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Flexible Frequency Discrimination Subsystems for Reconfigurable Radio Front Ends

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The required flexibility of the software-defined radio front end may currently be met with better overall performance by employing tunable narrowband circuits rather than pursuing a truly wideband approach. A key component of narrowband transceivers is appropriate filtering to reduce spurious spectral content in the transmitter and limit out-of-band interference in the receiver. In this paper, recent advances in flexible, frequency-selective, circuit components applicable to reconfigurable SDR front ends are reviewed. The paper contains discussion regarding the filtering requirements in the SDR context and the use of intelligent, adaptive control to provide environment-aware frequency discrimination. Wide tuning-range frequency-selective circuit elements are surveyed including bandpass and bandstop filters and narrowband tunable antennas. The suitability of these elements to the mobile wireless SDR environment is discussed.

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Correspondence to Bruce E Carey-Smith.

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  • software-defined radio
  • tunable antenna
  • reconfigurable front end
  • MEMS
  • tunable bandpass filter
  • tunable bandstop filter