Synthesizers Switch Quickly To 20 GHz

This family of broadband frequency synthesizers features a modular approach with minimum parts count for reliable operation and extremely low phase noise.

Fast tuning and low phase noise are key ingredients for high-performance frequency synthesizers, and two of the notable characteristics of the IBS series of broadband synthesizers from Elcom Technologies (Rockleigh, NJ). The synthesizer family includes models from 5 MHz to 6 GHz, 0.5 to 18 GHz, and 50 MHz to 20 GHz with 100-µs full-band switching speed and phase noise as low as −153 dBc/Hz offset 100 kHz from the carrier. The fast synthesizers are ideal for a wide range of applications, including electronic-warfare (EW) simulators, antenna measurements, radar systems, and signal-intelligence (SIGINT) systems.

The IBS family of frequency synthesizers is based on a modular architecture with minimal parts count. This results in stable signal sources using reliable integrated circuits (ICs). The ICs feature low power consumption for high system mean time before failure (MTBF). Because it is modular, the IBS architecture can quickly be adapted to custom frequency bands with wideband coverage to 54 GHz. Options include 1-kHz resolution, frequency switching speed as fast as 10 µs, modulation (amplitude, frequency, or pulse), a built-in 120-dB mechanical attenuator (with 0.1-dB steps), and a 60-dB electronic attenuator with 1-µs switching speed.

The IBS-6, for example, spans 50 MHz to 6.4 GHz, making it ideal for cellular and wireless LAN testing. It achieves phase noise of −124 dBc/Hz offset 1 kHz from a 2.1-GHz carrier and -153 dBc/Hz offset 10 MHz from the same carrier.

The IBS-18 (see figure) covers a range of 2 to 18 GHz making it ideal for military applications. It achieves 1-Hz frequency resolution to 4 GHz and 4 Hz frequency resolution to 18 GHz and delivers +10 dBm output power with ±2 dB output-power flatness. It can switch between any two frequencies in 100 µs or less.

The rack-mountable IBS-18 limits spurious content to −70 dBc from 50 MHz to 8 GHz and −64 dBc from 8 to 20 GHz. Harmonics are −30 dBc from 5 to 500 MHz and −55 dBc from 500 MHz to 18 GHz. Single-sideband (SSB) phase noise is −110 dBc/Hz offset 1 kHz from a 10-GHz carrier, −119 dBc/Hz offset 10 kHz from the same carrier, and −153 dBc/Hz offset 10 MHz. The synthesizer can switch under GPIB or 44-b parallel binary-coded-decimal (BCD) control with the same accuracy and stability as the reference oscillator. Units include a 100-MHz internal oven-controlled crystal oscillator (OCXO) with 0.1 PPM accuracy. Elcom Technologies, Inc., 11 Volvo Dr., Rockleigh, NJ 07647; (201) 767-8030, FAX: (201) 767-6266, e-mail: [email protected], Internet:

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