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Webmaster's Note: This page was created by Randy Roberts of RFSS Consulting on 8/5/98. We have updated the links and have changed the manufacturer's name from "Harris" to "Intersil". No changes have been made at this time to the contents of the "Experience" section; one of these days I'll pin Jim down and get an update!

We just completed our third radio design with this great chipset. In two of these designs we used only selected parts from this growing lineup, in the third however, we used five of the six of the chips in the basic "PRISM" chipset. All three of these new designs were done for clients and all essential design details are their proprietary property. However, we learned a few things along the way. We will share some of what we learned on this page.

This page provides links to many of Intersil's PRISM information pages, as well as other pertinent "PRISM" design information.
Contents of This Page


PRISM In the News


PRISM Application Notes and Technical Info

Intersil's Prism Chipset
Intersil's PRISM Technical Info Page

Intersil's PRISM Technical Papers

Processing Gain in Spread Spectrum Signals

Short PN Sequences for Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum Radios

Processing Gain for Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum Communication Systems and PRISM

A Comparison of Frequency Hopping and Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum Modulation for IEEE 802.11 Applications at 2.4 GHz


The Intersil "PRISM" Chipset:

Intersil's Prism Chipset
The PRISM Chipset

Intersil PRISM Chipset Introduction


Some of Our PRISM Experiences:

Lessons Learned

  • The Intersil PRISM Eval Boards ARE A MUST HAVE!

  • NOT ALL of the six Intersil PRISM chips are useful (or even work!) -- stick to the THREE Basic useful chips: 3524 PLL, 3724 Mod / Demod / LPF & 3824 Baseband!

  • Find and use a new RF section if you are serious about building a DSSS radio quickly with these parts!

  • Start your software / firmware development with the Intersil PRISM software furnished with the Eval Boards!

  • Buy the PCMCIA Demo Board Kit -- It makes a great "Show & Tell" demonstration for management and marketing! You can also use them for live on-the-air tests, protocol development and RF environment testing.

  • Use the Intersil PRISM Reference Design schematic ONLY as a starting point!

  • Seriously consider hiring a consulting company like Pegasus Technologies, one of Intersil's PRISM certified consultants, or other EXPERT who has real live experience with PRISM -- It'll save plenty of time, money AND headaches!

Passing Thoughts

  • The full Intersil PRISM chipset is not OPTIMUM for EVERY Application -- select the Intersil PRISM chip subset you need very carefully!

  • Getting more than 50 to 80 milliwatts through that RF output bandpass filter, diversity antenna switch and other RF output matching / protection circuitry (with decent intermods that meet FCC specs) is not easy (IT'S NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE!)

  • If you want more radio range than you can get with the Intersil RF PA - T/R Switch, look at discrete GaAsFET RF power amplifier designs that are capable of 2 to 4 Watts to give you enough linearity and "headroom" to linearly amplify a DSSS signal!

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