Radio Frequency Integrated Circuit Design

A major application of modern integrated circuit technology is in wireless communications. This module introduces the building blocks of radio frequency ICs for wireless communications and therefore provides a perspective on one of the largest uses for IC technology.

General information:

  1. RF IC Design module will be available in first semester 2012/2013 academic year.
  2. Host Institution: University College Cork
  3. Delivery mode:
  • For Cork located students: on-site lectures 2hrs per week at UCC in 2 semesters - TIMETABLE TBC
  • For students from other locations: Web-based video lectures plus online meetings with the lecturer (planned in advance after the first meeting). Written exam at the end of the year at UCC/Cork.

 Course content:

  • Building blocks of Radio Frequency (RF) transceivers for mobile telephone and wireless networks;
  • Review of RF Transistors;
  • Two-port Parameters for RF Devices;
  • Common RF terminology including Intermodulation and Noise;
  • LNA Design using the Smith Chart;
  • RF Oscillators and Frequency Synthesizers;
  • RF Mixers and Modulators


   wzorek maly 1

Kevin Mccarthy 2
Lecturer: Dr. Kevin McCarthy

Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering,
University College Cork


Dr. Kevin McCarthy obtained the B.E., M.Eng.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from University College Cork in 1982, 1986 and 1992 respectively, with his graduate studies being undertaken at the National Microelectronics Research Centre (NMRC, now part of Tyndall National Institute). He worked for four years with Analog Devices in product engineering and CAD engineering roles and for seven years as a research scientist at the NMRC. In 2000, he took up his present position as a lecturer in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at UCC, where he has delivered a wide variety of courses including Semiconductor Device Physics, Analogue IC Design, Telecommunications, Digital Signal Processing, Medical Electronic Systems and Radio Frequency Integrated Circuit (RF IC) Design. In addition to a research focus, Kevin has a keen interest in the practice of teaching and learning and obtained a Post-Graduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (PGCertTLHE) in 2008 and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (PGDipTLHE) in 2009, also from UCC.
Kevin’s primary research interests are in the areas of the characterization and modelling of semiconductor devices and circuits and mixed-signal and RF/microwave circuit design. In recent years, he has also collaborated with the Power Electronics group at UCC on the development of IC-based DC-DC converters.

Kevin is a member of IEEE and Engineers Ireland. He is a member of the technical programme committees of the IEEE Radio Frequency Integrated Circuits (RFIC) Symposium and the IEEE International Conference on Microelectronic Test Structures (ICMTS) and has also served on the organising or program committees of the European Solid-State Device Research Conference (ESSDERC) and the Irish Signals and Systems Conference (ISSC). He was local organizing chairman when ICMTS came to Ireland in 2002 and he was the digest editor for the IEEE RFIC Symposium in 2009. He is also a member of the Committee for Communications and Radio Science of the Royal Irish Academy.

Some recently completed Ph.D. research theses:

  • “IC Design of Area Efficient Voltage Controlled Oscillators for UWB Wireless Systems In 0.18m CMOS”, Robert O’Leary, 2011.
  • “Electrical Characterization of High-k PMNT Thin Film Material”, Wenbin Chen, 2010 (co-supervised with Dr. Alan Mathewson, Tyndall National Institute)

Some recent publications

  • “Effect of nanoparticles on ferroelectric and electrical properties of novel PMNT thin-films” - W. Chen, K.G. McCarthy, M. Çopuroğlu, H. Doyle, B. Malic, B. Kuznik, M. Kosec, S. O'Brien, R. Winfield and A. Mathewson. Thin Solid Films, Volume 519, Issue 17, 30 June 2011. pages 5800-5803. (Proceedings of the EMRS 2010 Summer Meeting Symposium E: Frontiers of multifunctional oxides)
  • “High-Performance MIM Capacitors Using Novel PMNT Thin Films”, W. Chen,  K.G. McCarthy, A. Mathewson, M. Çopuroğlu, S. O'Brien and R.Winfield. IEEE Electron Device Letters, Vol. 31, Issue 9, Sept. 2010, pp996-998.

internet Bio & Contact Details

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 ICGEE is funded by: Irish Research Council