White Paper

Phase Coherent Multi-Channel RF Synthesis

Source: Holzworth Instrumentation

By Jason Breitbarth and Joe Koebel, Holzworth Instrumentation

Multi-channel synthesis applications require specific performance parameters that are often overlooked with the design of single channel synthesizer systems. Performance specifications for multi-channel synthesis applications typically require channel to channel, short and long term phase coherence that is not possible with phase-locking an N-number of single channel synthesizers together. This configuration only creates a long term phase-lock ‘average' between the outputs. Each individual synthesizer also contributes to the short term stability of this system, which is problematic with traditional phase locked synthesizers.

Holzworth Instrumentation has taken a new design approach to the multi-channel synthesis system. The unique architecture of Holzworth's single channel series of synthesizers actually provides optimal performance in a multi-channel synthesis environment due to the elimination of the PLL. These non-PLL synthesizers provide superior channel to channel short and long term phase stability and phase coherency. The compact size, relative low cost and high performance of a single channel has enabled Holzworth to provide four and eight channel synthesizer modules with independently tunable channels that consume only 1U of space in a 19 inch rack.

Reprinted with permission of MICROWAVE JOURNAL® from the May 12, 2009 issue, ©2009 Horizon House Publications, Inc.

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White Paper: Phase Coherent Multi-Channel RF Synthesis