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Basics: Designing an RF PCB

Basics: Designing an RF PCB
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Basics: Designing an RF PCB

 

Summary :
A RF system is a well-integrated system that consists of Analog, Digital and RF parts. It used to be very difficult to design, but you can now find RFin medical, industrial, and communication applications. RF can also be found in everyday items like your handheld wireless devices and in applications where desktop models are migrating to portable communications units.

A RF system is a well-integrated system that consists of Analog, Digital and RF parts. It used to be very difficult to design, but you can now find RFin medical, industrial, and communication applications. RF can also be found in everyday items like your handheld wireless devices and in applications where desktop models are migrating to portable communications units. It is very complex to integrate all of the different parts of a RF system and ensure low electrical Interference. A designer must also understand that RF signals are highly sensitive to noise. Regardless of the complexity, it isalways best to follow the laws of physics.

The following are some basic guidelines that a designer should take into consideration:

  1. The top layer should include the power stage, RF signal lines and RF components. The bottom layer must be the ground plane respectively.
  2. In order to have no signal loss, the length of the lines that carry RF signals should be at most 1/20th of the wavelength. The upper layer needs to have RF lines and one ground layer beneath.
  3. Avoid Crosstalk: Draw the RF signal lines separately.
  4. It is recommended that you use the least number of vias in RF stage.
  5. Connect the ground pins of the RF ICs to the ground plane by using multiple vias to reduce unwanted ground effect.
  6. When you finish all the layers, fill the empty spaces with copper pour that is connected to the ground. Place vias that are connected to the ground layer with a distance of λ/20 cm between each other.
  7. Slanted corners with less than 90 degree angles are preferable for RF lines.

  8. Specially designed T shaped nodes should be incorporated in the design.

  9. Decouple the supply voltage.The capacitor with a smaller capacitance should be placed near the IC.

  10. Coils generate strong magnetic fields so place them apart from each other to minimize the interaction.

This is the basic starter guide for RF PCB designers. Electronic Interconnect can help you in RF PCB design as well as in optimization. Write to our Engineering department engineering@eiconnect.com

References:

Eeweb.com: https://www.eeweb.com/blog/circuit_projects/basic-concepts-of-designing-an-rf-pcb-board

Embedded.com: http://www.embedded.com/design/system-integration/4410627/Critical-guidelines-for-RF-and-microwave-PCB-Design-

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