This paper addresses the challenges associated with RF system design and verification in the presence of detailed circuit-level impairments and physical implementation parasitics. Distortion, compression, noise, memory effects, as well as a number of other non-ideal effects, can dramatically degrade system performance. Many of these effects are difficult and expensive to extract and model at the system level. Once these RF systems are physically implemented, signals across the chip through the package and board are distorted and delayed by interconnect parasitics. In addition, disparate platforms for RF system, circuit, IC, and package/PCB design and verification limit the designer's ability to deal concurrently with these effects across these domains. Poor tool integration and the inability to take these effects into consideration early in the design cycle are responsible for a large number of expensive product development re-spins and delays. Solutions to some of these challenges are emerging and will be discussed. Other challenges are still only understood as proposed research topics. Ideas for their potential resolution will be presented herein as well.
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