Carnegie Mellon University

Electrical and Computer Engineering

College of Engineering

Course Information

18-427: Board-Level RF Systems for the Internet-of-Things




In this age when everything is connected to the internet-of-things (IOT), students should understand how RF Transceivers and Antennas can allow such devices to be connected without wires. This class will give students the chance to learn about cellular and IOT devices and how they communicate using radio frequency (RF) signals. Students will gain an understanding of antenna design and operation, a high-level understanding of RF signal propagation, an introduction to RF Transceiver design and operation and an overview of multi-input multi-output (MIMO) RF operation. A Laboratory section is included in this class. In Lab, students will learn how to assemble printed circuit board (PCBs) using the Tech Spark facility. Early Lab sessions will demonstrate RF signals, antennas, and constructive and destructive RF interference. Students control the RF transceiver ICs by programming several different types of software defined radios (SDRs). Several different PCB antenna designs will be explored in the Lab sessions. Lab exercises will culminate with students building up an SDR-controlled RF transmitter driving a PCB antenna and using it to send data from one student to another using MI O beam steering to increase spectral reuse. Although students in 18-727 will share lectures and recitations with students in 18-427, students in 18-727 will receive distinct homework assignments and grading scale from students in 18-427. Specifically, the homework assignments for 18-727 will be more complex than the homework assignments for 18-427.

Prerequisites: 18-290 and 18-320

Last Modified: 2024-06-27 4:26PM

Semesters offered:

  • Fall 2024