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  The Smith Chart
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The Smith Chart was originally created many years ago as an RF engineering aid by Phillip Smith of RCA. Actually, Smith may not have been the first inventor of this tool -- a Japanese engineer named Kurakawa independently created a similar chart about a year before Smith. In any event, the Chart is a clever, complex number nomograph in a circular format which is an invaluable tool in RF design.

With CAD and computer assisted engineering everywhere, it is easy to overlook the mathematical beauty which is the foundation of the RF art. Download one or more of the Smith Chart programs below and learn about RF from it!

Please note that "Smith" is a registered trademark of Analog Instruments Company of New Providence, NJ 07974. The Smith Charts shown in this web site are proprietary to Analog Instruments Company and reproduction thereof without express written permission is prohibited. Printed Smith Charts are available from Analog Instruments Company, P.O. Box 950, New Providence, NJ 07974, (908) 464-4214.

Contents of This Page

Neat Smith Chart
Image of a Smith Chart
Download a PDF version of a full-size Smith Chart

Download an explanation of the meaning of certain rulers (from Phil's book, see below) which are not so obvious and rarely used these days: Notes


Tutorial Information on Smith Charts

Wikipedia's Smith Chart article

Agilent's Smith Chart Utility, demo and download

David Jefferies' Smith Chart page

"The Smith Chart - Part I: Why do we need it?" By David J. Jefferies, University of Surrey, UK

"How does a Smith chart work?" by Rick Nelson, Senior Technical Editor, Test & Measurement World, July 2001

Dallas Semiconductor / Maxim's application note, "Impedance Matching and the Smith Chart: The Fundamentals", 2001

"Simple Calculations with the Smith Chart", Instructions with graphs from Rice University

"Agilent Network Analyzer Basics", From the 1998 Back to Basics Seminar, this article covers the principles of measuring high-frequency electrical networks with network analyzers, including what kind of measurements are made with network analyzers, and how they allow the characterization of linear and nonlinear device behavior. This article explains RF fundamentals such as transmission lines and the Smith chart, leading to the concepts of reflection, transmission and S-parameters. All the major components in a network analyzer are reviewed, including the advantages and limitations of different hardware approaches, error modeling, accuracy enhancement, various calibration techniques, and typical swept-frequency and swept-power measurements commonly performed on filters and amplifiers.

"Technical Note: Exploring the secrets of the Smith chart - an indispensable tool", 1997 article by Chris Scott

Agilent's Smith Chart page -- theory & an applet.

"Microwaves 101's Smith Chart Page"

"Smith chart Tutorial," by Dr. Russell P. Jedlicka, Klipsch School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, New Mexico State University, September 2002

"Smith chart Tutorial, Part 1" RFIC Co UK's Tutorial

"Smith chart Tutorial, Part 2: Transmission Line Matching" More from RFIC Co UK

PDF FileRF & Microwave References Poster -- with info on Smith Charts and S-parameters.

PDF File HP's (now Agilent's) "S-Parameter Techniques for Faster, More Accurate Network Design" (~1.26M)

"Mysteries of the Smith Chart -- Transmission Lines, Impedance Matching, and Little Known Facts", by Stephen D. Stearns, K6OIK, Chief Technologist, TRW Firestorm Wireless Communication Products, 10/21/01

PDF File HP's (now Agilent's) "Designing Impedance Matching Networks with the HP 8751A" (~405K)

PDF File ARRL tutorial, "ARRL Radio Designer and the Circles Utility, Part I: Smith Chart Basics", by William E. Sabin, ARRL's QEX Magazine, 1998 (~547K)

PDF File "Chart Analysis Enhanced with Mathcad®," by Alan Victor, Applied Microwave and Wireless, March 2001 (~388K)

See Also: SSS Online's S-Parameter Page

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Some Smith Chart Examples

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  Reference Books on Smith Charts Available for Purchase

Click on a Title Below for a Direct Link to Purchase

Buy This Book
Electronic Applications of the Smith Chart : In Waveguide, Circuit, and Component Analysis, by Phillip H. Smith. Hardcover - 263 pages 2nd edition (October 2000). Click for Price. cover
Buy This Book
Advanced Automated Smith Chart, Version 3.0: Software and User's Manual , by Leonard Schwab. Manual is paperback - 150 pages (March 1998). Click for Price.

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  Some Smith Charts Tools

Find electronics at eBay

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Other Interesting Smith Charts Websites

RF Globalnet
RF Globalnet's Design Software Files Page

See Also:

Agilent's (HP's)Interactive Impedance Matching Model Page. (JAVA)

Chris Scott & Assoc. Exploring the secrets of the Smith chart Page.

David Jefferies' fine Smith Chart Page.

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