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Low-phase-noise frequency synthesisers

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article image All of the modules are tested on a phase noise measurement system.

WENZEL Associates, represented in Australia by ASD Technology , has released low-jitter phase noise sources with Blue Tops technology for operating and testing new components and systems. Applications include radar local oscillators, communications systems, phase noise measurement systems and low-jitter clocks for testing data converters and other high performance semiconductors.

These systems often require a source that provides several frequencies at a time with virtually no spurious content and significantly better phase noise than provided by the best commercial synthesizers. Low noise crystal oscillators are readily available but little or no phase noise data is provided for most RF functional modules and the processes of multiplying, dividing, mixing and amplifying can produce unwanted and unexpected spurious and harmonic content along with white and flicker phase noise. Block diagrams can grow unwieldy as additional power splitters, filters, and attenuators are included to control the undesired signals. Contracting the job out can be prohibitively expensive since virtually the whole system must be a custom design.

Wenzel Associates' Blue Tops modules and systems provide a semi-custom approach. The product line includes amplifiers, oscillators, multipliers, dividers, mixers, detectors, filters and other RF functions. The modules typically contain amplifiers, attenuators, filters, voltage regulators, level detectors, and other ancillary functions in addition to the primary function in order to achieve function density. Phase noise performance is the Blue Tops' primary emphasis and all of the modules are tested on a phase noise measurement system.

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