Image courtesy of Collin Mel Cunningham Flickr

(Image courtesy of Collin Mel Cunningham, Flickr).

Micro Lambda Hires Frequency Synthesizer Guru

Micro Lambda Wireless said Monday that it had hired Alexander Chenakin, famous in the signal generator field for inventing frequency synthesizers with both high spectral purity and fast switching speed.

Chenakin's new role at the Fremont, Calif.-based firm is vice president of advanced technologies. He will oversee the design of oscillators, signal generators, and frequency synthesizers, which are used primarily in wireless test equipment. For the last two years, he had been director of research and development at Anritsu.

Chenakin has been an industry authority for the last decade. In 2009, he invented a phase-refining method that enabled frequency synthesizers to switch swiftly without sacrificing resolution and spectral purity. The next year, he wrote a book on the subject called “Frequency Synthesizers: From Concept to Product.”

The breakthrough came from using voltage-controlled oscillators smaller and cheaper than traditional YIG components, which suffer from slower tuning speeds and lower efficiency. Chenakin hit upon the new design while serving as vice president of signal sources at Phase Matrix, which National Instruments acquired in 2011.

“Why can’t we have both spectral purity and fast switching speed?” Chenakin told Microwaves & RF in 2011. “Does this break any fundamental laws of physics? Should a solution be necessarily super-complex and expensive?” he added. The new parts were sold under Phase Matrix’s QuickSyn brand.

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