Two new downloadable software tools from Analog Devices Inc. greatly simplify RF system design, according to the company. The ADIsimRF design tool easily calculates numerous parameters within the RF chain, including cascaded gain, noise figure, IP3, P1dB, and total power consumption. The other tool, ADIsimPLL Version 3.1, adds support for the latest highly integrated PLLs and includes new simulation capability for fractional-N spurious estimation.

ADIsimRF can be easily switched between transmit mode and receive mode, where calculations and data entry are input referred. Designers can vary the number of stages up to a maximum of 15, and additional stages can be inserted at any point in the signal chain. Furthermore, designers can temporarily disable individual stages, clear their data, or remove them completely. The calculator also contains embedded data from many of ADI’s RF ICs. A designer can easily access this data using pull-down menus, eliminating tedious data entry. And, the tool includes device tables to assist in component selection.

Fully compatible with prior releases, ADIsimPLL Version 3.1 eliminates time-consuming iterations from the PLL/synthesizer development process. The design tool supports the company’s latest PLL synthesizers, including the highly integrated ADF4350, ADF9010, ADF4360-9, and ADF4157. The new simulation capability for fractional-N spurious estimation provides an initial assessment of the amplitude and offset of fractional-N spurs. It also allows the user to adjust parameters that set the spur amplitude in response to various loop filter selections, enabling RF designers to incorporate their measurements to further refine the effects of spurs within their system.

Both software design tools are available free of charge from ADI’s Web site.

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