ISA.21 Detailed RF Performance Optimization Review

What is the problem or concern we are addressing?

Taoglas can evaluate and solve issues that relate to the antenna and RF performance, receiver interference and spurious transmitter emissions that cause performance issues.

All wireless, and particularly cellular devices face common performance and certification challenges, regardless of the types of radios being used. These challenges are never obvious and different types of wireless systems and products exacerbate different issues more than others. This service offering is a means to apply the extensive antenna and RF experience of Taoglas to your product.

We can not only identify the source of the problem, but eliminate the problem – or at least suppress the problem enough so it takes out the risk of poor performance.

Specifically, radio systems require an effective antenna, they are subject to radiated interference with the receiver, and they can emit strong spurious, unintended RF signals when transmitting. These issues can happen with cellular, WiFi, narrow-band radios, GPS, any sort of radio. The ISA.21 service can address any type of radio performance issue.

Maintaining product performance itself is not the responsibility of a regulating body. FCC in the US has no test standards for the quality of a receiver. You can build a WiFi or GPS product that passes FCC’s requirements but does not actually function efficiently as a WiFi or GPS product. The problem will be identified in the market when users experience “poor range”, “no GPS fix”, etc. It’s not enough to pass regulatory testing; the radio elements of the product have to actually work well.

Taoglas engineering understands these issues at the deeper levels and at the source. We have experience in resolving not just antenna issues or noise issues but system issues. What the problems are, what causes them, how to avoid most of them in the first place and how to mitigate the few that get through.

We can get you to market faster and in a cost effective way by supporting your engineering team dealing with these issues.

The Processes

Part 1

A full review of the following is performed:
• Schematics for each board in the product, component by component and make specific recommendations to minimize the factors that cause the problems discussed above.
• PCB layouts, layer by layer, trace by trace and make specific recommendations to minimize the factors that cause issues. The most effective tool for avoiding performance and certification problems is adjustments to the PCB layout.
• Bill of materials, part by part, and make specific recommendations to minimize these problems as well as opportunities for part consolidation and cost reduction.
• Mechanical design files to help you understand the physical interactions and trade-offs involved with location of major system elements in the product.

What does Taoglas need?

In all cases Taoglas will require the following:
• PDF format copies of your schematics for each board in the design — the best format is native Altium files.
• PDFs of your PCB layout for each board, all layers. The best format is native Altium files. Please include a document defining the PCB stackup, layer thicknesses, materials and finishes for the PCB.
• A spread sheet of the bill of material for each PCB in the design.
• An eDrawing file or equivalent for the mechanical assembly. Taoglas needs the ability to hide parts, do cross sections, make measurements, etc.
• In the situation where a product that has already had prototypes built, then testing on those prototypes is done to identify the baseline. If testing has been already been performed (e.g. pre scans) Taoglas requires all the test data gathered including summary reports, raw data and pictures of the test setup.

Part 2

• Your engineering team will implement the recommended changes in a new set of design files. All the changes are equally important and need to be executed. Most poorly-performing products have several factors causing the same failure mode and they all have to be addressed without compromise or the risk of poor performance remains.
• Taoglas will review the changes to the design files. Output from this review will be appended to the initial design report and distributed to you and your engineering team. This is included as part of this service.
• Then a prototype build of the updated design is performed. Taoglas can then perform passive antenna performance testing, active mode receiver sensitivity testing as well as active mode intentional and unintentional radiator testing. This testing is offered as separate service offerings to allow for different types of testing to the needs of different types of radios.
• Taoglas also offers a number of other testing services which can address the design verification test needs of your project.

Deliverables

• The output from this effort will be presented in a written report with major sections
for each of the design file types mentioned above as well as subsections on a per page basis. (i.e. CPU page, power supply page, etc.)
• There will be an appendix with any comments from the post-implementation review.

Service Delivery Objectives

A. Detailed analysis of design documents including schematic, PCB layout, BOM & mechanical models.
B. Specific recommendations from the component level up to the system architecture level in order to minimize the risk of performance problems for all radios in the system.
✓ Schematic recommendations
✓ PCB layout recommendations
✓ BOM recommendations
✓ Mechanical recommendations

OUR PROCESS DESIGNED, TEST & READY

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Initial System Analysis

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