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Test and Measurement

A 4 GHz Fractional-N Synthesizer for Multi-mode Wireless Applications

Frequency synthesizers are fundamental building blocks in any wireless system. The need for reducing component count in wireless systems continues to drive synthesizer integration onto single systems-on-a-chip (SoC). Many multi-standard wireless products are emerging with combinations of WLAN 802.11a/b/g, GSM, Bluetooth, GPS and CDMA. One of the most challenging...
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Conformal Subsections for Accurate EM Analysis

The fast fourier transform (FFT) approach to the method of moments (MoM) is well known for providing high accuracy, high dynamic range and robust electromagnetic (EM) analysis of planar circuits. The FFT consistently calculates the coupling between subsections to full numerical precision; no error is introduced by complex multi-dimensional...
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Design of a TRM Calibration Kit for the ZMA Coaxial Interface Using Ansoft HFSS

When new coaxial interfaces become available, it is important to validate their performance. The best way to do this is by using a calibration kit that eliminates the effects of adapters in the measurement. This article discusses the design and impleme...
One of the greatest challenges in characterizing new coaxial interfaces is to determine an accurate test configuration. When precision airlines are not available it is very difficult to obtain a true measurement of the device under test. It becomes necessary to design and implement calibration standards to eliminate the...
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Multicriteria VCO Design

High frequency, voltage-controlled oscillators (VCO) are important components of modern RF systems. They are characterized by a set of parameters, which must be analyzed and optimized (for example, phase noise, frequency tuning range, tuning linearity and output power). Many studies are dedicated to the research of VCO characteristics. 1-8...
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RF Test Fixture Basics

When the RF test system and the device-under-test (DUT) both have coaxial connectors, hooking them together to make a measurement is easy. However, as radio-frequency integrated circuits (RFIC) have shrunk in size, traditional coaxial connectors are no longer useful. With the multitude of RF component sizes and shapes found...
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A Dynamic Approach to Synthesizer Design

New developments in direct digital synthesis-based synthesizer technology
Broadband synthesizers based on direct digital synthesis (DDS) technology have traditionally led the industry in frequency agility and switching performance, but have also led in high NRE and recurring costs. These high costs stem from the custom nature of DDS-based synthesizers and have resulted in digital synthesizers being primarily...
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Fast and Accurate High Power Device Characterization with a Microstrip SOL Method

High power device characterizations, performed with a microstrip short-open-load (SOL) calibration kit, are presented. This article demonstrates an interesting alternative to the classical through-reflect-line (TRL) method, when only terminating impeda...
Precise device characterization is the starting point of any good circuit design. This task can be particularly challenging when the device is a high power transistor having low input and output impedances. For devices working only under pulse conditions, specific test benches exist 1 but are rather complicated and...
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High Performance Comb Generator Multipliers

A new line of comb generator multiplier products is featured
A comb generator is a device with outputs that are multiple harmonics of an input signal. The output spectral tone lines are uniformly spaced at integer multiples of the input reference. A spectrum analyzer display of the output looks much like the teeth of a comb, which is how...
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Specification and Measurement of Local Oscillator Noise in Integrated Circuit Base Station Mixers

Residual phase noise from local oscillators can be degraded by additive noise of on-chip local oscillator (LO) drivers/buffers in integrated circuit mixers. Reciprocal mixing of strong RF signals with the LO noise degrades the receiver sensitivity. Spe...
Cellular base station receivers work in the presence of high level blockers/interferers while being required to sense weak signals of interest at the antenna. The interferers are usually rejected by filters but only at an intermediate frequency (IF) after the first down conversion. The LNA and mixer preceding the...
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