This paper is about designing a radio transceiver front-end card which fits in the PC104 industrial PC form factor. In the first part I overview some widespread radio solutions which can be found in the market (WiFi, Bluetooth, ZigBee, GSM/UMTS, WiMAX, VSAT), focusing on the capabilities of each one and the parameters which have influence on the radio front-ends of the different systems. The most important parameters which affect the topology and complexity of the front-ends are: frequency band, modulation, channel access method.
The second part is about the actual design. A dual conversion, transmitter-receiver is designed, with 70 MHz real IF and 2.4 GHz RF input and output. The RF output power is 1W in the 2400-2480MHz frequency range, the receiver input sensitivity is -80dBm for 0dBm IF output, the front-end is half duplex, so it can only be used in a Time Division Duplexing system. The card must be used with a controller and signal processing unit as a mezzanine. The controlling signals, and the power supplies are connected to the signal processing card via a 26 pin header, while the IF signals are transferred via AMC or MMCX connectors.