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Digital Basics Tutorial.

Radio Frequency (RF) basics

Radio Receive characterization

This is a simple tutorial to present fundamentals to characterize radio receiver performance.

Following characteristics of a receiver are discussed in detail in this section:

Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR).

Noise Factor (F).

Noise Figure (NF).

Minimum Detectable Signal (MDS).

Intermodulation (IM) distortion.

Second order intermodulation products.

Third order intermodulation products.

IP3 (Third Order Intercept) point.

Dynamic Range (DR)



Spurious outputs

Gain control


SNR: Signal to Noise Ratio

It is the ratio of Signal power to Noise power

Noise Factor:

Noise Factor is ratio of input SNR to the output SNR of a receiver

Noise Figure:

Noise Figure is a measure of degradation of SNR when a signal passes through a system

If there is no noise (ideal) in a system then we will have

F = 1

NF = 0

So, NF is always greater than or equal to 1