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This paper discusses the architecture and the performance of a burst transceiver operating in the 434.42-MHz instrumentation, scientific, and medical (ISM) band. The authors have presented a burst transceiver design that can be used as an interrogation unit as part of any passive wireless surface acoustic wave (SAW) sensing system operating in the 433-MHz band. Passive wireless SAW sensing systems are ideal for use in inhospitable and inaccessible environments. The power level and duration of the burst signal can easily be adjusted by changing the attenuation level in the transmit path and programming the digital logic, respectively. The overall block diagram of the burst transceiver is discussed along with the layout and fabrication details. Following this, the performance of the burst transceiver is discussed in terms of the cascaded gain and noise figure analysis of the transmit and receive paths. The burst transceiver is then analyzed in both the time and frequency domains. Finally, the burst transceiver is tested as an interrogation unit in a passive wireless SAW sensing system.