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Design and Simulation of Wideband and Low Phase Noise UHF Synthesizer

Design and Simulation of Wideband and Low Phase Noise UHF Synthesizer

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Journal of Telecommunications, ISSN 2042-8839, Volume 22, Issue 1, October 2013 www.journaloftelecommunications.co.uk
Journal of Telecommunications, ISSN 2042-8839, Volume 22, Issue 1, October 2013 www.journaloftelecommunications.co.uk

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JOURNAL OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS, VOLUME 22, ISSUE 1, OCTOBER 2013
14
Design and Simulation of Wideband and Low Phase Noise UHF Synthesizer
M. Majdi, F. Hodjat Kashani
Abstract—
Design and simulation of a UHF wideband and low noise frequency synthesizer from 470 MHz to 860 MHz is presented. The proposed voltage controlled oscillator (VCO) in the phase lock loop (PLL) covers wide frequency bandwidth of 58% while phase noise performance has been optimized simultaneously, using parallel tuning diodes in the LC tank of modified Colpitts VCO. The result of the harmonic balance simulation shows an overall SSB phase noise less than -105 dBc/Hz at 10 KHz offset. The output power is more than 0dBm with maximum variation of 0.93 dB while using a high pass filter in the output.
Index Terms—
Frequency Synthesizer, SSB phase noise, Voltage Controlled Oscillator (VCO), Resonator Circuit, phase lock loop (PLL).
1
 
INTRODUCTION
 
The explosive growth of today’s telecommunication market has brought an increasing demand for high performance, low cost, low power consumption radio frequency circuits. Among all the RF blocks, the design of voltage-controlled oscillators (VCOs), which
 
generate the LO carrier signal, is a major challenge and thus has received the most attention in recent years, as evidenced  by the large number of publications [1-9]. The LOs are usually a frequency-synthesizer based on a phase locked loop (PLL) as depicted in the
 
Fig. 1, in which the output oscillation signal is provided by a VCO. Due to the ever-increasing demand for bandwidth in communications, very stringent requirements are placed on the spectral purity of LOs, making the VCO design as a critical sub-circuit to the overall system performance. Some of digital video broadcasting (DVB) standards which are now spread throughout the world are operating in different parts of the UHF band. Therefore, in order to improve quality of service, RF unit components such as synthesizers should obtain appropriate spectral purity in desired bandwidth. The purpose of this paper is designing the low phase noise wideband UHF frequency synthesizer from 470 MHz to 860 MHz. The paper has been organized as follows: In section 2, UHF frequency synthesizer is designed. In this section, selecting resonator and oscillator structure and VCO topology are explained in detail. Then design and simulation of proposed VCO and proper loop filter are demonstrated. Finally simulation of UHF frequency synthesizer is presented
 
.
in section 3, some conclusions are offered.
2
 
D
ESIGNING THE
UHF
 FREQUENCY SYNTHESIZER
 
In this paper, we are going to design the low phase noise UHF frequency synthesizer with the frequency range of 470MHz to 860MHz. So as to design the low noise wideband UHF frequency synthesizer, the
!"#
  based fractional-N frequency synthesizer has been used which contains a low noise digital phase frequency detector (PFD),a precision charge pump ,a programmable reference divider and also the programmable N-fractional loop divider with the third-order
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modulator. Designing VCO with the wideband structure considering the minimum output power variations along the band and also a minimum phase noise, designing an appropriate loop filter, choosing a suitable reference crystal with the minimum phase noise with the highest stability have been considered as important parts in designing of the proposed synthesizer [1].
 
2.1
 
D
ESIGNING THE VOLTAGE CONTROLLED OSCILLATOR
Each VCO contains three main parts. One of them is the active circuit which its main element is the transistor and it converts the dc power to the ac power by creating the negative resistance. The second
 
part is a load network which receives the generated ac
 
power and the third part is a resonator network which allows transmitting the generated power to the load only in its resonant frequency. In accordance with the vital VCO features such as the output power, phase noise characteristic and the required frequency bandwidth, the structure of the oscillator and its resonator circuit have been determined. The optimum design of the VCO and decreasing its phase noise level as one of the main sources of the PLL output phase noise plays a significant role in declining the phase noise level of synthesizer.
2.1.1
 
A
CTIVE DEVICE AND VARACTOR DIODE SELECTION
 
Fig. 1. Block diagram of PLL-based frequency synthesizers.
 ———————————————— 
 
 
 M. Majdi is with the Electrical Engineering Department of Islamic Azad University Tehran south branch.
 
JOURNAL OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS, VOLUME 22, ISSUE 1, OCTOBER 2013
15
 BJT and HBT Transistors with lower Flickr noise are used in applications such as oscillators, VCO and multipliers in order to obtain the output spectrum with the high purity. So, the chosen transistor in this part is a low-noise BJT, NPN type which its f 
T
 is equal 45GHz and hFE is approximately 140. If Ic is 20 mA, the 1-dB compression point will be 12dBm.
 
Furthermore, for Ic=7mA, the mentioned amount is 5dBm. Varactor diode is another semiconductor device of the circuit which should be chosen based on the requirements. Abrupt varactors possess the higher Q, so those VCOs, which use this kind of diode, have better characteristic of the phase noise and the lower bandwidth. But, in return, the hyperabrupt varactor has the greater capacitance change for a given voltage change as well as a linear frequency versus voltage characteristic over a limited voltage range. So it can cover a greater frequency bandwidth. Our proposed UHF VCO covers wide frequency bandwidth more than 10%, so varactor has been selected which includes a high capacitance ratio and low series resistance. Therefore, the SMV1800-079LF silicon hyperabrupt varactor diode has been used. The control voltage of the mentioned varactor diode has the potential to sweep along 0 to 30 volt. If the voltage is 0 and 30, its capacitance will be 15.78 pF and 0.84 pF respectively. In order to covering the frequency band in the range of 470 to 860 MHZ, the control voltage has been declined to the range of 1.35 to 4.68 voltage based on the arrangements of varactor diodes in the resonator circuit. The curves relevant to characteristic of the capacitor in terms of the voltage for the mentioned varactor diode has been shown in fig. 2.
2.1.2
 
B
IAS POINT
S
ELECTION
 
The DC bias point of oscillators is selected in the class A like the power amplifiers. Voltage and current of the bias should be enough to allow the necessary voltage and current changes of the output RF to generate the vital output power. It is usually attempted to consider collector voltage and current small in the low noise oscillators however by this way, output power would be reduced. In the specific situations that output power is not a significant and impressive parameter in designing, bias point could be selected in the saturation zone of the transistor which the transistor indicates the linear  behavior itself and the harmonics have a negligible effect on the output power of the major harmonic. The bias point and DC parameters of oscillator circuit are represented in table 1.
2.1.3
 
S
TRUCTURE OF THE OSCILLATOR
The prerequisite to have a fluctuation in the output of an oscillator is that the stability factor (K) of the network which is used as an active device and the supplier of the negative resistance related to the oscillator, should be less than 1. So, if the stability factor of the applied transistor in the oscillator is more than 1, it should be made unstable in a possible manner. In this design due to cover a variety of the frequency range at the UHF band nearly 58%, modified colpitts structure is used. The colpitts is modified by inductive resistance of limited Q of the inductor, with the aim of its parallel negative resistance observed on the transistor base. Fig. 3 presents the modified colpitts oscillator with its bias circuit that its active segment is a BJT transistor. The inductors and capacitors values have been considered as follows: C
1
=3.3 pF, C2=3.9 pF, Lt=10 nH, [10]. In order to analysis of possibility and stability of the oscillation related to the oscillator by using S parameters of BFP520 transistor, stability factor (k) in the various frequencies from 470MHz to 860MHz, is less than 1. Achieved results of surveying the transistor stability in the common emitter at the mentioned frequency limit, present that K values are less than one in the whole frequency ranges, so the transistor is unstable in the range. So, to expand the unstable region, the capacitive feedback has  been used in the transistor emitter.
TABLE
 
1 B
IAS
C
IRCUIT
P
ARAMETERS OF THE
T
RANSISTOR
 
Fig. 2. C-V characteristic of the SMV1800-079LF varactor diode.
 
JOURNAL OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS, VOLUME 22, ISSUE 1, OCTOBER 2013
16
2.1.4
 
S
TRUCTURE OF THE FREQUENCY RESONATOR
In designing the wide band, the most common resonators are adjustable ones with hyperabrupt varactor diode. C-V characteristic of this kind of diodes is approximately non linear. So, by connecting the frequency resonator to the transistor’s base, it could be made to increase the bandwidth of VCO. Moreover, the small current of the transistor’s base-when the resonator is connected to it- will be more effective than other transistor pins to decrease the phase noise of the VCO output. To prevent the effect of bias voltage of the varactors on the oscillator circuit, varactor diode and transistor should be isolated on dc side respect to each other, for this purpose, resonator and oscillator have to be coupled together with a large dc coupled capacitor. If the varactor diode is located on the resonator circuit serially, a further  bandwidth would be attained. Different states of the varactor diode (Ctot) which could be existed with the inductor (Lt) on the transistor’s base in fig. 3, are presented in fig. 4.
 
Cp capacitor could be resulted to the non ideal inductor in fig. 4,Series capacitor Cs has been used to complete the circuit for alternating current but isolates the cathode of the tuner diode from the coil and thus from the negative terminal of the tuning voltage. For high-frequency purposes the biasing resistor is connected in parallel with the series capacitor. The parallel loss resistance transformed into the circuit Rc, is calculated as in (1).
( )
222
1
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+=
 P  B
 L LC  R R
 
(1)
 
If two varactors are used in the resonator as shown in fig. 4, Rc resistance will be independent of frequency across the entire tuning range, as in (2).
 
 B
 R R
 4
=
 
(2)
So, bias resistor does not have any influence on  bandwidth of the circuit. This arrangement has the advantage that the capacitance shift caused by the ac modulation acts in opposite directions in these diodes and therefore, cancels itself. So as to close the circuit for alternating current, series capacitor Cs is used. Although the existence of Cs makes increase the quality factor, it decreases the capacitance ratio and range of varactor adjustment voltage, as in (3). Thus, in designing the circuit, it is notable that the amount of the series capacitor Cs should be chosen large enough in order not to restrict the effective capacitance
 
variation. The parallel capacitance Cp is always present, since wiring capacitances
 
are inevitable and every coil has its self-capacitances.as in (4),
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++=
%%&'(()*%%&'(()*
+=
+%%&'(()*
+=
minmaxminmaxminmax
1111
QQ
 P  P eff tot  P eff tot  P tot eff 
 
(4)
 
Fig. 3. The modified colpitts oscillator and biasing circuit.
!!!!!!"!!!!!!#$
+=++=
%%&'(()*%%&'(()*
+=
+
+=
tot eff  eff  tot eff  tot tot eff  
QQ
11ˆˆ11111
maxminminmaxminmax
 
(3)
Fig. 4. (a) parallel-resonant circuit with two varactor diode, (b) parallel-resonant circuit with varactor diode, and bias resistor in parallel to the diode. Fig. 5. The final scheme of the UHF VCO.

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