On-chip nonlinear digital compensation for RF receiver
A system-on-chip (SOC) implementation is an attractive solution for size, weight and power (SWaP) restricted applications, such as mobile devices and UAVs. This is partly because the individual parts of the system can be designed for a specific application rather than for a broad range of them, like commercial parts usually must be. Co-design of the analog hardware and digital processing further enhances the benefits of SOC implementations by allowing, for example, nonlinear digital equalization to further enhance the dynamic range of a given front-end component. This paper presents the implementation of nonlinear digital compensation for an active anti-aliasing filter, which is part of a low-power homodyne receiver design. The RF front-end circuitry and the digital compensation will be integrated in the same chip. Co-design allows the front-end to be designed with known dynamic range limitations that will later be compensated by nonlinear equalization. It also allows nonlinear digital compensation architectures matched to specific circuits and dynamic range requirements--while still maintaining some flexibility to deal with process variation--as opposed to higher power general purpose designs.