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Definition of a Mixer Diode Mixers: Single-ended, Balanced FET Mixers: Gate driven, Dual gate, Resistive

Definition of a Mixer
A mixer is a three terminal device which makes frequency conversion. The terminals are named as RF, LO, and IF. RF and LO are the input terminals. A mixer can be used for upconversion or down-conversion.

Unwanted spectrum can be rejected using a band pass filter following the mixer.

Conversion Loss/Gain
An important mixer parameter is the conversion loss for passive mixers, or the conversion gain for active mixers. By definition, conversion loss (or gain) is the ratio of IF power delivered to a 50 load, to the RF input power.

Conversion loss usually is in the range of -5 dB to -15 dB, while conversion gain can be several dBs.

Isolation of Ports
Mixer ports must be well isolated. Otherwise, the strong LO signal can leak the RF port and radiate through the antenna. LO signal can also leak to IF port and desensitize the entire receiver chain. All ports must be well matched.

LO-RF Leakage

LO-IF Leakage

Diodes at RF/Microwave Frequencies

Maximum Cut-Off Frequency

Cj0 is the junction capacitance of an unbiased diode. Its typical value is 0.005 pF. Rs is a few ohms. So the cut-off frequency is very high, in the range of a few hundred GHz.

Some Math About Frequency Conversion

Some Math About Frequency Conversion

Some Math About Frequency Conversion

I(V), kk iaret yaklam altnda bir diyottan geen akmdr. v terimi 2. derece dorusal olmayan davran temsil eder ve frekans evriminden sorumludur.

I(V), under small-signal approximation, is the diode current. The term v represents the 2. order non-linear behavior and is responsible for the frequency conversion.

Single-Ended Diode Mixer

LO Power LO Sweep Range RF Power RF Sweep Range IF

+10 dBm 1.4 GHz - 1.5 GHz -10 dBm 1.8 GHz - 1.9 GHz 400 MHz

Balanced Diode Mixer

RF IF LO LO signal is split by 180 deg. hybrid. RF signal is split with equal phases. LO+RF and LO(180 deg.) + RF appear at the output port. Opposite phases cancel out.

LO Power LO Sweep RF Power RF Sweep IF

+10 dBm 1.4 - 1.5 GHz -10 dBm 1.8 - 1.9 GHz 400 MHz

FET Mixers
Gate Driven Dual Gate Resistive

Gate Driven FET Mixer

LO IF RF LO -10dBm RF -30dBm Conv. Gain 2dB

Gate Driven FET Mixer

Dual-Gate FET Mixer

A dual-gate FET is an n-channel depletion type FET (commonly a GaAs MESFET). These FETs have a series arrangement of two separate channels, with each channels having independent gate control. The circuit symbol for the nchannel depletion type dual-gate MESFET is shown (a), with the simplified symbol in (b).

Dual-Gate FET Mixer

In mixer/modulator applications, the LO is applied to Gate 1, and the output taken from the drain (common-source configuration). The baseband signal is applied to Gate 2 to modulate the LO signal. For downconversion applications, RF and LO signals are applied at gates 1 and 2, respectively. The IF output is transformer coupled for impedance matching and isolation.

Dual-Gate FET Mixer Example 1

Dual-Gate FET Mixer 900 MHz, Example 2

Passive (Resistive) FET Mixer

RF LO IF LO Power = 2 dBm Conv. Loss = -3.4 dBm

Comparison of FET Mixers