Free software streamlines short-range radio design

If you are looking to add short-range radio functionality to a product, whether it is a stand alone device or embedded in a telemetry system or remote control, Analog Devices' SRD Design Studio is worth a closer look. This software is available as a free download from the company's website.

SRD Design Studio assists users in evaluating, designing, and troubleshooting short range radio communications devices utilizing Analog Devices' ADF70xx family of SRD transmitters and transceivers. The ADF70xx, such as the ADF7021 , products are optimized for use in automatic meter reading, industrial automation, security, home automation, remote controls and other low-power wireless network and telemetry applications.

The software comes equipped with numerous templates to speed the design process, taking into account regulatory compliance around the world. (They are with FCC, ETSI and ARIB-compliant.) Available options include the ability to change power, data rate, modulation type, and duty cycle. The software will predict how long batteries will last based on the input information. Then it can also be used to generate schematics and a bill of materials (BOM) for the design. Designers have a great deal of flexibility in setting up their design. For instance, if they prefer to use a particular type of crystal for the phase locked loop (PLL), they can specify that and recalculate the design.

Designers can compare the output wave forms (given in both the frequency and time domain) from SRD Design Studio to the actual waveforms generated by the design prototype to ensure that the system is wired correctly.

The key benefit to users is faster design and accelerated time to market. “Using this tool, you can complete a design in a couple of hours. And, once you are proficient in the tool, you can do it even faster,” observes Doug Grant, Analog Devices Business Development Director. “Alternatively, it can take weeks to go through all of the component selections, determining divider ratios, programming, and PLL control. Now it is all automated. It simply gets people up and running much faster.”

SRD Design Studio allows designers to choose from three main simulations, including frequency domain, transient analysis, and spectrum analyzer. By observing the behavior of the wireless link within these parameters, designers obtain a real-time representation of the SRD frequency, sync detection, power consumption and radio link analysis.

The SRD Design Studio also offers a series of worksheets to help troubleshoot and design short range radio links. Worksheets include:

  • Design Wizard: Includes default settings for the various
    regional regulations
  • Link Budget: Allows range estimation
  • Frequencies Worksheet: Aids in choice of crystal and
    phase-frequency detector
  • Transmitter Spectrum: Extremely flexible virtual spectrum
  • Antenna/Filter: Help in optimizing antenna and matching
  • Packet Formatting: Enter the packet structure to see effect on
    battery life and packet error rate
  • Sync Detection: Helps choose sync byte with optimal
    autocorrelation properties
  • Power Consumption: Different Sleep-Tx-Rx scenarios possible.
    Aids in battery life calculation

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