RSSI ( receive signal strength indication/indicator) circuits and issues.

A common circuit used in most wireless receivers is the RSSI circuit or block. It simply measures or provides an indication of the signal strength being received. It is usually implemented within the receiver chip. The circuitry used for the RSSI appears to be simple but there are a number of issues that must be borne in mind. To begin with, a RSSI circuit can be implemented using the concept of log amplifiers. A really good source of information on these is the Analog Devices website. It may take a bit of searching to find the right article but it is worth it.Also a tutorial article has been already published in these blog posts which may be of some use. However, through experience it has been found ( at SPG) that even if we follow prior art on RSSI design it still takes some doing. Here are a few tips if one is thinking of doing a rssi circuit. ( Of course higher frequencies complicate things even more). (1) Must understand the techniques intuitively. (2) Select a process that can meet the ft/IKF/Hfe/CBC requirements easily. (3)Simulations will take a long time so must be prepared for long simulation times. (4) Bond pad and package parasitics will play a significant role in the performance. So the more accurate these are the better. If package parasitic information is not available then it must be generated ( which is a project in its own right). For more information please access the RSSI design paper in the SPG website located at, under engineering pages or contact SPG directly using the contact details provided.

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