Impact of non-optimal grounding of the CC2420 RFIC on a 802.15.4 Tyndall sensor wireless mote

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Haigh, Peter
Buckley, John
O'Flynn, Brendan
Ó Mathúna, S. Cian
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The performance of an RF output matching network is dependent on integrity of the ground connection. If this connection is compromised in anyway, additional parasitic elements may occur that can degrade performance and yield unreliable results. Traditionally, designers measure Constant Wave (CW) power to determine that the RF chain is performing optimally, the device is properly matched and by implication grounded. It is shown that there are situations where modulation quality can be compromised due to poor grounding that is not apparent using CW power measurements alone. The consequence of this is reduced throughput, range and reliability. Measurements are presented on a Tyndall Mote using a CC2420 RFIC todemonstrate how poor solder contact between the ground contacts and the ground layer of the PCB can lead tothe degradation of modulated performance. Detailed evaluation that required the development of a new measurement definition for 802.15.4 and analysis is presented to show how waveform quality is affected while the modulated output power remains within acceptable limits.
CC2420 , Wireless sensors , Grounding , 802.15.4 , Error Vector Magnitude (EVM)
Haigh, Peter; Buckley, John; O Flynn, Brendan; Ó Mathúna, S. Cian (2011) Impact of non-optimal grounding of the CC2420 RFIC on a 802.15.4 Tyndall sensor wireless mote. 35th International Conference of IMAPS - CPMT IEEE Poland, 21-24 Sep 2011. Gdansk-Sobieszewo, Poland.