Linear RF Mixer

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Electronics

NEW RF TECHNOLOGY TO BUILD LINEAR MIXERS

The new RF technology developed by Sam Belkin at Euroscience represents a significant advancement in the design of linear mixers. Traditional RF mixers, which are built using non-linear amplitude domain elements, suffer from unwanted parasitic signals, effectively limiting the quality and performance of RF systems. This new technology circumvents these issues by employing highly linear amplitude domain elements and utilizing non-linearity in the time domain.

Here's a detailed explanation of the technology:

Traditional RF Mixers

  • Function: Mix RF signals to achieve desired frequencies.
  • Problem: Use non-linear amplitude domain elements which introduces significant RF noise and parasitic signals.
  • Impact: Reduces system quality and limits performance parameters.

Euroscience's New Linear RF Technology

  • Key Innovation: Uses linear in the amplitude domain elements combined with time-domain non-linearity.
  • Mechanism
  • Linear Amplitude Elements: Ensure high linearity, reducing unwanted parasitic signals.
  • Time-Domain Non-Linearity: Achieves the same mixing products as amplitude domain non-linearity without introducing non-linear distortion.
  • Parallel Gain Channels: Two identical gain channels are connected in parallel and controlled by local oscillator (LO) signals of opposite phases.
  • Cubical Characteristic: The parallel connection creates a cubical characteristic that determines the output frequency as double the LO frequency, enhancing performance by increasing the separation between input RF signals and the LO.

Achievements and Potential

  • Prototypes: Achieved an IP3 (third-order intercept point) of about +90 dBm in initial tests.
  • Future Potential: IP3 values above +150 dBm are feasible with specially designed electronic components.
  • Impact: The high linearity and reduced parasitic products significantly improve the performance and quality of RF systems.

Implementation

  • Design: Involves two controllable gain channels connected in parallel, controlled by LO signals of opposite phases.
  • Control Methods:
    • Analog Mode: Gain changes linearly.
    • Digital Mode: Gain changes abruptly.
  • Result: Enhanced mixer performance due to higher achievable overall mixer linearity and the increased distance between RF signals and LO.

Proof of Concept

The technology has been successfully prototyped and tested, confirming the feasibility and effectiveness of the design. Even with currently available off-the-shelf electronic components, the technology demonstrated significant improvements in mixer performance.

Manufacturability

The new linear mixer can be manufactured with existing electronic components but it is much better to design a new IC especially developed for this purpose. It allows obtaining better mixer parameters and makes it smaller, more reliable, and less expensive.

Marketability

This breakthrough in RF mixer technology by Euroscience promises to enhance the performance of RF systems by addressing the long-standing issue of non-linear distortion. It relates to the whole RF market – all RF equipment needs to be as linear as possible. The combination of linear in the amplitude domain elements and time-domain non-linearity provides a novel approach that could set new standards in the RF engineering field.

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  • ABOUT THE ENTRANT

  • Name:
    Sam Belkin
  • Type of entry:
    individual