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Digital pre-distortion of radio frequency digital to analog converters in a DOCSIS application

Date

2014-09-08

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

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Type

Degree Level

Masters

Abstract

The use of Community Antenna Television Network (CATV) cable systems are a very common way that subscribers use to access the internet and download data. The transmitters that send the signals to subscribers must conform to a very stringent specification known as DOCSIS. Using traditional high frequency design techniques to meet this specification often lead to a lengthy and difficult production process where several calibrations have to be made. In order to send a digitally modulated signal that conforms to the DOCSIS specification some sort of conversion between the discrete digital domain and the analog domain must occur. To accomplish this a Digital to Analog converter is used. In recent years, the clocking or sampling frequency that can be used for Digital to Analog converters (DACs) has been rapidly increasing. The clocking frequency is directly proportional to the bandwidth that can be transmitted. DAC's that have exceptionally high clocking frequencies can be referred to as Radio Frequency DAC's. The clocking frequency of these devices has now progressed to the point where direct digital synthesis can be used for a DOCSIS transmitter without any analog frequency conversion stages. Since Radio Frequency DAC's are real devices the output is not a perfect representation of the discrete signal that is sent to it. Unwanted distortion is added that can be measured at the analog output. Removal of this distortion or at least significantly reducing it could be the difference meeting or or not meeting the DOCSIS specification. This thesis will explore the usage of these devices in this application. The basic structure of DAC's as well as the distortion signals themselves will be investigated in order to develop a method where the distortion can be removed. Ideally this can be done in a way that is suitable to be integrated into a transmitter architecture and meet the specification. The frequency response of the major distortion products across the DOCSIS band is measured. Once this is done a way to match these frequency responses is needed so a cancellation signal can be created that removes the distortion. A method is developed that uses an iterative algorithm to find filter coefficients whose frequency response matches that of the distortion signals as closely as possible. Since these cancellation signals are added to the discrete signal to be transmitted before the interface with the Radio Frequency DAC the process is known as pre-distortion. The generated coefficients are used in digital filters as part of a pre-distortion design. Tests are performed with discrete signals that are close approximates to a DOCSIS signal that would be sent to a subscriber. Measured results show a decrease in the power of targeted distortion signals. The reduction of the distortion level is enough that the DOCSIS specification is met for all test signals.

Description

Keywords

RFDAC, Pre-distortion, DOCSIS

Citation

Degree

Master of Science (M.Sc.)

Department

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Program

Electrical Engineering

Citation

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