Radio-frequency Electronics


This course aims to reinforce an advanced knowledge in analysis and design of radio frequency microelectronic integrated circuits using CMOS technology. This knowledge has to cover not only classical approaches but also has to include more recent and state-of-the-art configurations, demanding original and critical thinking. The student has to acquire skills that enable this, as capacity of cross evaluating information coming from different sources. The student will also have to develop skills to work with the available integrated circuit design frameworks (Cadence) and mathematical software.

The students will develop the skill to solve problems, work in a team and improve their capability to control the available time. Special attention is given to written and oral presentation of the work.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

João Pedro Abreu de Oliveira


Weekly - 2

Total - 28

Teaching language



It is expected that the student has previous knowledge of electronics and microelectronics, namely, about low to medium frequency behavior of amplifiers. 

Previous knowledge on CMOS devices.


1- B. Razavi , "Rf Microelectronics, 2nd Edition", PTR Prentice Hall, 2012
2- R. Ludwig, P. Bretchko, “ RF Circuit Design, Theory and Applications”, Prentice Hall, 2000
3- Pozar, David M., “Microwave Engineering”, Wiley International Edition, 2004
4- Gonzalez,Guillermo, “Microwave Transistor Amplifiers”, 2nd Edition, Prentice Hall, 1997
5- Cripps, Steve C., “RF Power Amplifiers for Wireless Communications”, Artech House, 1999

6-T. H. Lee, The Design of CMOS Radio-Frequency Integrated Circuits, Cambridge Univ.Press, ISBN 0-521-83539-9,2004

Teaching method

Theoretical exposition and analysis of case-studies: through a series of lessons (with profile working session) that promotes the participation of trainees. The exhibition is supported in written information on the blackboard, with synchronized slides. Multimedia components, including animations, as well  e-learning  from platform Moodle @ FCT.  Each topic is supported with the analysis of real cases.

Hands-on project (along the course duration: the project consist of the design of a  digital transceiver, simulating a professional environment in which rules and responsibilities are initially defined. This project lasts the entire semester, from which the performance and marks achieved by the students are continuously monitored and data collected (including interim reports, report / final paper and final discussion). It is from this on-going assessment that the student gets its final grade. 

Evaluation method

Project-oriented course, whose final grade is obtained based on:

1- two tests of up to 1 hour each. The individual contribution of each test, to the final grade, is 15%.

2- Laboratory evaluation, which contributes with10% to the final grade

3- Project design and implementation with an oral presentation and final discussion, contributing 60% to the final grade.

Subject matter

1.    RF Transceivers overview
1.1.     Architecture and wireless low data rate network;
1.2.     Specifications: link budget, digital transmission, SNR, BER
1.3.     CMOS technology
2.    RF-CMOS
2.1.    NMOS and PMOS transistor RF modelling (BSIM3 and BSIM4)
2.2.    Integrated resistor, inductor and capacitor
2.3.    Noise
2.4.     Cadence framework for simulation and layout of integrated circuits
3.1.     Specifications: gain, noise figure, P1dB, IIP2, IIP3
3.2.     Common topologies
4.    RF-CMOS Mixer
4.1.     Specifications: conversion gain, noise figure, P1dB, IIP2, IIP3
4.2.     Active based topologies with/without differential input
5.    RF-CMOS Oscillator and PLL
5.1.    Specifications: noise phase
5.2.     LC and RC based configurations
6.    Power amplifier
6.1.     Specifications: PAR, EVM
6.2.     Class A/B and F configurations
7.    Design and project of a Zero-IF and Low-IF RF-CMOS transceiver for low data rate aplications (wireless sensor networks). Project procedure.