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Presentation on RF Hardware System Design

There are several aspects to consider when designing an RF system. The attached presentation (12 MB) discusses
- Regulations (very briefly)
- How to select correct IC for the application
- HW design issues
- PCB layout issues
- HW testing
- There are also links to resources provided by TI to make it easier for customers to finalize their products.

There are notes added to most of the slides. Hopefully you will find the presentation useful.

Your comments and feedback regarding potential improvements is highly appreciated.

RF Hardware System Design V1.1.ppt

10 Replies

  • Hi Sverre,

    Really good summary! an useful guide for customers and FAEs.

    Thanks and rgds, Jose.

  • Hi Sverre,

    I liked your presentation, but I missed a key point in the evaluation/planning phase and that is the "make or buy" decision.

    As you correctly point out, there are many steps in a RF design that include RF knowledge, regulatory knowledge, RF instrumentation etc. The customer should in the evaluation/planning phase also look at ready made modules were all this and more are handled by TI's third party module makers (e.g Radiocrafts).

    This will give the customers shorter time to market, reduced development cost (also on SW/FW) and reduced risk toward preformance/regulations.




  • Dear Community,

    I am working on a project and I am using the eZ430-RF2500 EM. Based on the presentation, I would like to know:

    1. If reference designs provided by TI can be used for the end product (following/applying the design rules)
    2. In case we decide to buy a module instead of make it, could you provide information (part number, manufacturers or something like that) of a pre-certified radio module based on cc2500 that supports SimpliciTI protocol.

    I would really appreciate your support here.

    Thanks and best regards,



  • In reply to Leandro G. Vacirca:

    You can use the reference design for your end product.

    For third parties, please refer to following link:

  • In reply to Sverre:

    This is a good summary.  Can you include more information on the types of lab equipment you will need to do RF Testing.   We use some of the best equipment but I am sure some engineers could use some help with the basics.


    Chris Pinter

  • Hello,

    Thank you for your presentation, it is very helpfull !

    I am an analog/RF engineer and i an working with the CC1101 component. I have to design a balun. It is an integrated balun (area constraint). My concern on this balun is a DC path between RFP and RFN provides by an inductor (balun primary inductor). Do i need to add a capacitor between RFP and RFN in order to have a DC isolation between differential output ? and what happened if there is DC path between RFP and RFN (no functionality or RF degradation ... ) ? My working frequency is around 403Mhz.

    Best regards,


  • In reply to Nicolas Normand:

    You need dc isolation between RFP and RFP - otherwise there will be no functionality.

    Not sure what IC balun you are looking at, but please refer to DN025 - "Johanson Technology Mached Balun Filters for CC110x & CC111x" from TI web ( This design note describes IC baluns for 433, 868 and 915 MHz operation. The former can be used at 403 MHz.

  • In reply to Sverre:

    Thank you very much for your response. Actually we use an integrated passive device technology on silicon substrate, which allows us to make our own balun (cross coupled inductors). We will implement these DC blocking cap and see the impact on RF chain performances. Thank you again for your answer.

  • In reply to Nicolas Normand:

    This is a very good summary provided by TI.

    A few comments/suggestions:

    1.  Provide additional PCB layout suggestions.  For example, "optimal steering" of bypass caps, ground via guidelines, ground flood guidelines, etc.

    2. Some engineers may not be able to follow the reference designs exactly due to size constraints.  Provide suggestions for shrinking the design such as using smaller crystal packages, smaller discrete components, alternative antenna, identify the critical traces, etc.

    3.  Suggest free or low cost RF simulation tools for matching network design and antenna design.

    4.  Suggest TI best choices for low noise voltage regulators and dc-dc converters

    5.  Provide additional details on using RF test equipment to troubleshoot PCB design/performance issues.

    Best Regards,

    Eric Hooker

    RF Design Consultant

  • In reply to Eric Hooker:


    Please contact me at the links below if you need assistance with your designs such as PCB layout review, matching network design, antenna design, trouble-shoot system performance issues, etc.

    Best Regards,

    Eric Hooker

    RF Design Consultant

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