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DDS Sampling Spurs

DDS Sampling Spurs

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06/12/2011

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18
High Frequency Electronics
High Frequency Design
MINIMIZING DDS SPURS
Minimization of DDSSpurious Content inMulti-Channel Systems
By Ryan Groulx and Shawn MasonRockwell Collins
I
mplementing a DirectDigital Synthesizer(DDS) IC in a newdesign can be a dauntingtask.Many times,theDDS is looked upon as a“noise generator”and theunfortunate designer isleft to deal with whateveroutput spectrum the DDS presents after thebasic design is complete.The DDS is in aunique class of ICs that joins the once sepa-rate worlds of digital and RF circuit design.Despite these challenges,the designer canpredict the output spectrum of the DDS with ahigh degree of accuracy with the knowledge of several basic concepts.Two topics will be covered.The first topicwill be an analysis that can be completed bythe designer to predict the spurious signalsthat result from harmonic remapping in theDDS given a predefined DDS clock and outputfrequency.The ideal DDS clock choice for agiven output frequency will also be discussed.The second topic will build on the first byexamining a channelized frequency sourcewhere a DDS would more likely be used.Asample design and algorithm will be steppedthrough to show how an optimal DDS clockfrequency can be chosen based on designatedoutput channel frequencies,local oscillator(LO) choice,and filtering.
Output Spurs Due to Harmonic Remapping
One of the most prominent sources of spursin the output spectrum of a DDS is due to har-monic remapping.These spurs are essentiallythe harmonics of the desired DDS output thatget “transplanted”back into the 1st Nyquistzone,which extends from 0 Hz to half of theDDS clock frequency.The first step in calculating the spuriousoutput spectrum due to harmonic remappingis to create a list of harmonics of the desiredoutput frequency.It is usually best to calculateout as many harmonics as possible,the morethe better.The next step is to calculate which Nyquistzone each of the harmonics falls into.TheNyquist zones span integer multiples of theNyquist frequency.The Nyquist frequency isequal to 1/2 of the clock frequency,and there-fore each Nyquist zone starts or stops at aninteger multiple of the Nyquist frequency.Thefirst Nyquist zone would extend from 0 Hz to1/2 of the clock frequency.The second Nyquistzone would extend from 1/2 the clock frequen-cy to the clock frequency,and so on.For a given output harmonic,the Nyquistzone into which it falls may be calculated as:(1)where:
 F 
 Harm
= harmonic frequency.
 Zone
= Nyquist zone into which F
harmonic
falls
 F 
 Nyquist
= Nyquist frequency (
 F 
CLK 
 /2)
Ceil
= ceiling function.This functionrounds to the next higher integertoward positive infinity.The remapping of the harmonic frequencydepends on if the harmonic falls within aneven or odd numbered Nyquist zone.The
 Zone ceil F 
 Harm Nyquist
=⎛ ⎝ ⎞ ⎠ ⎟ 
This article reviews themechanisms that result inthe generation of spursin DDS systems, and showshow to select the bestclock frequency tominimize those spurs.
From October 2006
 High Frequency Electronics
Copyright © 2006 Summit Technical Media,LLC
 
20
High Frequency Electronics
High Frequency Design
MINIMIZING DDS SPURS
remapped frequency may be calculated as follows:If the harmonic falls within an
 even
numberedNyquist zone:(2)If the harmonic falls within an
odd
numbered Nyquistzone:(3)where:
 Floor
= floor function.This function rounds to the nextlower integer toward minus infinity.It is very important to note that there are discretelocations that spurs can appear in the DDS output spec-trum.These spur locations are located at integer multi-ples of the greatest common divisor between the DDSclock frequency and the desired output frequency,or:(4)where:
spur
= frequency spacing of spurs due to harmonicremapping
 F 
Clk
= DDS clock frequency
 F 
Out
= fundamental DDS output frequency
 gcd
= greatest common divisor function.There is a unique case where no spurs will appear inthe output spectrum.This occurs when the clock frequen-cy is an integer multiple of the output frequency.Whenthe clock is an integer multiple of the output,the result of Equation 4 (the spur spacing) is equal to the output fre-quency.Therefore,the output spectrum will contain onlyharmonics of the output frequency.The amplitude of the spurs can not be accurately pre-dicted due to the unique non-linearity’s in the DDS out-put DACs,but it follows that the higher order harmonicswill have a lower amplitude relative to the lower orderharmonics.
Simulation
 A simulation was run in MatLab using a DDS clockfrequency of 378 MHz and a desired output of 92.25 MHz.Given this,it can be calculated that spurs could appear at2.25 MHz intervals from the desired output frequency of 92.25 MHz.The simulation shown below is ignoring allspurs that fall outside of 92.25 MHz ±25 MHz.Also,theharmonics were calculated out to the 100th harmonic.The remapped frequencies that fall within ±25 MHz of 92.25 MHz are listed in Table 1.Figure 2 shows anapproximation of the DDS output spectrum.The ampli-tudes are only approximations that are based on theorder of the harmonic to which it is related.
Measurements
The AD9959 evaluation board was used in this test.The clock for the DDS was provided by a signal generatorwith the output set to 378 MHz at 0 dBm.The DDS out-put spectrum was captured on an Agilent E4440A spec-trum analyzer,see Figure 3.The span of the analyzer wasset to 50 MHz so that it equals the span seen in Figure 2.
spur Clk Out
 F
=
( )
gcd,
 F F floorZone F 
remap Harm Clk
= ⎛ ⎝ ⎞ ⎠ ⎟ 
2
 F Zone F
remap Clk Harm
=
2
Algorithm for Predicting Output Spurs
1.Create a list of “N”harmonic frequencies of the desired DDS output fre-quency,
Out
:,where n is an integer ranging from 1 to
 N 
.2.For each harmonic frequency,calculate the Nyquist Zone into which itfalls:3.If the harmonic lies in an
odd
Nyquist Zone (i.e.,Zone 1,3,5,7 ...) thencalculate the remapped harmonic frequency as follows:
OR,
if the harmonic lies in an
 even
Nyquist Zone (i.e.,Zone 2,4,6,8 ...)then calculate the remapped harmonic frequency as follows:
 F Zone F
remap Clk Harm
=
2
 F F floorZone F 
remap Harm Clk
= ⎛ ⎝ ⎞ ⎠ ⎟ 
2
 Zone ceil F 
 Harm Nyquist
=⎛ ⎝ ⎞ ⎠ ⎟ 
 F n
 Harm Out
=
Figure 1 · Harmonic remapping algorithm.Figure 2 · Simulated results for 99.25 MHz spectrum.
 
22
High Frequency Electronics
High Frequency Design
MINIMIZING DDS SPURS
There are five major spurs (spurs above –90 dBm) visibleon both sides of the carrier.Table 2 lists the spurs har-monic relationship to the carrier as well as approximateamplitude.
Choosing Best Clock for Multiple OutputFrequencies
The previous method is sufficient as long as thedesigner is constrained to using a given clock and outputfrequency.However,the designer is often faced with amore difficult problem of having to choose a clock thatminimizes spurious levels over several output frequen-cies,or channels.The choice of LO frequency and filteringbandwidth must also be taken into account.A moredetailed algorithm is required to identify the best possibleDDS clock frequency.The “best”DDS clock frequency is one that producesthe minimum amount of spurs on all desired output fre-quencies.The first step is for the designer to choose anappropriate DDS chip and identify the required outputfrequencies.After this is done,the maximum and mini-mum DDS clock frequencies may be identified.The maxi-mum allowable DDS clock frequency is dictated by theDDS manufacturers data sheet,and the minimum DDSclock frequency should be greater than twice the highestdesired output frequency.A good rule of thumb is keep thehighest desired output frequency equal to at most 40% of the clock frequency,or:(5)Now that the minimum and maximum DDS clock fre-quencies are defined,the designer can now begin the pro-cess of choosing the best clock for their application.Obviously,there are an infinite number of possible clockfrequencies within the DDS clock limits,but the designercan quickly reduce the possible clock frequencies by per-forming a simple algorithm.
 F 
ClkMIN Out
040.
Delta Frequency (MHz)Harmonic #
24.755422.57322.59520.253218915.755013.57713.59111.2536–956.75464.5814.5872.2540012.25424.5834.5856.75449311.253813.57913.58915.754818720.253422.57522.59324.7552
Table 1 · List of spurious frequencies due to harmonicremapping, from the MatLab simulation.Figure 3 · 92.25 MHz spectrum analyzer measurement.
FrequencyAmplitudeSourceOffset (MHz)(dBm)Harmonic #
22.58773rd & 95th18869th13.58977th & 91st9825th4.58681st & 87th4.58683rd & 85th9753rd13.58579th & 89th18877th22.58975th & 93rd
Table 2 · Measured spectrum results.

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