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Free software eases short-range radio design

Posted: 20 Jul 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:free software? short-range radio design? transceiver?

If you are looking to add short-range radio functionality to a product, whether it is a standalone device or embedded in a telemetry system or remote control, Analog Devices Inc.'s SRD Design Studio is worth a closer look. This software is available as a free download from the company's Website.

SRD Design Studio assists users in evaluating, designing and troubleshooting short-range radio communications devices using ADI's ADF70xx family of SRD transmitters and transceivers. The ADF70xx products, such as the ADF7021, are optimized for use in automatic meter reading, industrial automation, security, home automation, remote controls and other low-power wireless network and telemetry applications.

The software comes equipped with numerous templates to speed the design process, taking into account regulatory compliance around the world. They are with FCC, ETSI and ARIB-compliant. Available options include the ability to change power, data rate, modulation type and duty cycle. The software will predict how long batteries will last based on the input information. Then it can also be used to generate schematics and a BOM for the design. Designers have a great deal of flexibility in setting up their design. For instance, if they prefer to use a particular type of crystal for the PLL, they can specify that and recalculate the design.

Designers can compare the output waveforms (given in both the frequency and time domain) from SRD Design Studio to the actual waveforms generated by the design prototype to ensure that the system is wired correctly.

SRD Design Studio assists users in evaluating, designing and troubleshooting short range radio communications devices.

The key benefit to users is faster design and accelerated time to market. "Using this tool, you can complete a design in a couple of hours. And once you are proficient in the tool, you can do it even faster," observes Doug Grant, ADI's business development director. "Alternatively, it can take weeks to go through all of the component selections, determining divider ratios, programming and PLL control. Now it is all automated. It simply gets people up and running much faster."

SRD Design Studio allows designers to choose from three main simulations, including frequency domain, transient analysis and spectrum analyzer. By observing the behavior of the wireless link within these parameters, designers obtain a real-time representation of the SRD frequency, sync detection, power consumption and radio link analysis.

The SRD Design Studio also offers a series of worksheets to help troubleshoot and design short range radio links. Worksheets include Design Wizard that offers default settings for the various regional regulations, Link Budget to allow for range estimation and Frequencies Worksheet that aids in the selection of crystal and phase-frequency detector. Additional worksheets are the Transmitter Spectrum to enable extremely flexible virtual spectrum analyzer and Antenna/Filter to help in optimize antenna and matching circuits. Worksheets on Packet Formatting to enter the packet structure to see effect on battery life and packet error rate, Sync Detection that helps choose sync byte with optimal autocorrelation properties and Power Consumption that evaluates different Sleep-Tx-Rx scenarios possible and aids in battery life calculation are also offered in the design tool.

- Janine Love
RF Designline

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