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This paper presents a method for testing RF receivers that utilizes a multitone digital signal generation scheme and relies on the analysis of the receiver baseband output to compute the RF performance parameters. The proposed method eliminates the cost of expensive RF instrumentation on the input side of receiver testing and only requires low-cost on-chip baseband digitization at the output of the receiver. The complexity of the RF signal generation inherent to standard methods is traded off with extensive signal processing in the baseband. The analysis necessary for tackling the problem of extracting RF metrics is addressed and presented herein. Whereas the proposed test scheme was implemented and experimentally verified on a load board for testing UHF receivers, generalized use in BIST applications in need of multi-GHz RF stimuli is also discussed in the paper. RF performance parameters like Gain, Noise Figure (NF), and IIP3 were simulated and measured using both standard methods and the proposed method and, the results are shown to be accurate to within 0.5 dB for Gain and 1 dB for NF and IIP3.
Circuits and Systems I: Regular Papers, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:59 , Issue: 9 )
Date of Publication: Sept. 2012