RF Blockset

Design and simulate RF systems


RF Blockset™ provides a Simulink® model library and simulation engine for designing RF communications and radar systems.

RF Blockset lets you simulate RF transceivers and front-ends. You can model nonlinear RF amplifiers to estimate gain, noise, even-order, and odd-order intermodulation distortion, including memory effects. For RF mixers, you can predict image rejection, reciprocal mixing, local oscillator phase noise, and DC offset. RF models can be characterized using data sheet specifications or measured data such as multiport S-parameters. They can be used to accurately model adaptive architectures, including automatic gain control (AGC), digital predistortion (DPD) algorithms, and beamforming.

The RF Budget Analyzer app lets you automatically generate transceiver models and measurement test benches to validate performance and set up a circuit envelope multicarrier simulation.

With RF Blockset you can simulate RF systems at different levels of abstraction. Circuit envelope simulation enables high-fidelity, multicarrier simulation of networks with arbitrary topologies. The Equivalent Baseband library enables fast, discrete-time simulation of single-carrier cascaded systems.

Get Started:

RF Budget and System Simulation

Compute the budget of a cascade of RF components in terms of noise, power, gain, and nonlinearity. Automatically generate system-level models for multicarrier circuit envelope RF simulation.

RF Budget Analysis and Top-Down Design

Use the RF Budget Analyzer app to design a cascade of RF components. Build your system graphically or script it in MATLAB®. Analyze the budget of the cascade in terms of noise, power, gain, and nonlinearity.

Design RF transceivers for wireless communications and radar systems. Compute the budget considering impedance mismatches instead of relying on custom spreadsheets and complex computations. Use harmonic balance analysis to compute the effects of nonlinearity on gain and on second-order and third-order intercept points (IP2 and IP3). Inspect results numerically or graphically by plotting different metrics.

Rapid RF Simulation

Go beyond analytical computations and simulate the effects of leakage, interferers, direct conversion, reciprocal mixing, and antenna coupling.

From the RF Budget Analyzer app, generate models and testbenches for multicarrier circuit envelope RF simulation. Design the architecture of the RF transceiver using automatically generated models as a baseline, or start with blocks from the library.

Use the Equivalent Baseband library to quickly estimate the impact of RF phenomena on overall system performance. Design a chain of components and perform single-carrier RF simulation of superheterodyne transceivers, including RF impairments such as noise, impedance mismatches, and odd-order nonlinearity.

Use the Idealized Baseband library to model the system at a higher level of abstraction, further speed up RF simulation, or generate C code for deploying your model.

Tradeoff modeling fidelity and simulation speed with different RF simulation techniques in RF Blockset.

Digital Wireless System and RF Simulation

Model RF transceivers together with digital signal processing algorithms. Rapidly simulate adaptive RF transceivers at the system level.

RF Simulation Including Digital Signal Processing Algorithms

Build models of wireless systems including RF transceivers, analog converters, digital signal processing algorithms, and control logic.

Design digitally-assisted RF systems based on nested feedback loops such as RF receivers with automatic gain control (AGC), RF transmitters with digital predistortion (DPD), antenna arrays with beamforming algorithms, and adaptive matching networks.

RF Component Modeling

Model components at the system level, not at the transistor level, and speed up RF simulation. Design your RF system using models of amplifiers, mixers, filters, antennas, and more. RF components can be characterized by linear and nonlinear data sheet specifications or measurement data, such as S-parameter values.

Use tunable components such as variable gain amplifiers, attenuators, phase shifters, and switches to design adaptive RF systems with characteristics directly controlled by time-varying Simulink signals. Embed control logic and signal processing algorithms in the RF simulation to develop accurate models of transceivers, like the Analog Devices® transceivers that have been validated in the lab.

Author your own RF blocks using the Simscape™ language and build custom RF components (requires Simscape).

RF Amplifiers and Mixers

Model nonlinear RF components using data sheet specifications and characterization data.

RF Amplifiers

Specify the gain, noise figure or spot noise data, second-order and third-order intercept points (IP2 and IP3), 1 dB compression point, and saturation power for amplifiers. Import Touchstone® files and use S-parameters to model input and output impedances, gain, and reverse isolation. Use the variable gain amplifier to model time-varying nonlinear characteristics.

For power amplifiers, use nonlinear characteristics such as AM/AM-AM/PM, or fit time-domain input-output narrowband or wideband characteristics using a generalized memory polynomial. 

Mixers and Modulators

Model up and down conversion stages using the mixer block. Specify gain, noise figure or spot noise data, IP2, IP3, 1 dB compression point, and saturation power.

Use mixer intermodulation tables to describe the effects of spurs and mixing products in superheterodyne transceivers.

Model direct conversion or superheterodyne modulators and demodulators at the system level, including image rejection and channel selection filters. Specify gain and phase imbalance, local oscillator (LO) leakage, and phase noise.

Model of a Hartley receiver designed with RF Blockset.

S-Parameters, RF Filters, and Linear Systems

Simulate frequency-dependent linear system-level components using S-parameters or data sheet specifications.

S-Parameter Simulation

Import and simulate multiport S-parameter data. Import Touchstone files or read S-parameter data directly from the MATLAB workspace. Simulate the S-parameters using a time-domain approach based on rational fitting or use a frequency-domain approach based on convolution. Model passive and active data with frequency-dependent amplitude and phase.

Automatically include the noise generated by passive S-parameters in the RF simulation. Alternatively, specify frequency-dependent noise parameters for the S-parameters of active components.

RF Filters, Antennas, and Linear Components

Design RF filters using Butterworth, Chebyshev, and inverse Chebyshev methods, evaluate the lumped circuit topology, and perform circuit envelope simulation.

Model junctions such as circulators, couplers, power dividers, and combiners with different characteristics from data sheet specifications. Use phase shifters for the RF design of beamforming architectures.

With Antenna Toolbox, use the method of moments to model antenna impedance and the frequency-dependent far-field radiation pattern for circuit envelope RF simulation.

Model of a superhet RF receiver with 8 antennas and ADCs.


Simulate thermal and phase noise effects.

Noise Modeling

Generate thermal noise that is proportional to the attenuation introduced by passive components such as resistors, attenuators, or S-parameter elements.

For active components, specify the noise figure and the spot-noise data, or read frequency-dependent noise data from Touchstone files. Specify arbitrary frequency-dependent noise distributions for local oscillators and model phase noise.

Simulate and optimize low-noise systems with accurate SNR estimations. Account for impedance mismatches that affect the power transfer of the actual signal and of the noise.

Model thermal and phase noise, including reciprocal mixing.

Measurement Testbenches

Validate the performance of RF transmitters and receivers using measurement testbenches before lab testing.

RF Model Validation

Measure the gain, noise figure, and S-parameters of the system under different operating conditions. Validate nonlinear characteristics such as IP2, IP3, image rejection, and DC offset. Use testbenches to generate the required stimuli and evaluate the system response to compute the desired measurement.

Automatically generated measurement testbenches from the RF Budget Analyzer app support both heterodyne and homodyne architectures.

RF Blockset testbench for measuring third-order intercept point.

Latest Features

Antenna Block

Model transmit and receive antenna with frequency dependent impedance and radiation pattern

N-Port S-Parameter Block

Model S-Parameter objects with more than 8-ports

Amplifier block

Model a nonlinear amplifier with noise in Simulink using one of four methods

Intermodulation Table (IMT) Mixer Block

Simulate mixer spurs using IMT

S-Parameter Testbench Block

Measure S-parameters of arbitrary networks using circuit envelope

See release notes for details on any of these features and corresponding functions.