LC Filter for wireless circuit designs

 LC filter circuits play a crucial role in the design of wireless circuits, offering effective signal conditioning and frequency manipulation. These filters, constructed using inductors (L) and capacitors (C), are widely employed to selectively pass or attenuate specific bands of frequencies in wireless communication systems. LC filters are essential for optimizing signal quality, suppressing unwanted noise, and ensuring proper impedance matching in wireless circuits. With their versatility and ability to provide various bandwidths, from narrowband to wideband, LC filters enable engineers to achieve the desired signal shaping and frequency response characteristics required for reliable wireless communication. There are different kinds of filters one can use for wireless communication circuit, here, we will explore LC filter circuit design, including the selection of component values, design considerations, and practical implementation tips, empowering you to effectively integrate LC bandpass filters into your wireless circuit designs.

  • All-pole filters with a minimum capacitor

All-pole filters with a minimum capacitor configuration, shown below, offer a practical solution for wide bandwidth applications exceeding 30%. Unlike other filter designs, these filters utilize a series circuit instead of a shunt tank at their core. They are particularly well-suited for wider bandpass requirements. However, it is important to note that these filters are not suitable for narrower bandpass applications due to certain limitations. The series inductors would become excessively large, while the shunt inductors would become excessively small, which can affect the overall performance of the filter. On the other hand, the series and shunt capacitors will exhibit opposite reactions. For instance, a third-order minimum capacitor all-pole filter would involve the use of three capacitors and three inductors in its construction.


All-pole filters with a minimum capacitor

All-pole filters with a minimum capacitor frequency response

  •  All-pole filters with a minimum inductor

 Inductor-dominant all-pole filters start with a tuned tank configuration at the input. Similar to the aforementioned design considerations, these filters are well-suited for wide bandwidth applications exceeding 30%. Their popularity stems from the fact that they do not require an excessive number of distinct component values. However, it is worth noting that component values within the same filter can exhibit significant variations. For instance, different capacitors may have values ranging from 66 pF to 1270 pF. In a third-order filter of this type, three capacitors and three inductors are typically utilized.

  • C-coupled all-pole filters

C-coupled all-pole filters, shown below, exhibit superior rejection on the low-side frequency range compared to the high-side. These filters are a suitable choice for applications that demand narrower bandwidths, specifically those below 30%, exceeding the capabilities of the aforementioned filters. A third-order filter of this type typically requires the use of up to seven capacitors and three inductors. While the number of components may appear high, an advantage lies in the fact that all the inductors share identical values. Additionally, with proper design, the input and output capacitors may not be necessary. Furthermore, the shunt capacitors, which are in parallel with the inductors, can be closely matched in value, potentially reducing the need for multiple capacitor values.

C-coupled all-pole filters
 C-coupled all-pole filters response

  • L-coupled all-pole filters

The L-coupled all-pole filters, shown below, exhibit similarities to the aforementioned C-coupled filters, with the distinction that the roles of inductors and capacitors are reversed. This particular filter configuration demonstrates superior rejection on the high side rather than the low side, rendering it suitable for applications that demand narrow bandwidths, typically less than 30%. A third-order filter necessitates the use of up to seven inductors, thereby contributing to its relatively high cost, in addition to three capacitors. However, all capacitors have identical values, and through careful design, the number of inductors can be reduced to five.

L-coupled all-pole filters

  • Shunt C-coupled all-pole filters

Shunt C-coupled all-pole filters, shown below, exhibit superior rejection of high-side frequencies compared to low-side frequencies, performing optimally within bandwidths below 30%. To construct a third-order filter of this type, up to seven capacitors and three inductors are required. The three inductors have identical values, while the series capacitors are typically very close in value to each other. With appropriate design considerations, only five capacitors will be necessary.

Shunt C-coupled all-pole filters

Shunt C-coupled all-pole filters response

  • Tubular all-pole filters

Tubular all-pole filters, shown below, possess better high-side frequency rejection than low-side rejection and demonstrate their optimal performance within bandwidths below 30%. For a third-order filter utilizing this circuit, up to eight capacitors and three inductors are needed. All three inductors share the same value, and through proper design, only six capacitors will be required.

Tubular all-pole filters circuit

Tubular all-pole filters circuit response
  • Lowpass/highpass filters

Lowpass/highpass filters, shown below, serve as the final choice when an extremely wideband structure (> 60%) is required and no other filters can achieve such extreme bandwidths. The design of the lowpass/highpass filter involves cascading a separate 50-Ω lowpass filter design with a 50-Ω highpass filter, resulting in a complete bandpass response.

Lowpass highpass filters circuit

Lowpass highpass filters circuit response


[1] 2nd Order Active LPF Calculator Online 

[2] Different Types of RF filters

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