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CC1120: Measurement issue? Can't boost RX performance with FEM

Genius 3550 points

Replies: 3

Views: 34

Part Number: CC1120

Hi,

we use a Sky FEM as single PCB device usually for boosting TX in certain applications to up to 30dB (SKY 66119).

This chip has RX boost too, but when I try to gain more RX sensivity I fail:

Typical test bed: RF generator -> CC1120 -> BER test   --->> ~ -120dBm (transparent mode)

The FEM has a RX gain of ~15dB, this is what I can verify if I measure the output in a test bed like:
RF generator -> FEM -> spectrum analyzer (SA) --->>> the input at SA is 15dB higher the the output of the generator, this is what I expect. E.g. -125dBm input, -110dBm output

But in verify mode:
RF generator -> FEM -> CC1120 -> BER test the BER is the same BER than without the FEM, ~ -120dBm
Thats where I struggle: do I oversee something or any other hint?
Or: to what extend a FEM can boost sensivity in real world?

thx.

  • Guru 281780 points

    I would have expected a 3 dB improvement in sensitivity.

    Have you tested using packet mode to see if you get the same result there?  

     

  • Genius 3550 points

    In reply to TER:

    TER,
    I didn't test packet mode yet.

    Where is my logic error: you expect 3dB, but I gain 15dB in RX. My specci clearly show -115 if I put -130 into the FEM.
    I understand, just from my RF experience,  that the FEM can't achieve 120+15 = 135dB, but what (physics ?) is the real life limitation?

  • Guru 281780 points

    In reply to GGA:

    Cascaded Noise Figure. 

    Meaning that you can't look at just the gain but also the noise figure of the FEM and the LNA in CC1120 to see how much you will gain. 

    As an example: On CC1120 we gain ~3 dB adding CC1190 in RX, for CC1101 we gain close to 6 dB doing the same since the noise factor of the CC1101 LNA is higher. I haven't done any actual calculations but I have seen adding an external LNA typically gives 3 dB. I assume that you can go lower using a LNA with a very low NF but then the current consumption will be high. 

     

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