The anti jitter circuit.

RF Filters – Dr Charles Free

The essential theory pertaining to RF filters will be reviewed. The presentation will include the practical design of planar filters using microstrip technology, and the work extended to consider the application of recent multilayer planar techniques for RF and microwave filter design.

Tutorial/Lab Visit – Dr Charles Free and Dr Tim Brown

This session will be a continuation from the previous lectures covering useful tutorial problems. A laboratory visit will be conducted in the second half to the RF labs used inSurrey’s 5G Innovation Centre.

RF Amplifier Design – Prof Ian Robertson

This lecture introduces the classical principles behind small-signal RF amplifier design - matching, stability, DC biasing, gain and noise figure circles. The lecture then covers practical design in a range of technologies & applications.

RFICs and MMICs – Prof Ian Robertson

This lecture introduces the key active and passive components for GaAs and Silicon IC design. The most common circuit topologies are introduced for amplifiers, mixers, oscillators, switches, variable attenuators and phase shifters. Finally, recent developments in millimetre-wave silicon designs are introduced.

Transceivers and Handsets – Prof Ian Robertson

This lecture considers the different architectures used for modern transmitters and receivers in mobile handsets. A number of practical solutions and chipsets are studied and some of the key off-chip RF components are considered - filters, the PA and switches (including MEMS).


Price per person, including lunch, refreshments and printed course notes is £1750 for early bird payments received before 9 June 2018. Please contact the CE office for further details. Numbers on this course are limited in order to give ample time to students in the CAD sessions.

How would you rate your experience today?

How can we contact you?

What could we do better?

   Change Code