Integrated wideband and low phase-noise signal source using two voltage-controlled oscillators and a mixer
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 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.

III-V semiconductors

voltage-controlled oscillators

MMIC oscillators

heterojunction bipolar transistors

gallium compounds

indium compounds

frequency multipliers

MMIC mixers


Szhau Lai


Chalmers, Mikroteknologi och nanovetenskap, Mikrovågselektronik

Mingquang Bao


Dan Kuylenstierna

Chalmers, Mikroteknologi och nanovetenskap, Mikrovågselektronik


Herbert Zirath


Chalmers, Mikroteknologi och nanovetenskap, Mikrovågselektronik

IET Microwaves, Antennas and Propagation

1751-8725 (ISSN) 17518733 (eISSN)

Vol. 7 2 123-130


Informations- och kommunikationsteknik

Nanovetenskap och nanoteknik


Annan elektroteknik och elektronik



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