You can execute RF Toolbox functions from the MATLAB command line or the RF Design and Analysis app. You can also call the toolbox functions from your own MATLAB scripts and functions. The toolbox includes rectangular, polar, and Smith® charts for visualizing data.
A key challenge in RF engineering is accounting for impedance difference and reflection effects that occur when components are configured into a network. RF Toolbox represents an RF component by its network parameters, which are sufficient to determine its small signal response. From the individual network parameters of a set of components, RF Toolbox can determine the network parameters and small signal response of any configuration containing these components.
RF Toolbox enables you to use network parameters to specify RF filters, transmission lines, amplifiers, and mixers, either directly or by their physical properties. Network parameters can be generated from within MATLAB or read in from external data. You can read and write industry-standard data file formats, such as Touchstone .snp. You can also specify components by their physical properties, such as RLC topology and values and transmission line properties. RF Toolbox calculates the corresponding network parameters.
Using RF Toolbox, you can define components in the following ways:
RF Toolbox helps you build complex RF networks from simpler components in a visual environment. Using the RF Toolbox, you connect components in series, parallel, cascade, hybrid, and inverse hybrid configurations by calling the appropriate toolbox function with the components as arguments. The return value is a new object that represents the configuration's behavior. This object can be passed in turn as an argument to other toolbox functions.
In addition to calculating the small signal frequency response, RF Toolbox calculates input and output reflection coefficients, stability factors, noise figures, and third-order intercept points for cascaded components. It also enables you to de-embed S-parameters from cascaded networks.
You can use RF Toolbox to model single-ended and differential high-speed transmission lines using rational functions. This type of model is useful in signal integrity engineering, where the goal is the reliable connection of high-speed semiconductor devices using, for example, backplanes and printed circuit boards.
Rational function fitting provides the following advantages over traditional techniques, such as inverse fast Fourier transform:
In the typical signal integrity workflow, you use RF Toolbox after you characterize the backplane with 4-port network parameters and before you begin the design of the high-speed semiconductor I/O circuitry. Specifically, you:
The RF Toolbox lets you choose the appropriate format for your task by converting among S, Y, Z, ABCD, h, g, and T network parameter formats. Y-parameters are convenient for calculating network parameters of RLC circuits, while S-parameters are better for visualizing the frequency responses. In addition, you can convert S-parameters to S-parameters with different reference impedance.
The RF Toolbox provides specialized charts and plots for visualizing component and network behavior, including:
You can also create these charts and plots from the RF Design and Analysis app.