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Wireless RF Transceivers

Technical Documentation

The portfolio of Wireless RF Transceivers from onsemi includes low power and ultra-low power, and long-range transceivers supporting a variety of protocols including Bluetooth®, IEEE 802.15.4, Zigbee®, Sigfox™, Thread®, 6LoWPAN, Narrow-Band. This portfolio includes abroad range of proprietary protocols Frequency bands supported by FSK, MSK, 4-FSK, GFSK, GMSK, AFSK, and ASK signal modulations. The portfolio of Wireless RF Transceivers from onsemi features a variety of ideal performance characteristics to match specific application requirements from Internet of Things (IoT), Connected home (Security, Automation, Lighting), Industrial Automation, Smart Metering, Consumer Electronics, Telemetry, Wireless Networks, Security, and Battery Powered Portable Devices. The portfolio also includes AEC-Q101 Qualified and PPAP Capable options specifically engineered and qualified for automotive industry applications such as Keyless Entry, Infotainment, Active Safety, and Autonomous Driving among others.

What Is an RF Transceiver?

RF transceivers are devices that convert an electrical signal into a radio frequency (RF) signal and vice versa. Radiofrequency transceivers are made up of three primary components: the transmitter, receiver, and antenna. The transmitter is an electronic circuit that generates a radio frequency signal, while the receiver is a circuit that transforms the received radio frequency signal into an electrical signal for processing.

The antenna converts the energy from the transmitted radio frequency signals into electromagnetic waves and then back to electrical waves for processing by the receiver. In terms of design, RF transceivers can be divided into two classes: analog RF transceivers and digital RF transceivers. RF transceivers are used in wireless applications, such as cell phones, wireless LANs (WLANs), wireless networks, etc. They are also used in wireless applications such as remote control, wireless video cameras, and wireless doorbells.

Selecting RF Transceivers

When selecting RF transceivers, you need to know the different radio techniques and modulation methods.

  • Amplitude modulation: a technique used to send information via radio waves that causes the radio signal to become stronger or weaker.
  • Frequency modulation: causes instantaneous changes in the carrier frequency.
  • On-off key modulation (also known as pulse modulation): when all the radio signals from the transmitter are switched on and off in rapid succession to show signals.
  • Amplitude shift key: transmits information by varying the transmitted signal’s amplitude.
  • Frequency shift key: uses output frequencies.
  • Phase shift key: changes the phase of the radio signal.

RF Transceiver Specifications

The following are the specifications for RF transceivers:

  • Data rate: The amount of data that can be transferred in a unit of time.
  • Maximum power: The maximum power that can be transmitted without causing damage to the transceiver.
  • Frequency range: the range of frequencies over which the transceiver operates.
  • Modulation method: one of two techniques used to encode information onto radio signals.
  • Operating frequency range: the range over which the transceiver operates.
  • Output power: (Measured in dBm) how much power is output on a given frequency.
  • Standards and regulations: a list of standards and regulations related to RF communications and which transceivers can use.
  • Communication interface: the type of hardware used to communicate with the transceiver.

IC Package Types

There are many packages that ICs come in, but here are the basic types:

  • Through-hole technology: This allows you to solder the IC to a printed circuit board (PCB). This type of technology is used for low-speed applications since it requires a lot of space.
  • Surface mount technology (SMT): This is the most common form of IC packaging today. It allows for faster speeds and smaller devices, and it also requires less space on a printed circuit board (PCB).
  • Flatpack (FPAK) devices: These are designed for space-saving applications such as mobile phones, laptops, and personal digital assistants (PDAs). Flatpack devices have a higher power density than traditional SMT packages.
  • Rack-mounted and stand-alone devices: These are designed for high-speed applications. These packages have a high pin count.
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