Synchronised RF transceiver, software-defined-radio rapid prototyping kit

August 06, 2014 // By Graham Prophet
Analog Devices’ dual AD9361 RF Transceiver ICs is at the heart of an SDR design resource for multi-channel synchronisation and system simulation, alongside Xilinx all-programmable silicon.

The SDR rapid prototyping kit has dual 2 x 2 AD9361 RF transceivers, to simplify and rapidly prototype 4 x 4 multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) wireless transceiver applications on the Xilinx Zynq-7000 All Programmable SoC development platforms.

The AD-FMCOMMS5-EBZ rapid prototyping kit provides a hardware/software ecosystem solution addressing SDR transceiver synchronisation issues experienced by RF and analogue designers when implementing systems using MIMO architectures. ADI has posted a webinar on the topic – how to synchronize multiple RF transceivers in high-channel density applications – here.

The kit includes: an FPGA mezzanine card (FMC) with two AD9361 2 x 2 RF Transceivers and support circuitry, reference designs, design and simulation tools for MathWorks, HDL (hardware description language) code, device drivers for Zynq-7000 All Programmable SoCs and online support at ADI's EngineerZone for rapid prototyping.

The AD-FMCOMMS5-EBZ is the fifth SDR rapid prototyping kit ADI has introduced in the last year: SDR MIMO applications range from defence electronics and RF instrumentation to communications infrastructure and include active antennas, transmit beamforming, receive angle of arrival systems and open-source SDR development projects.

The AD9361 operates over a frequency range of 70 MHz to 6 GHz. It is a complete radio design that combines multiple functions, including an RF front end, mixed-signal baseband section, frequency synthesisers, two analogue-to-digital converters and two direct conversion receivers in a single chip. The AD9361 supports channel bandwidth from less than 200 kHz to 56 MHz, and is highly programmable, offering the widest dynamic range available with state-of-the-art noise figure and linearity.

SimRF by MathWorks provides a simulation engine for designing RF systems and includes models of the AD9361 and AD9364 for a seamless transition from software simulation to hardware in the loop. In addition, the FIR Filter Design MATLAB application can be used to select and design digital filters for the AD9361 with minimum trial and error, create custom filters, and examine filter performance. The output can be exported