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This version (24 Jan 2023 20:08) was approved by Brad Hall.The Previously approved version (24 Jan 2023 20:04) is available.Diff

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LO Generation Options

The 2-24GHz RF Front End has two different sets of LO specifications and requirements- one for the fixed LO sources and a second for the wideband, tunable LOs. Additionally, LO performance requirements vary widely across the instrumentation, communications, and aerospace & defense application space, so while a one-size-fits-all solution for the LO generation circuitry may not be practical, Analog Devices offers numerous, flexible options for wideband frequency synthesizers.

Fixed LO Source


The 18GHz, fixed LO source can be supplied any integrated PLL/VCO such as the ADF4371, or a discrete LO implementation using ADI PLLs and quad-band VCOs for applications requiring lower phase noise. The frequency synthesizer circuit detailed in CN0568 (shown below), provides one possible solution for a discrete LO implementation using the ADF41513 PLL and HMC8362 quad-band VCO.

More information on the CN0568 frequency synthesizer can be found here: en/design-center/reference-designs/circuits-from-the-lab/cn0568.html#rd-overview

This circuit was adapted to provide a cleaner output tone (reduced spurs) and a higher output power with the below block diagram:

For this design, we have chosen a discrete LO implementation using the ADF41513 and the HMC8362 to achieve lower phase noise and power consumption. A simulation file created in ADI SimPLL can be requested with instructions provided at the bottom of this page.


Tunable LO Source

The tunable LO synthesizer has a more complex set of requirements, many of which directly impact the system-level functionality of the signal chain, such as tuning speed and frequency coverage. The wideband frequency synthesizer circuit shown in the figure below uses the ADF4371 integrated PLL/VCO and is one potential option for the tunable LO source, enabling low phase-noise tuning across the RF signal chain’s full operating range. The tunable filtering on the ADF4371 outputs is optional and dependent on the LO spurious requirements of the end system. The SPDT switch selects between the two ADF4371 outputs and the HMC383 driver amp ensure sufficient LO drive level at the mixer for optimal performance.

Simulation files have been created for these circuits within ADI SimPLL Version 5.60.05. Two files can be provided. The first one is for the 11.5-16 GHz output, and the second one is for the 16-28 GHz output. Using them, one can simulate phase noise/jitter, lock times, and spurs for the appropriate LO output.

To request the SimPLL files that simulation the performance of these circuits, please send a request here and include the following info:

  • Name
  • Job Title
  • Company Name
  • Company Location
  • Application/Use Case




resources/eval/developer-kits/2to24ghz-mxfe-rf-front-end/lo-generation.txt · Last modified: 24 Jan 2023 20:07 by Brad Hall