White Paper

Accurate System Level Design With Low Noise Amplifier's BlackBox Models

Source: Skyworks Solutions, Inc.

By Eric Marsan, Stephen Moreschi, Ambarish Roy, and Vivian Tzanakos, Skyworks Solutions, Inc.

To amplify weak signals received by the antenna in communication systems, low noise amplifiers (LNAs) are deployed. LNAs are used in various applications such as GPS receivers, wireless data systems, satellite communications, cellular handsets, radio systems, etc. The low noise in the receive chain is reduced by the gain of the LNA, and therefore the function is primarily to boost the signal power while adding minimum noise and distortion to the signal. Low noise figure (NF) therefore results in improved reception of the received signal.

Today’s commercial system designs in the RF/microwave industry are becoming increasingly complex. Part of this complexity is due to the constant strive for complete mobility and high data rates requiring portable devices to operate on various communication bands and standards while using the existing infrastructure. In turn, the increased complexity has pushed RF designers to demand more evolved design tools to minimize risk and improve their chance of first pass success. The issue is that a simulation can only be as accurate as the weakest
model used for the simulation.