This work was conducted at the DaimlerChrysler Research Facility in Ulm, Germany, Department of Vehicle Sensing and Communications Microwave, and at the Massa chusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA, USA, between November 2001 and March 2005.
I would like to thank Prof. Robert Weigel from the FriedrichAlexanderUniversity
ErlangenNuremberg, Chair of Technical Electronics, and Prof. Franz K¨artner from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Research Laboratory of Electronics for their
involvement and the supervision of this work.
I would especially like to thank Prof. Franz K¨artner for embracing me as a member of his research group during my research period in the United States.
I would like to gratefully acknowledge the enthusiastic supervision of Dr. Johann
Friedrich Luy from DaimlerChrysler Research and Technology. His knowledge and expertise helped guide me through this work.
I want to sincerely thank Dr. Bernd Schauwecker and Dr. Karl Strohm for numerous
discussions and countless hours of technical support during the design phase and fab
rication of the MEMS.
I want to thank Dietrich Eisbrenner for his generosity in taking the extra time in the cleanroom and assisting me during the fabrication process of the MEMS.
Many thanks to Dr. Thomas M¨uller for his inspiration in the ﬁeld of SDR and for helping the thesis take shape and progress forward.
Many thanks also to Thomas Eireiner and Dr. Konrad B¨ohm for their intellectual support and for the various fruitful discussions that were essential for the success of this work.
Furthermore, I want to thank Winfried Simon from IMST GmbH and Dr. Jan Mehner from FEMWARE GmbH for supporting the development process of the MEMS with their simulations.
Thanks also to Francois Deborgies and Laurent Marchand from ESA for their support and suggestions in the development of the MEMS.
Many thanks to all my interns and Master Thesis students, especially to Alexander Honold.
Last but not least, I would like to thank my parents, Inge and Eugen, and my girlfriend Annie Seapan. Without their encouragement and support, this work would not have been possible. Many thanks also to my sincere friends Micky, Andrea, and Annie for making me dinner and proofreading this thesis.
The aim of this work is the design and evaluation of a reconﬁgurable, universal, multi band, multistandard receiver frontend. This frontend is based on software deﬁned radio (SDR) which leads to a signiﬁcant reduction of hardware circuit complexity. For down conversion, the multiport receiver principle has been chosen as it is a very promising candidate to cope with the large frequency ranges needed for receiving mul tiple standards.
The original multiport (or sixport) theory applies only to alternative network analyz ers. Since the late 1990s, the sixport principle has also been used for radio frequency (RF) communications receivers, but the principle of the frequency conversion process was never thoroughly described. Therefore, an accurate mathematical description of the frequency conversion and demodulation processes in multiport receivers needs to become established. With this detailed understanding of the multiport theory, the sixport receiver can then be evaluated and its performance can be compared to that of conventional architectures.
To integrate present and future frequency bands from 1 GHz through 40 GHz into a single receiver, the hardware of the multiport interferometer itself needs to be re conﬁgurable. Hardware reconﬁgurability in the analog frontend necessitates multi ple routing structures, i.e. receive/ transmit (RX/TX) switches or frontend selector switches. It is obvious that these switches must have a very low loss so as not to degrade the signaltonoise (SNR) ratio. On the other hand, RX/TX switches must support very high powers. As we will see, these two requirements, namely low loss and high power, cannot be achieved suﬃciently with conventional PIN diode switches. The new and upcoming microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) technology oﬀers an elegant way to accomplish these speciﬁcations. As low loss, high power switches are the key element for future multiband multistandard transceivers, much eﬀort has been put in the design, simulation, fabrication, and evaluation of new suitable radio frequency (RF) MEMS switches – in particular, a single pole double throw (SPDT) switch. RF MEMS switches designed with this new technology can cover a frequency range from DC to 40 GHz with an insertion loss below 1 dB and can handle several watts of power.
When the performance of the new MEMS switches is known, they can be applied and evaluated in the context of the sixport receiver. For an accurate evaluation of the reconﬁgurable sixport interferometer, Sparameter measurements need to be analyzed in respect to signal attenuation and phase relations. A detailed analysis of these pa rameters will further improve the understanding of the multiport principle, especially the requirements for covering a large frequency range.
In the context of communications the meaningful physical entity is the symbol er ror rate. The multiband, multistandard sixport receiver frontend must meet the requirements of today’s communication standards. This implies a good noise per formance which can be characterized by the symbol error rate of the demodulated symbols with respect to the bit energy over noise (E _{b} /N _{0} ) ratio.

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Table of Figures 
137 
Abbreviations:
IQ 
inphase/ quadrature 
RF 
radio frequency 
MEMS 
micro electromechanical systems 
SDR 
software deﬁned radio 
SPDT 
single pole double throw 
SEM 
scanning electron microscope 
DC 
direct current 
GHz 
gigahertz 
SER 
symbol error rate 
SP1500 
sixport interferometer with a center frequency of 1.5 GHz 
SP20 
sixport interferometer for frequencies from 2 GHz through 25 GHz 
QPSK 
quadrature phase shift keying 
iii
Contents
iv
Today, the communications industry faces the challenge of integrating an increasing number of radio communications systems. Especially in automotive applications, a vast amount of diﬀerent receivers ranging from below one megahertz (amplitude mod ulation (AM) radio) to electronic toll collect systems at 5.7 GHz or even radar systems at 79 GHz. Future communications systems with higher data rates are envisaged to employ the 17 GHz, 24 GHz, or 60 GHz bands. The stateoftheart technology is the use of hardware that is limited to cover one frequency band only. This becomes very complex, ineﬀective, and expensive as modern transceivers need to handle more and more standards in a single, compact device.
Therefore, it is of great interest to design a single transceiver that can handle multi ple frequency bands, understand diﬀerent standards, and is easily reconﬁgurable and upgradeable. These requirements can be met by shifting traditional hardware com ponents into the digital domain. This type of radio is called software deﬁned radio (SDR) [1]. With the advances in complementary metaloxide semiconductor (CMOS) technology, analogtodigital converters (ADCs), programmable digital signal proces sors (DSP), and high speed data transfer, the SDR principle becomes feasible from the digital point of view and much eﬀort is undertaken to implement SDR radios. How ever, great eﬀort also needs to be applied to the analog frontend, meaning anything from the antenna(s) to the ADCs. An eﬀective and well rounded principle needs to be discovered and developed for universal frequency conversion processes over a large fre quency range that allows high freedom and is independent of the baseband modulation.
The motivation of this work is the design of a broadband receiver for a frequency range from 1 GHz to 40 GHz with reduced hardware requirements. Hardware archi tectures for SDR applications that cover such a large frequency range have not yet been reported. To achieve this goal, diﬀerent SDR hardware architectures [2][3] have been reviewed and the most promising, the multiport principle, was applied [4]. The reported multiport architectures diﬀer in the number of output ports: Fiveport re ceivers [5][6][7] and sixport receivers [8][9][10][11][12][13].
1
1
Introduction
The sixport receiver under investigation in this work uses a local oscillator (LO) and broadband matched power detectors for frequency conversion. The SDR principle is employed for demodulation. To cover the aforementioned frequency range, the six port architecture needs the ability to route signals to diﬀerent antennas and to switch between diﬀerent interferometer circuits. This feature was implemented with radio frequency (RF) switches that consist of micro electromechanical systems (MEMS) [14]. As the realization of such new type of switches requires an enormous amount of eﬀort, the RF MEMS switching structures were developed in a joint project with the European Space Agency (ESA) called “Microwave Electrostatic MicroMachined Devices For OnBoard ApplicationS” (MEMOS).
This work is organized as a step by step approach from the theoretical background of multiport receivers to the ﬁnal performance evaluation of the designed reconﬁgurable,
multiband, multistandard sixport receiver platform. The highlight lies in the devel opment of the low loss, high power RF MEMS switches to be demonstrated in Chap.
3 and their application in the sixport receiver context. To name a few, new scientiﬁc contributions of the performed MEMS research are:
• Stable fabrication processes for new types of MEMS: an ohmic contact switch, an SPDT switch, and an RF cross. All devices can be fabricated on standard Si wafers with standard Si processes (CMOS compatibility).
• The increased handling and decreased insertion loss from the capacitive mem brane switch, the toggle switch, and the SPDT switches make RF MEMS switches superior in their performance when compared to state of the art positive/ intrin sic/ negative (PIN) diode switches.
• The MEMS RF cross oﬀers low attenuation when signal lines need to lead over each other.
• Detailed reliability and performance analysis of the toggle and capacitive shunt airbridge switch covering RF power, total number of switch cycles, direct current (DC) contact resistance, and temperature dependency.
Besides, there are several new achievements that are related to multiport receivers. The most prominent are:
• A comprehensive and better to understand theoretical description that applies the concept of additive mixing to multiport receivers and gives insight into the frequency conversion processes
2
1.2 Contribution and Outline
• A sixport frontend that covers a very large bandwidth
• A better description of phase relations that further improve the understanding of multiport theory
• Symbol error rate (SER) measurements at diﬀerent signaltonoise (SNR) ratios (more precisely E _{b} /N _{0} ) over a frequency range from 1.075 GHz to 40 GHz (at selected frequencies). SER measurements covering such a large frequency range in a single receiver have not been published before.
The scientiﬁc content of this work starts oﬀ in the next chapter, “Theoretical Back ground of MultiPort Receivers” (Chap. 2), with a short introduction to SDRs in the context of multiport receivers. From this, follows a description of the semiconductor diode detector as it is identiﬁed as the key component of multiport receivers and the place where the frequency conversion process takes place. A thorough elaboration and application of the diode theory is of great importance in understanding the functional principle of multiport receivers. The theory focuses on the multiport principle in the context of communications receivers which is somehow detached from the original de scription of sixport reﬂectometers found in the early work of Cohn [15], Engen [4][16], and Hoer [17][18]. This is necessary because in comparison to Engen’s work, we face a dynamic system which has diﬀerent properties and requirements than quasistatic sixport reﬂectometers. This new approach to multiport theory allows deep insight into the functional principle and sheds light onto the “black box,” an expression for the sixport interferometer found in a scientiﬁc article [19].
Operating the sixport receiver over a large frequency range requires a low loss, high power switch in the analog frontend. For this reason, Chap. 3, “RF MEMS Switches for Signal Routing,” shows the possibility to realize such routing structures with the new upcoming MEMS technology. The chapter begins with an introduction to RF MEMS with their typical applications and stateoftheart technological possibilities. An overview illuminates the principle of the single pole double throw (SPDT) switch; namely that it is composed of two diﬀerent RF MEMS switches, a capacitive shunt airbridge switch and an ohmic contact switch called a “toggle” switch [20]. In ad dition, an RF cross is designed. To understand the design issues for all RF MEMS switches, mechanical, electrostatic, and electromagnetic simulations are performed and will be explained before presenting the simulation results achieved from the diﬀerent structures. As the MEMS technology involves moving parts, it is highly sophisticated and the design requires feedback from the advanced fabrication processes. Several redesigns were necessary to achieve the measurement and reliability results that are presented. Scattering (S) parameters and power handling are the main parameters that were improved. Additional simulation and measurement results give insight into switching time, reliability, contact resistance, and temperature dependency.
3
1
Introduction
Once the results from the new RF MEMS switches are available, they can be used for the design of the reconﬁgurable multiband sixport circuit that is investigated in de tail in Chap. 4, “The MEMS Based MultiBand Sixport Circuit.” The chapter begins with an introduction to various RF interferometers and design guidelines. To evaluate the MEMS in the multiport context, a 1.5 GHz sixport interferometer was designed, simulated, fabricated, measured, and thoroughly evaluated. It is organized in a way to understand the function of all single components, three quadrature hybrids and a power divider, as well as their arrangement in the ﬁnal interferometer. As multiport receivers are based on the superposition of electromagnetic waves under diﬀerent phase angles, this chapter aims to convey these phase relations in an accuracy and depth that has never been described before. Commercial components are used for the second broadband sixport interferometer, that covers a notable frequency range from 2 GHz to 25 GHz (experimental receiver measurements are performed up to 40 GHz)[21]. Fi nally, Sparameter simulation results are presented for both sixport circuits including the RF MEMS switches and RF MEMS cross that serve to route the signal to the dif ferent interferometers. For this purpose, real Sparameter measurement results from the RF MEMS components, as well as from the sixport interferometers, are included in the system simulation.
In Chap. 5, “Performance of the Reconﬁgurable Sixport Receiver,” the multistandard receiver is evaluated over the designated frequency range from 1 GHz to 40 GHz. This evaluation is done by analyzing the SER in demodulated quadrature phase shift keying (QPSK) signals that is caused by noise, speciﬁed by the E _{b} /N _{0} ratio. Schottky diode detectors (characterized in the beginning of the chapter) are applied to detect the power of the signal. Simulations are performed that include inﬂuences of channel noise and the phase noise of the LO on reception. For the time domain simulation of the SER, a new and rapid C++ based computer simulation program called CppSim (developed by M. Perrott from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)[22]) is used. Measurements at selected frequencies between 1 GHz and 40 GHz are performed and compared with their simulation results and theory.
Eventually, the work ends with a conclusion and outlook giving a short summary of the achieved results and discussing the maturation of this new technology.
4
This chapter will focus on the theoretical background and functional principle of the multiport receiver. The beginning of the chapter will discuss various SDR archi tectures and indicate why the sixport receiver is chosen to be the most promising candidate for a multiband, multistandard SDR platform for the frequency range from 1 GHz through 40 GHz. The main focus in the multiport theory is on the diode detectors and the principle of additive mixing. This is essential in understanding the frequency conversion processes which is the basis of multiport theory.
Radio communication is based on modifying the amplitude, the phase, and/or the frequency of a carrier wave. In today’s radio transceivers, the frequency conversion from RF to baseband and vice versa is done with a hardware modulator that is solely designed for a single standard. During use, the radio receiver selects only the speciﬁc signal type and ﬁlters out all other signals. Such transceivers are not ﬂexible; systems become complex and expensive when hardware for several standards has to be included in one device. The solution is the SDR concept. SDRs distinguish themselves from their conventional counterparts by shifting typical hardware related tasks into the dig ital domain [1]. In other words, an SDR is a radio with a generic hardware based on analog circuitry under a ﬂexible software architecture. This includes reconﬁgurable radios, softwarebased radios, and SDRs based on digital signal processing technol ogy. Although these concepts have been around for awhile, their practical designs have only now become feasible due to advances in many technologies such as: CMOS, silicon germanium (SiGe), MEMS, ﬁeldprogrammable gate arrays (FPGA), powerful and costeﬀective programmable DSPs, highperformance ADCs, and ultrafast data transfer interfaces [23].
SDRs have several advantages over today’s hardwired radios. The most obvious ad vantage is the ﬂexibility under a multistandard environment. SDRs can be repro
5
2
Theoretical Background of MultiPort Receivers
grammed and reconﬁgured on the ﬂy to adopt to the diﬀerent standards even in diﬀerent frequency bands. Furthermore, SDRs can also be conﬁgured to handle mul tiple communications protocols. An agile SDR can handle various popular standards and protocols from a single design implementation such as: 802.11a, 802.11b, Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM), Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA), analog (FM) and Digital Audio and Video Broadcast (DAB, DVB), satellite radio (Satellite Digital Audio Radio Services – SDARS), Global Positioning System (GPS), and, in the future, the European Global Satellite Navigation System (GALILEO). In fact, some of these standards (i.e. frequency modulation (FM) radio and GSM) use sometimes slightly diﬀerent frequencies and channel spacings in diﬀerent countries. This becomes challenging and expensive for manufacturers to handle all the possible variants. In a global market and with increasing internationalization, there is a de mand for inexpensive ﬂexible hardware. For the automotive industry, it would be of great ease to have one single platform that can be conﬁgured by software depending upon which country it will be shipped to.
With a generic hardware base, radio functionalities such as signal generation, waveform modulation and demodulation, baseband digital signal processing, use of intermediate frequency (IF), and use of multiple linklayer protocols that have traditionally been handled by hardware can now be deﬁned by software. The focus of this work, however, is to provide the hardware frontend for multiband, multifrequency SDRs. The hard ware modules for an SDR include antennas, analog frontends (which convert the RF signal into IF signals or baseband signals), and digital baseband modules. Diﬀerent SDR receiver frontend architectures will be discussed in the following.
Fig. 2.1 shows idealized block diagrams of possible RF frontends. The ideal SDR receiver hardware includes direct sampling of the signal at the antenna, even without the use of any ﬁlter as shown in Fig. 2.1(a). Filtering, frequency conversion to base band, and demodulation are then performed with appropriate software algorithms in the digital domain. The concept is called direct sampling. In this case, according to the Nyquist Theorem, the sampling rate of the ADC ω _{s} must be greater than or equal to twice the RF frequency ω _{R}_{F} . With the latest achievements in ADC technology, this can be done with great success for FM radio where the carrier frequency is around 100 MHz [24].
However, for larger carrier frequencies at 1 GHz or 2 GHz, today’s mass market ADCs are not fast enough to meet the Nyquist criteria. In this case, one possible architec ture is based on bandpass limited subsampling as illustrated in Fig. 2.1(b). Instead of sampling the entire spectrum, only the modulated RF bandpass signal is sampled. This is an interesting approach that requires very sharp, high Q, RF ﬁlters and a
6
2.1 The Software Deﬁned Radio Concept
(a) Direct digital (ω _{s} ≥ 2 · ω _{R}_{F} )
(c) Heterodyne: IF/ low IF (ω _{L}_{O} < ω _{R}_{F} )
(b) Bandpasslimited subsampling (ω _{s} > 2 · bandwidth)
(d) Homodyne: zero IF/ direct conversion (ω _{L}_{O} = ω _{R}_{F} )
Fig. 2.1: Diﬀerent RF frontends for SDR platforms.
sampling rate greater than twice the ﬁlter bandwidth B _{B}_{P} _{F} . For frequencies above 10 GHz, such ﬁlters could become available in MEMS technology. Promising results can be found in the article describing MEMS ﬁlters [14]. Another issue with subsampling architectures is the disadvantageous mapping of noise onto the baseband signal whose magnitude depends on the RF to sampling rate ratio.
The remaining two architectures are heterodyne (Fig. 2.1(c)) and homodyne (Fig. 2.1(d)). Sampling of the intermediate frequency (IF) in a heterodyne architecture is advantageous, as the IF ﬁlters can be designed with sharp ﬂanks. Filter banks for diﬀerent standards can be implemented at the IF level. Channel ﬁltering, as well as down conversion to baseband, can easily be done in the digital domain. The IF depends on the ratio of the RF and LO frequency. As the LO frequency gets closer to RF, the IF becomes smaller and the signal can be ﬁltered with a low pass ﬁlter (LPF). For IF greater than zero, the architecture is called low IF. If the RF equals the LO frequency, the architecture is called homodyne (this is also called zeroIF or direct conversion). It should be mentioned that the ideal direct conversion requires hardware based complex down conversion as found in today’s inphase quadrature (IQ) receivers (see Fig. 2.8). This will be discussed in detail in Chap. 2.5.
The more RF blocks introduced into the frontend, the less ﬂexible it is. For the architectures in Fig. 2.1(b) to (d), low loss signal routing elements are needed to switch to diﬀerent antennas, bandpass ﬁlters, and down converter architectures. In a real architecture, high Q RF ﬁlters and low noise ampliﬁers (LNA) are additionally needed before down conversion. In this work, the main focus lies in the design of a broadband frequency downconverter that can handle a large frequency range. This
7
2
Theoretical Background of MultiPort Receivers
frequency down conversion process can be realized in multiport technology covering a much higher bandwidth and much higher maximum frequency when compared to stateofthe art mixer concepts (i.e. multiplicative Gilbert cell mixers) [21][25][26][108].
In a multiport receiver, the extremely large bandwidth and the very high maximum frequency is achieved by using semiconductor diodes in a power detector conﬁguration. Cutoﬀ frequencies of Schottky diodes can reach terahertz frequencies [27]. In fact, the diode based power detector can be regarded as a diode mixer with an LPF at the output. Fig. 2.2(a) shows the process of conventional multiplicative mixing where transistors are used for frequency conversion (i.e. in a Gilbert cell) with subsequent low pass ﬁltering.
RF
LO
(a) Multiplicative mixing
Fig. 2.2: Multiplicative versus additive mixing. The additive mixing process is the basis of the multiport theory.
The new concept that is used in multiport receivers is based on additive mixing as shown in Fig. 2.2(b). The issues with additive mixing will be thoroughly discussed in Chap. 2.4.1. In a multiport receiver (a sixport receiver is shown in Fig. 2.5), each of the four output ports is connected to a power detector. The signal addition itself takes place in the interferometer circuit which superposes the RF and LO signals under diﬀerent phase angles Φ _{i} . It is possible to make such interferometers very broadband [21]. In comparison to conventional IQ mixers with two output ports, the signals at the output ports of the power detectors must be processed further. The baseband IQ signals are calculated from the four power readings after a calibration process. Before the multiport theory is covered in detail, the functional principle of the diode detectors (as they are one of the key elements in the architectures of the receiver) will be described in the following.
8
2.2 The Theory of Diode Detectors
In order to understand the diode power detector, it is necessary to have a circuit model for the Schottky diode. This model has to be valid for both the large signal, nonlinear case as well as for the small signal case [28]. Since the Schottky diode is largely immune to minority carrier eﬀects, the junction capacitance
and diode current
C(V ) =
C j0
^{} 1 − V/φ _{b}_{i}
I _{d} (V ) = I _{s} ^{} e ^{α}^{V} − 1 ^{} ,
(2.1)
(2.2)
where α = e _{0} V/nk _{B} T, change almost instantaneously with junction voltage V (C _{j}_{0} is the junction capacitance at zero bias, φ _{b}_{i} is the builtin potential from Schottky con tact, I _{s} is the reverse saturation current, e _{0} is the charge of an electron, n is the diode ideality factor, k _{B} is the Boltzmann constant (1.37×10 ^{−}^{2}^{3} J/K), T is the absolute temperature in Kelvin. I _{s} is typically between 10 ^{−}^{6} and 10 ^{−}^{1}^{5} A, and at T=290 K, α ≈ 28 mV). Therefore, the DC expression for these quantities are valid to very high frequencies in the hundreds of GHz. In the large signal diode model, it is assumed that the capacitance and current are functions of the junction voltage alone. This is valid up to at least 250 GHz [28].
(b) DC characteristics of Schottky diode with typical regions (i) through (iv)
Fig. 2.3: Equivalent circuit of Schottky diode and its DC characteristics
A circuit model for the Schottky diode is shown in Fig. 2.3(a). It consists of a voltage variable resistance (or conductance g _{d} (V )) and capacitance for the junction C(V ), and a ﬁxed series resistance R _{S} . Other elements that describe packaging are not included. It is important to diﬀerentiate between large signal and small signal diode parame ters. For large signal circuits such as the sixport receiver with only a large LO signal
9
2 Theoretical Background of MultiPort Receivers
applied, the junction current and capacitance have a nonlinear dependence on the instantaneous junction voltage (C(V ) and I _{d} (V ) are given in Eq. 2.1 and 2.2, where V represents the instantaneous voltage of the time varying voltage).
In the small signal case, it is assumed that the magnitude of the AC junction voltage is very small. There may also be a larger junction voltage component, such as a DC bias or a larger LO signal. If the alternating current (AC) voltage is small enough, the capacitance and junction resistance may be treated as linear quantities, although they may vary as the larger applied voltage is varied. The small signal junction conductance g _{d} (V ) is the derivative of the diode current
g _{d} (V ) =
dI _{d}
dV = αI _{s} e ^{α}^{V} = α(I _{d} (V ) + I _{s} ),
(2.3)
which result in the junction conductance being proportional to its current. I _{s} is very small compared to I(V ) for forward conduction and can be ignored.
A linear plot of the DC characteristics of a Schottky diode is shown in Fig. 2.3(b) (diﬀerent regions are marked). For very small applied voltages V , the current response of the diode can be approximated with its quadratic term from a Taylor expansion of Eqn. 2.2 (between (i) and (ii)). Higher order terms appear between (ii) and (iii). For higher voltages, the limit for the current is given by the series resistance R _{S} which leads to a linear dependence beyond point (iv). For power detection, the input voltage should stay in the quadratic region of the diode, where the output current I _{d} is proportional to the square of the input voltage and, therefore, proportional to the input power:
I _{d} ∝ V ^{2} ∝ P _{i}_{n} .
(2.4)
The properties of a semiconductor diode (described in Chap. 2.2) are well suited for multiport applications. What is needed is the quadratic relationship between RF input power and baseband output voltages. Fig. 2.4(a) shows a simple power detector as it is used in multiport applications.
For broadband RF matching, the input impedance Z _{0} should equal the line impedance, which is 50 Ω in most applications. The input power generates an AC voltage V _{d} across the diode. This AC voltage generates the diode current which is low pass ﬁltered at the output by a capacitance C _{L}_{P} . The load at the output is in the order of MΩ. The detector output voltage V _{R}_{L} is the voltage across the load resistance. In the picture of a power detector, a single sine wave signal generates a DC oﬀset voltage at the output
10
2.2 The Theory of Diode Detectors
(a) Simple power detector
(b) Characteristics of a simple power detector
Fig. 2.4: Characteristic response to RF power of a simple power detector.
port which, in the quadratic region of the diode, is proportional to the input power. Fig. 2.4(b) shows the characteristic input power to detector output power relation ship. For most semiconductor diodes, the quadratic region goes up to approximately 20 dBm in a 50 Ω environment generating an output voltage in the order of mV [29].
For even larger input powers, the diode does not operate any longer in its quadratic region and power is lost to higher order terms (transition region between (i) and (ii)). These higher order terms do not contribute to the DC oﬀset and are ﬁltered by C _{L}_{P} . Due to this, the detector output voltage does not increase linearly with input power. For even larger input voltages V _{i}_{n} , the diode operates in rectiﬁcation mode where the detector output voltage V _{R}_{L} is proportional to the amplitude of the RF input signal ^{√} P _{i}_{n} (in other words, proportional to the square root of the input power):
V _{R}_{L} ∝ V _{i}_{n} ∝ ^{} P _{i}_{n} .
(2.5)
However, this model of the working principle of the diode detector in a multiport ap plication is not very accurate. In fact, in multiport applications, there is not only one single sine wave signal to be detected, but the sum of the RF and LO signal. There fore, the operation mode of the diode detectors in multiport applications is rather a mixing of two signals on a nonlinearity. This nonlinearity is given by the quadratic region of the diode. The superposition, or the addition of the two signals RF and LO, is accomplished by the interferometer circuit. The mathematical background for this additive mixing that takes place in multiport receivers is thoroughly described in Chap. 2.4.1
11
2 Theoretical Background of MultiPort Receivers
Before proceeding to the mathematical background of the additive mixing and multi port theory, the functional principle of the multiport receiver will be explained. We will see that the diode detector output voltages, when operating the diode in its quadratic region, have a linear dependence on the RF signal amplitude. In this case, the power of the LO signal has to be constant.
The sixport interferometer as shown in Fig. 2.5(a) superposes the RF and LO signals under diﬀerent phase angles. Now, consider only the output voltage at port 5. In this case, the superposition of LO and RF signal is given by j/2 · (LO + RF) (the signal amplitudes are halved and the signals have a phase diﬀerence of 0 ^{◦} ). If the amplitudes of the RF and LO signals are equal, this superposition of the two waves leads to twice the amplitude. Now, when sweeping the RF phase from 0 ^{◦} to 360 ^{◦} , the detector output voltage produces one full circle sine function as plotted in Fig. 2.5(b). With an initial phase oﬀset that is given by the interferometer circuit, the output voltages at the other ports start with a diﬀerent initial voltage but show the exact same behavior (sine function with a diﬀerent phase oﬀset). Using simple linear relations, these detector output voltages can be used to calculate the amplitude and phase of any RF signal. How this can be done is described in the following Chapter in conjunction with a much more detailed mathematical approach of the functional principle of multiport receivers.
phase difference between LO and RF signal [degrees]
0
90
180
270
360
(a) Sixport interferometer circuit
(b) Output voltages of the detector
Fig. 2.5: Functional principle of the multiport receiver (sixport circuit shown). When sweeping the RF phase from 0 ^{◦} to 360 ^{◦} , the output ports show the voltage waveforms given in (b).
12
2.4 Mathematical Description of the MultiPort Receiver
The small signal diode mixer theory accurately describes the behavior of the baseband
output voltages of the diode detectors depending on the magnitude of the LO and RF
signals. In the following, the small signal diode mixer theory from [30] is adapted to
suite its application in a multiport environment. As we have seen earlier in Eqn. 2.2,
the IV characteristics of a diode can be written as
I _{d} (V ) = I _{s} (e ^{α}^{V} − 1).
(2.6)
This IV response is plotted in Fig. 2.3(b). Now consider the total diode voltage to
consist of a small AC signal
V (t) = V _{0} + v(t)
(2.7)
where V _{0} is the DC bias voltage and I _{d} (V _{0} ) = I _{0} is the DC bias current (this DC bias
can also result from a large AC signal). If we assume that v(t) represents only small
deﬂections around a constant bias term, the expression for the total current at this
point can be represented by a Taylor series as a function of the applied AC signal
voltage 

I _{d} (V ) = I _{0} + G _{d} v(t) + 1 
_{d} v ^{2} (t) + ′ 
(2.8) 

where 

, 

G _{d} = 
dI _{d} (V ) 

= αI _{s} e ^{α}^{V} ^{0} = α(I _{0} + I _{s} ) ^{} V =V _{0} 
(2.9) 


is the dynamic conductance and
G _{d} ^{′} = αG _{d} = α ^{2} I _{s} e ^{α}^{V} ^{0} = α ^{2} (I _{0} + I _{s} )
(2.10)
is the derivative of the dynamic conductance. The Taylor series in Eqn. 2.8 is the
small signal approximation for a diode. The ﬁrst two terms are of little interest
as no frequency conversion occurs through them. The third term (containing v ^{2} (t))
represents the square law response of the diode and is responsible for the dominant
frequency conversion terms. In the following, typical LO and RF signals (as used in
multiport receivers), are applied to Eqn. 2.8 to derive the multiport mixer theory.
Fig. 2.6 shows the process of additive mixing that is found in each arm of the multiport
receiver. The superposition, or addition, of the LO input signal
v _{L}_{O} (t) = V ˆ _{L}_{O} cos(ω _{L}_{O} t + ϕ _{L}_{O} )
(2.11)
13
2 Theoretical Background of MultiPort Receivers
LO
RF
Fig. 2.6: Theory of additive mixing: the RF and LO signals are added and then
squared. This leads to additional terms in the baseband.
and the modulated RF input signal
v _{R}_{F} (t) = 
v _{B}_{P} (t) 
(2.12) 
= 
Re ^{} v _{B}_{B} (t)e ^{j}^{ω} ^{R}^{F} ^{t} ^{} 
= v _{B}_{B} (t) cos(ω _{R}_{F} t + ϕ _{R}_{F} + ϕ _{B}_{B} (t))
= I(t) cos(ω _{R}_{F} t + ϕ _{R}_{F} ) − Q(t) sin(ω _{R}_{F} t + ϕ _{R}_{F} )
takes place in the interferometer circuit, where v _{B}_{P} (t) is the complex bandpass signal,
v _{B}_{B} (t) is the complex baseband signal, V ˆ _{L}_{O} is the amplitude of the LO signal, ϕ _{R}_{F} is
the initial phase of the RF signal, and ϕ _{B}_{B} is the modulated phase (containing phase
information from the inphase component I(t) and quadrature component Q(t)). For
now, let us consider a modulated RF signal without additional phase shifts from the
interferometer as indicated in Eqn. 2.12 (the interferometer circuit will be discussed
later in more detail). This sum of the two signals
v(t) = v _{L}_{O} (t) + v _{R}_{F} (t)
(2.13)
is then applied to the diode equation (Eqn. 2.8). Considering all terms up to v ^{2} (t) this
results in a diode current
i _{d} (t) = I _{0} + G _{d} (v _{L}_{O} (t) + v _{R}_{F} (t))
(i)
_{+} αG _{d}
2
(v _{L}_{O} (t) + v _{R}_{F} (t)) ^{2} .
(ii)
(2.14)
Now suppose I _{0} = 0 (no DC bias) and i(t) is low pass ﬁltered at the output. Therefore,
G _{d} = I _{s} and the term (i) in Eqn. 2.14 is zero. The remaining term (ii),
i _{d} (t) =
k
2 (v _{L}_{O} (t) + v _{R}_{F} (t)) ^{2}
k
k
= v _{L}_{O} (t) + v _{R}_{F} (t) + kv _{L}_{O} (t)v _{R}_{F} (t) ,
2
(i)
2
(ii)
(ii)
2
2
(2.15)
where k = αI _{s} , is now further evaluated to ﬁnd the baseband signals. Putting the full
forms of Eqn. 2.11 and Eqn. 2.12 into Eqn. 2.15 with subsequent low pass ﬁltering
leads to:
14
2.4 Mathematical Description of the MultiPort Receiver
This detector output current leads to a voltage across the load resistance R _{L} as shown
in Fig. 2.4 (referred to as the detector output voltage). The result states that for a con
stant LO signal, there is a linear dependence between the detector output voltage and
I(t), Q(t), and I ^{2} (t) +Q ^{2} (t). Treating I ^{2} (t) +Q ^{2} (t) as a third unknown, at least three
independent voltages at diﬀerent phase shifts ∆ϕ are needed to linearly solve for the
two unknown baseband signals I(t) and Q(t). This is in agreement with the mismatch
that is found in experimental measurement results of a fourport diode based receiver
with two output ports using QPSK calibration and 64QAM (quadrature amplitude
modulation) modulation [33].
15
2 Theoretical Background of MultiPort Receivers
The multiport theory includes the phase shifts from the interferometer circuit. This
process is depicted in an abstract manner in Fig. 2.7
LO
RF
Fig. 2.7: Theory of additive mixing in multiport receivers: in the interferometer
circuit, the phase of the RF signal is shifted by an angle Φ _{i} .
Similar to the simple additive mixing process from Fig. 2.6, the LO and the phase
shifted RF signals are added, squared, and ﬁnally low pass ﬁltered. With Eqn. 2.19,
the baseband signal at the output of the low pass ﬁlter can be written as
g _{B}_{B}_{,}_{i} (t) = LP ^{} (v _{L}_{O} (t) + v _{R}_{F}_{,}_{i} (t)) ^{2} ^{}
=
k
4
V _{L}_{O} + I ^{2} (t) + Q ^{2} (t)
ˆ
2
k
ˆ
+ V _{L}_{O} (I(t) cos(Θ(t) + Φ _{i} ) + Q(t) sin(Θ(t) + Φ _{i} )) ,
2
(2.20)
where Θ(t) = ∆ω+∆ϕ. As mentioned earlier, this equation states a linear dependence
between the detector output signals g _{B}_{B}_{,}_{i} (t) and the complex baseband signals y(t).
Therefore, the multiport equations can be written in the linear form
y(t) =
n
c _{i} · g _{B}_{B}_{,}_{i} (t)
i=1
=
k
4
·
n
i=1
c i
V _{L}_{O} + I ^{2} (t) + Q ^{2} (t)
ˆ
2
+
k
ˆ
V
LO
2
·
n
c _{i} (I(t) cos(Θ(t) + Φ _{i} ) + Q(t) sin(Θ(t) + Φ _{i} )) ,
i=1
(2.21)
where c _{i} = a _{i} + j · b _{i} are the constant complex calibration coeﬃcients or, in terms of
the inphase and quadrature component, simply as:
I(t) =
n
a _{i} · g _{B}_{B}_{,}_{i} (t)
i=1
Q(t) =
n
b _{i} · g _{B}_{B}_{,}_{i} (t)
i=1
(2.22)
16
2.4 Mathematical Description of the MultiPort Receiver
In matrix notation, the general expression for the multiport receiver is:
c
^{c} 2
.
.
1
y(t) =
.
c
n
T
k
2
k
2
ˆ
V _{L}_{O} cos(Θ(t) + Φ _{1} )
ˆ
V _{L}_{O} cos(Θ(t) + Φ _{2} )
− V _{L}_{O} cos(Θ(t) + Φ _{1} ) ^{k}
k
ˆ
2
k
ˆ
− V _{L}_{O} cos(Θ(t) + Φ _{2} )
2
4
^{k}
4
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
V _{L}_{O} cos(Θ(t) + Φ _{n} ) − V _{L}_{O} cos(Θ(t) + Φ _{n} ) ^{k}
ˆ
k
ˆ
2
4
·
I(t)
Q(t)
.
.
.
I ^{2} (t) + Q ^{2} (t)
k
ˆ
2
+ V
4
LO
1
1
.
.
.
1
(2.23)
In an optimum sixport interferometer circuit, the phase shifts between the LO and
RF
signals at the four output ports are: Φ _{i} ∈ {0 ^{◦} , 90 ^{◦} , 180 ^{◦} , 270 ^{◦} }. With a constant
RF phase, Θ(t) = 0 at the input of the sixport receiver; this is true if no frequency
oﬀset and no modulation occurs. The sixport equations found from Eqn. 2.21 are:
y(t) =
k
4
·
4
i=1
c i
V _{L}_{O} + I ^{2} (t) + Q ^{2} (t)
ˆ
2
(i)
+
k
ˆ
V
LO
2
·
4
c _{i} (I(t) cos(Φ _{i} ) + Q(t) sin(Φ _{i} )) .
i=1
(ii)
(2.24)
The ﬁrst term (i) can be eliminate by the requirement
4
c _{i} ≡ 0.
i=1
(2.25)
Putting the sixport phases Φ _{i} into the second term (ii) we obtain:
y(t) =
=
k
2
k
2
ˆ
· V _{L}_{O} · (c _{1} I(t) − c _{2} Q(t) − c _{3} I(t) + c _{4} Q(t))
ˆ
· V _{L}_{O} · ((c _{1} − c _{3} )I(t) + (c _{4} − c _{2} )Q(t)
(2.26)
(2.27)
This system of linear equations can be solved for known signals. For best calibration
results, the sent IQ signals should be equally distributed in the IQ space. In the case
17
2 Theoretical Background of MultiPort Receivers
of sixport calibration, the appropriate IQ signals for calibration are 90 ^{◦} apart: (1,1),
(1,1), (1,1), and (1,1). For ﬁveport calibration, the sent symbols are 120 ^{◦} apart:
(0, ^{√} 2), (1,1), and (1,1). Solving the corresponding systems of linear equations for
the unknown calibration coeﬃcients, we obtain for sixport calibration:
c _{i} =
1
k
ˆ
V
LO
^{} 1
and for ﬁveport calibration with c _{4} = 0:
c _{i} =
1
k
ˆ
V
LO
^{} 1
−j
−1
j ^{}
e ^{j} ^{2}
3 ^{π} e ^{j} ^{4} ^{π} ^{} .
3
(2.28)
(2.29)
Once the calibration coeﬃcients are known, the baseband IQ signals can be calculated
at each sampling instant from the voltage readings g _{B}_{B}_{,}_{i} of the power detectors with
Eqn. 2.22.
It has been shown how the calibration coeﬃcients can be theoretically derived. How
ever, in a real multiport application, the calibration is done by sending a sequence of
known and suitable IQ values, storing the resulting voltages from the detector outputs,
and solving Eqn. 2.22 for the unknow calibration coeﬃcients. This is the experimental
method that is applied in Chap. 5.
The multiport receiver can easily be calibrated by using its linear relations between
detector output voltages and amplitude of the modulated RF input signal (see Eqn.
2.19). More calibration methods that trace back to sixport reﬂectometer calibration
can be found in the literature [34][35][36]. An interesting approach is the use of S
parameter measurements for calibration [37].
The theoretical results found in Chap. 2.4 are now used to depict the frequency con
version processes in multiport receivers. To demonstrate this in a clear manner, the
mathematical formulation that includes convolution and Fourier transforms of complex
signals is avoided and the results are graphically explained in the frequency domain.
A similar idea can also be found in the literature [31].
Complex and Real Frequency Conversion
Frequency conversion to an RF carrier is necessary in order to transmit the data (with
a relatively low modulation frequency) over the air interface. At the receiver, this RF
18
2.5 Frequency Conversion in MultiPort Receivers
signal needs to be converted to the baseband to retrieve the baseband data.
To illustrate the frequency conversion processes, it is important to diﬀerentiate between
complex and real down conversion. In general, the modulated RF signal
s _{R}_{F} (t) = S _{R}_{F} (t) sin(ω _{R}_{F} t + ϕ(t))
(2.30)
= I(t) cos(ω _{R}_{F} t) − Q(t) sin(ω _{R}_{F} t)
contains complex information and requires complex down conversion to maintain the
complex baseband signals. During down conversion, the Fourier spectrum S _{R}_{F} (ω)
of the RF signal s _{R}_{F} (t) is shifted by ω _{L}_{O} which results in a new spectrum S _{R}_{F} (ω −
ω _{L}_{O} ). From a mathematical point of view, this transformation can be achieved by
multiplication of the RF signal with the complex signal e ^{j}^{ω} ^{L}^{O} ^{t} . However, the complex
frequency conversion process is not possible with only one mixer unit. Instead, one
must realize this complex mixing by two separate down conversion paths, one for the
real and the other for the imaginary part.
(b) Real
Fig. 2.8: Principle of complex and real frequency conversion.
Fig. 2.8(a) shows the basic receiver principle that performs this complex down conver
sion. The RF signal s _{R}_{F} (t) is multiplied in one arm by cos(ω _{L}_{O} t), and in the other arm,
by its 90 ^{◦} phase shifted counterpart sin(ω _{L}_{O} t). If 90 ^{◦} between the two LO signals are
achieved, no IQ mismatch occurs – only a circular movement of the IQ constellation
around the origin due to an initial phase oﬀset is possible. In fact, each arm carries
out a real down conversion as depicted in Fig. 2.8(b). A single real down conversion
cannot obtain the entire complex baseband information.
The processes for real and complex down conversion in the frequency domain are
depicted in Fig. 2.9. It is indicated that in case of a complex down conversion, the
19
2 Theoretical Background of MultiPort Receivers
(a) Complex down conversion
(b) Real down conversion
Fig. 2.9: Spectral properties of complex and real frequency conversion. Real down
conversion to baseband leads to an overlap and information loss.
convolution of the RF frequency ω _{R}_{F} with the LO frequency ω _{L}_{O} shifts the RF signal
into only one direction (Fig. 2.9(a)). When expanding the cosine function with
cos(ω _{L}_{O} t) = 1/2 · ^{} e ^{j}^{ω} ^{L}^{O} ^{t} + e ^{−}^{j}^{ω} ^{L}^{O} ^{t} ^{} , (2.31)
it can be seen that a real down conversion (as depicted in Fig. 2.9(b)) produces two
frequency shifts of the original spectrum S _{R}_{F} (ω): a positive and a negative shift, which
leads to an overlap in the baseband. From this baseband signal, it is not possible to
retrieve the full complex signal and, therefore, information is lost. The resulting signal
s _{B}_{B}_{,}_{n} (t) is a mixture of the I and Q component:
s _{B}_{B}_{,}_{m} (t) = LP(s _{R}_{F} (t) · cos(ω _{L}_{O} t + ϕ _{L}_{O}_{,}_{1} ))
(2.32)
= LP(I(t) cos(ω _{R}_{F} t) cos(ω _{L}_{O} t + ϕ _{L}_{O}_{,}_{1} ) − Q(t) sin(ω _{R}_{F} t) cos(ω _{L}_{O} t + ϕ _{L}_{O}_{,}_{1} ))
= ^{1} _{2} (I(t) cos(ω _{R}_{F} t) + Q(t) sin(ω _{R}_{F} t))
Therefore, a second path with another measurement is needed in order to separate the
two components. This is usually done with another real down conversion using the
90 ^{◦} phase shifted version of Eqn. 2.31: cos(ω _{L}_{O} t + ϕ _{L}_{O}_{,}_{2} ). The general expression for
complex down conversion using multiplicative mixers can be written in the form:
2
s BB,n (t) ^{=} 1
^{} s BB,m (t)
cos(ϕ _{L}_{O}_{,}_{1} ) sin(ϕ _{L}_{O}_{,}_{1} )
cos(ϕ _{L}_{O}_{,}_{2} ) sin(ϕ _{L}_{O}_{,}_{2} )
(2.33)
The inphase and quadrature components can be calculated from the two measure
ments if the phase matrix is nonsingular. It is found from Eqn. 2.33 that the require
ment ϕ _{1} − ϕ _{2}  = 90 ^{◦} is not necessary to obtain I(t) and Q(t) as long as the phase
matrix can be inverted.
20
2.5 Frequency Conversion in MultiPort Receivers
In the case of a real RF bandpass signals, the two sidebands in Fig. 2.9(b) are sym
metric and this scheme of direct conversion can still be applied successfully if the
phase between RF and LO is constant (phase synchronous, coherent). An additional
requirement is that the phase is chosen carefully so that the two sidebands do not
destructively overlap.
^{}^{}
(a) Complex down conversion
^{}^{}
(b) Real down conversion
Fig. 2.10: For a suﬃciently large frequency diﬀerence between LO and RF there is
no overlap in the IF.
One solution to overcome the overlap problem is to down convert the RF signal to
an IF signal. This is depicted in Fig. 2.10. In this case, it is not required to use
complex down conversion as the spectra from the negative and positive frequencies
(that are convoluted to IF frequency) do not overlap. The IF signal still contains the
entire complex information. However, to demodulate this information it is necessary
to further down convert the IF signal. This can be done very elegantly in the digital
domain after AD conversion of the IF signal. An appropriate receiver architecture is
depicted in Fig. 2.11
Frequency Conversion by Additive Mixing
The issue with additive mixing is that it is not a simple mathematical multiplication
of the two signals, RF and LO, but the baseband spectrum also contains other parts
that originate from Eq. 2.15 [32]. The baseband spectrum after a direct conversion
additive mixing process is depicted in Fig. 2.12.
It can be seen how the content from Eqn. 2.16, Eqn. 2.17, and Eqn. 2.18 are mapped
into the baseband: the desired complex baseband signals I(t) and Q(t) are inﬂu
enced by the baseband interferers I ^{2} (t) + Q ^{2} (t) and a component from the LO signal
s _{L}_{O} (t). Depending on the type of modulation, I ^{2} (t) + Q ^{2} (t) is not always constant
2
21
2 Theoretical Background of MultiPort Receivers
Fig. 2.11:
Principle of IF sampling. After a real down conversion to IF, the com
plex down conversion from IF to baseband can be achieved in the digital
domain.
Fig. 2.12: Baseband spectrum after direct frequency conversion as found in the
multiport receiver.
( ^{} I ^{2} (t) + Q ^{2} (t) is the amplitude of the baseband signal and is constant for QPSK
signaling). The broadening of its spectrum comes from real selfmixing of the I and
Qcomponent as indicated in Fig. 2.12. In order to remove this baseband interferer,
I ^{2} (t) + Q ^{2} (t), a multiport with additive mixers needs an additional port (altogether,
three output ports).
The additive mixing process in multiport receivers, which depends on the frequency
diﬀerence between the LO and RF signal, is depicted in Fig. 2.13. Overlapping spectra
lead to information loss that can be recovered with an additional arm (detector). In
the case of Fig. 2.13(a), the IF spectra do not overlap and no information is lost with
only one output arm. An example where this principle can be used is a single Schottky
diode for down conversion of extremely high carrier frequencies to IF. The complex
baseband data can then be retrieved with a subsequent conventional IF to baseband
stage (analog or digital). Fig. 2.13(b) and (c) again show the disadvantage of additive
mixers in working with low or zeroIF that requires an additional arm and digital
22
2.5 Frequency Conversion in MultiPort Receivers