Mixed-Signal Front End Provides Full Signal-Chain Solutions

July 6, 2023
Analog Devices’ wideband Apollo MxFE front-end SiP, which covers 0.5 to 55 GHz, is software-definable to address a plethora of applications.

This video is part of our IMS 2023 coverage.

One of the most impressive launches at IMS this year was Analog Devices' Apollo MxFE, a wideband, software-defined, mixed-signal front-end platform. This video brings you two demos:

First, Mosleh Uddin, senior embedded-systems engineer at ADI, demonstrates the companys' new 6G spectrum-analyzer reference design. The demo uses the Apollo MxFE's 12-bit ADCs sampling at 20 Gsamples/s and ADI's 6- to 18-GHz RF front-end board as the RF signal chain. A Rohde & Schwarz signal generator sends a 7-GHz received carrier to the front end of the 6- to 18-GHz board. A local-oscillator signal of 5.5 GHz is mixed in to feed a 1.5-GHz signal to the Apollo MxFE board.

The Apollo MxFE board has a 1.3-GHz NCO frequency, which is further mixed down to a 200-MHz signal going into the ADCs. The live spectrum-analyzer output shows a 200-MHz peak. The reference design maintains a signal-to-noise ratio of at least 50 dB.

In the second demo (beginning at the 1:35 mark), Brad Hall, system applications manager for ADI's aerospace and defense unit, shows a chipset solution based on the Apollo MxFE that covers 0.5 up to 55 GHz. The Apollo MxFE contains four ADCs sampling at up to 20 Gsamples/s and four DACs sampling up to 28 Gsamples/s; the device has an analog front-end bandwidth of up to 18 GHz.

The demo pairs two other ADI devices (the ADMFM2000 LNA SiP and ADMV1455 mixer/downconverter) with the Apollo MxFE to extend and condition the RF signals up to 55 GHz. Also included is LO generation, performed by ADI's ADF4371 wideband synthesizer. The end result is a very low SWaP solution for a wideband front-end implementation.

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