Analog Devices Unveils New Quad-channel 200MHz RF Transceiver

November 22, 2019 by Gary Elinoff

The ADRV9026 wideband RF transceiver supports 3G, 4G, and 5G cellular infrastructure applications.

The latest member of Analog Devices’ RadioVerse family, the ADRV9026, supports a wide range of base station applications. These include macrocell base stations, small cell systems, and massive multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO.)



The ADRV9026. Image from Analog Devices

The company describes the unit as the “smallest size, lowest power transceiver solution for base transceiver stations (bts).”



The ADRV9026 is a low-power, common platform that includes four differential transmitters and four differential receivers. It is controlled by a serial peripheral interface (SPI) serial port.

There are also two observation receivers, each with two inputs. The device is available in a 14mm × 14mm BGA package and provides a pathway to open system, ORAN-based small cell design.

The unit’s center frequency can range from 650MHz to 6000MHz. The maximum receiver and transmitter bandwidth are both 200MHz, and the maximum transmitter synthesis and observation receiver bandwidths are both 450MHz. 

To help designers get their hands around this device, Analog Devices offers UG-1727, the ADRV9026 system development user guide.


EVAL-ADRV9026. Image from Analog Devices

This is not a traditional evaluation kit, but rather a guide to software and other resources. It also serves as a comprehensive adjunct to the datasheet.


Five Integrated Phase-Locked Loops

The transceiver includes five integrated phase-locked loops (PLLs): 

Two of them allow the unit to provide low noise and low power fractional-N RF synthesis for the transmitter and receiver signal paths.

The third fully integrated PLL supports an independent local oscillator (LO) mode for the observation receiver.

The fourth PLL generates the clock signals necessary for digital circuits and converters.

The fifth provides the clock needed by the serial data interface.


The Transmitters

From 800MHz to 5.7GHz, the maximum power output for the four transmitters varies from 6.1dBm to 6.7dBm. The transmitters are identical to each other and they share one common frequency synthesizer. 

They are, however, independently controlled, and each one includes separate digital processing, mixed-signal, and RF blocks.


The Receivers

The ADRV9026 includes four independently functioning receiver channels.

In a similar manner to the transmitters, each receiver contains all the blocks necessary to receive RF signals, and each receiver can be configured as a direct conversion system that supports a bandwidth of 200MHz.


PIN Configuration and Function Descriptions

PIN configuration and function descriptions. Image from Analog Devices

The receivers contain programmable attenuator stages, which are followed by matched I and Q mixers that downconvert received signals to the baseband for digitization.


Multichip Synchronization

Multichip phase synchronization between multiple ADRV9026 chips is established for synchronizing the phase of all LOs and baseband clocks between multiple transceivers.

Also, all the voltage-controlled oscillators, as well as the loop filter components, are adjustable using the digital control interface.


Serial Data Interface

The serial data interface can operate at data rates as high as 16Gbps. Both the JESD204B and JESD204C standards are supported.


Functional block diagram of ADRV9026

Functional block diagram of ADRV9026. Image from Analog Devices

An interleaved mode for lower bandwidths is supported, which will then leave one high-speed data interface to be required.

Both fixed- and floating-point data formats are supported, the latter allowing the internal automatic gain control (AGC) to be invisible to the demodulator device.


Around the Industry

MaxLinear’s  MxL1500 and MxL1600 are quad-RF transceivers supporting 3G, 4G, and 5G air interface performance. The former is for signal bandwidths up to 200MHz, while the latter can support bandwidths up to 400MHz. 

The AFE7799 from Texas Instruments is a quad-channel transceiver for 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G. The RF frequency range is 600MHz to 6GHz. The company asserts that the device is well-suited to address the power constraints imposed by massive MIMO base stations for 4G and 5G.