Integrated wideband and low phase-noise signal source using two voltage-controlled oscillators and a mixer
Journal article, 2013
This study presents a method to design a wideband signal source based on two voltage-controlled oscillators (VCOs) with different centre frequencies and a mixer. The principle is to combine three frequency bands to form one wide frequency range. The three bands consist of second harmonic bands from two VCOs and a mixer band that is generated by mixing the two fundamental signals of VCOs to bridge the frequency gap. Apart from the wide tuning range, an additional benefit of a mixer-based signal source is that the phase-noise increases ∼3 dB/octave, which is less than the theoretical limit (6 dB/octave) for a fundamental frequency VCO followed by a frequency multiplier or extraction of second harmonic signal from a VCO. A prototype of the proposed signal source implemented in indium gallium phosphide hetero junction bipolar transistor monolithic microwave integrated circuit technology demonstrates both wide frequency tuning range and a very low phase noise. It exhibits a tuning bandwidth extending from 11.8 to 16.7 GHz and the signal's phase noise varies between −91 and −103 dBc/Hz at 100 kHz offset frequency.
heterojunction bipolar transistors