Microwave Analog Frontend Design - I

Institute of Robust Power Semiconductor Systems

Theory and development of analog transmit and receive front-ends for radar and communication applications are the main topics of this lecture with a special focus on nonlinear components like frequency multiplier and mixers.

Lecture: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ingmar Kallfass
Exercise: M.Sc. Moritz Vischer



Course of studies

M.Sc. Electrical Engineering University of Stuttgart
M.Sc.INFOTECH (Information Technology) University of Stuttgart

Date of lecture Monday, 9:45 am – 11:15 am,
beginning 15th of April 2019
Date of seminar Wednesday 3:45 pm - 5:15 pm
beginning 10th of April 2019
Language English
Location Lecture + Seminar:
Pfaffenwaldring 47, Campus Stuttgart-Vaihingen, Room V47.06

This lecture conveys the theory and design of analog microwave and millimeterwave transmit/receive frontends for high resolution radar and high data rate wireless communication. Starting from the theory of link budget calculations, an analysis of the impairments of non-idealities in the analog frontend on the quality of the receive signal is discussed. After an introduction to nonlinear transistor modeling and nonlinear circuit analysis in the time- and frequency domain, the theory and circuit design of frequency multipliers and mixers based on active millimeterwave monolithic integrated circuits (MMIC) is covered. The course ends with a comprehensive study of the Gilbert cell and its applications to numerous functional stages of microwave analog frontends. The lecturer reserves the right to alter the contents of the course without prior notification.


Part 1: Applications of Nonlinear Microwave Circuits 

  1. MMIC-based transmit and receive analog frontends for high resolution radar and high data rate communication
  2. Link budget calculations
  3. Application example: multi-Gigabit wireless communication systems
  4. System-level impairments of RF frontend non-idealities on receive signal quality

 Part 2: Nonlinear Circuit Analysis 

  1. Nonlinear transistor modeling and time domain circuit analysis
  2. Nonlinear frequency domain circuit analysis
  3. Dynamic IV waveforms as circuit design tool

 Part 3: Frequency Multipliers 

  1. Frequency multiplier theory, figures of merit and state-of-the-art
  2. Even- and odd-order FET multipliers
  3. Broadband multiplier techniques
  4. Harmonic control in multiplier chains

 Part 4: Mixers Part 1 

  1. Mixer theory and figures of merit
  2. Diode mixers
  3. Passive and Active FET Mixers
  4. Single-balanced, double-balanced, IQ, IR mixers

Part 5: Mixers Part 2 

  1. The Gilbert cell
  2. HBT-based Gilbert cell circuit analysis
  3. Applications of Gilbert cells
  4. Design measures for speed enhancement
SWS 2 + 2
Exam Oral
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Janis Wörmann


Research Assistant

Lukas Gebert


Research Assistant

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