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Mixer

Mixer

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Published by: chocobon_998078 on Oct 22, 2008
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12/28/2012

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A 5.0 GHz Bipolar Active Mixer
Application Note S010
Introduction
This applications note contraststhe features and performance of an active bipolar Gilbert cellbased mixer with conventionalpassive diode mixers. The notestarts with a review of mixerfundamentals, and continues witha brief description of severalkinds of diode based mixers. Thecircuitry used in the Gilbert cellmixer is then developed. Finally,typical performance for an activemixer is given, with the IAM-81028used as an example.
Mixer Review
Refer to Figure 1.A fundamental property of mixersis frequency conversion; thisproperty is put to use in virtuallyall receivers. For typical opera-tion, an information bearing RadioFrequency (RF) signal operatingat a frequency f 
RF
is injected intoone port of the mixer, and a LocalOscillator (LO) signal at a fre-quency Of f 
LO
is injected into asecond port. The resulting outputIntermediate Frequency (IF)signal is downconverted to afrequency of f 
RF
– f 
LO
. Equiva-lently, a modulating signal operat-ing at a frequency f 
mod
can beinjected into the mixer andcombined with the LO signal tocreate an upconverted RF outputsignal at a frequency of f 
mod
– f 
LO
.Refer to Figure 2.Frequency conversion resultsfrom a multiplication of the RFwaveform, cos(f 
RF
 *t), and the LOwaveform, cos(f 
LO
 *t). Fromtrigonometry, we have:cos(f 
RF
 *t) • cos(f 
LO
 *t) =1/2cos((f 
RF
– f 
LO
)*t)
±
1/2cos((f 
RF
 
±
LO
)*t)In this ideal multiplication theoutput of the mixer only containssignals at the frequencies f 
RF
– f 
LO
and f 
RF
+ f 
LO
; i.e. the original RFand LO signals are completelysuppressed at the IF port. Further,the amplitude of the IF signals isthat of the original RF and LOinputs.
Figure 1. Recelver/Mixer Fundamentals.Figure 2. Multiplier/Mixer Fundamentals.
0.1RF1RF2RF3RFRFLORF3–LORF2–LORF1–LO(IF)LO1100.11100.11LO10
0cos(rf*t)XX*YY123450cos(rf*t)*cos(lo*t)= 1/2 cos((rf–lo)*t)+ 1/2 cos((rf+lo)*t)123450cos(lo*t)12345
 
2
Passive Mixers
Refer to Figure 3.Common double balanced diodemixers consist of a quad of Schottky barrier diodes and a pairof baluns (balanced to unbalancedtransformers). Proper operationdepends on a
moderately strong
LO signal (+7 to +23 dBm) con-trolling the conductivity of thediodes. A square wave LO signalwill alternately cause oppositesides of the quad to conduct.Assuming ideal components, theinput (RF) signal is consequentlymultiplied by
±
1 at the LO rate.The
hybrid
construction of thesemixers forces them to be of moderate physical size. If themixer has dimensions comparableto a wavelength at the frequency itis to operate, the summation of internal reflections of differentphases will result in ripple in thegain (or loss) versus frequencytransfer characteristics.Assuming 1:1 transformers andideal diodes, double balanceddiode mixers will have inputimpedances equal to their loadimpedances. In practical condi-tions, these impedances are verydependent on the actual operatingstate of the diode and can besignificantly influenced by theloads presented to the ports of themixer. This
load sensitivity
cancause further reflections andadditional re-mixing of varioussignals.Refer to Figure 4.An ideal multiplication of an RFsignal by
±
1 at the LO rate isshown to scale in both the timeand the frequency domains. For anormalized input RF signal of magnitude 1, it can be shown[Grey and Meyer, Analog Inte-grated Circuits, 2nd Edition,Wiley, 1984] that multiplying by
±
1 at the LO rate results in aspectral component at the LOfrequency of amplitude 4/ 
π
. Thedesired IF component in theoutput spectrum will thus have amagnitude of 2/ 
π
, which is 3.9 dBbelow the level of the input RFsignal. Although some higherorder frequency terms will also bepresent in the output spectrum,the double balanced nature of themixer does suppress the RF andLO signals at the output.Actual (non-ideal) double bal-anced diode mixers typicallyexhibit 6 to 8 dB conversion lossand 20 to 40 dB suppression of theRF and LO signals.
Figure 3. Double i3alanced Dlode Mixer.Figure 4. Double Balanced Mlxer Wavetorms.
RF+ –LOLO < 0IFV
lo
V
lo
V
in
V
out
V
out
– V
lo
– V
in
= 0V
out
+ V
lo
– V
in
= 0V
out
= V
in
+ –+ –+ –+ –+ –+ –+ –+ –LO > 0V
lo
V
lo
V
in
V
out
V
out
+ V
lo
+ V
in
= 0V
out
– V
lo
+ V
in
= 0V
out
= –V
in
+ – –+ –+
0 –1.2 –0.8 –0.400.40.81.22 4 60 –1.2 –0.8 –0.400.40.81.22 4 60 –1.2 –0.8 –0.400.40.81.22 4 6RFIF(–3.9 dB)LO 3LO 5LO
 
3Refer to Figure 5.Mixer configurations that sup-press either the RF signal or theLO signal, but not both, are said tobe single balanced. These topolo-gies usually have the advantage of using fewer components than dodouble balanced circuits. For thesingle balanced diode mixershown, the mixer alternatesbetween a state in which bothdiodes conduct, and a state inwhich neither diode conducts.Consequently this mixer multi-plies the input RF by
±
1,0 at theLO rate. Like the full doublebalanced diode mixer, this mixeris hybrid in nature and requiresmoderate LO power to controldiode conduction.Refer to Figure 6.Ideal multiplication by
±
1,0 at theLO rate results in an IF (RF – LO)component 9.9 dB below the inputRF level. This follows from thefact that the voltage availablewhen multiplying by
±
1,0 is half of that available when multiplying by
±
1, hence the IF signal level willbe 6 dB lower. Although the LO isfully suppressed, a signal at theRF frequency with the amplitudeof the input RF signal will appearin the output spectrum.
Figure 5. Single Balanced Diode Mixer.Figure 6. Single Balanced Mlxer Waveforms.
V
in
V
out
V
lo
+ –+ –+ –++ –+ – –V
in
V
in
V
out
= V
in
V
out
V
lo
V
lo
> 0+ –+ –+ –+ –V
in
V
out
= 0V
out
V
lo
< 0+ –+ –+ –+ –
0 –1.2 –0.8 –0.400.40.81.22460 –1.2 –0.8 –0.400.40.81.22460 –1.2 –0.8 –0.400.40.81.2246RFIFRF(–9.9 dB)LODC3LO5LO

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