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Study-Unit Description
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TITLE High Speed Communication Circuits and Systems

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT Institute of Space Sciences and Astronomy

DESCRIPTION The study-unit offers fundamental and advanced knowledge in RF performance parameters such as non-linearity, time variance, sensitivity and dynamic range. Advanced topics such as noise modelling and analysis will also be covered. In particular high speed active device modelling and phase noise modelling will be explored.

The study-unit will lead up to oscillator and frequency synthesizer architectures such as Phase Locked Loops, Delay Locked Loops and Direct Digital Synthesis and the design of low noise amplifiers (LNA).

Study-unit Aims:

This study-unit aims at analyzing high speed circuits and systems. The study-unit is aimed at understanding the concept of an RF system, its main constituting circuit blocks, and the particular problems associated with operation at a high speed. This is necessary and essential in understanding and designing today's communication systems.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Understand the basic principles of high speed circuits;
- Understand the design of RF and high speed circuits such as amplifiers, oscillators and frequency synthesizers;
- Understand the design of high speed systems.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Make use of the particular analysis parameters used at RF;
- Model and analyze high speed circuitry;
- Make use of high speed simulation tools;
- Operate high speed characterisation equipment.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

- Behzad R., RF Microelectronics, Prentice-Hall, 1998, ISBN: 0-13-887571-5. CUDA.
- Alan Davis W., Radio Frequency Circuit Design, Wiley, 2001, ISBN: 0471200689.
- Lee T.H., “The Design of CMOS Radio Frequency Integrated Circuits”, Cambridge University Press, 2004, ISB 0521835398.
- John Rogers and Calvin Plett, “Radio Frequency Integrated Circuit Design”, ISBN 1-58053-502-x.

ADDITIONAL NOTES Please note that a pass in the Examination component is obligatory for an overall pass mark to be awarded.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lectures, Practical and Tutorials

Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Practical No 15%
Examination [See Additional Notes] (3 Hours) Yes 85%


The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2017/8, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.
Members of ISSA join the KiDS Consortium
Members of ISSA, in collaboration with the Department of Physics, has recently joined the KiDS Consortium
University of Malta Awarded Title: 'CUDA Research Center'
The Institute of Space Science and Astronomy (ISSA), in collaboration with the University of Malta’s Department of Physics and the Faculty of Information and Communications Technology, announces that the University of Malta has been awarded the title of 'CUDA Research Center' by NVIDIA.

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