A Small Size 100MHz to 13.4GHz Fractional-N RF Synthesizer for RF ATE Based on 13-band VCOs and 48-bit ΔΣ Modulator

Hidenori SAKAI
Yoshinori KOGAMI

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Electronics   Vol.E96-C    No.10    pp.1227-1235
Publication Date: 2013/10/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1353
DOI: 10.1587/transele.E96.C.1227
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on Emerging Technologies and Applications for Microwave and Millimeter-Wave Systems)
RF test,  ATE,  VCO,  SIP,  ΔΣ modulator,  IIR filter,  

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This paper describes a small size broadband fractional-N RF synthesizer for an RF test module with a high throughput and multiple resources installed in RF Automated Test Equipment (ATE) systems. The core device is the PLL-LSI composed of the 13-band asymmetrical tournament form voltage-controlled oscillators (VCOs) and the proposed 48-bit ΔΣ modulator with the infinite impulse response (IIR) filter. The single-loop PLL RF synthesizer is constructed in the form of systems in package (SiP) including the PLL-LSI and the active loop filter. The RF synthesizer SiP features a small size of 20mm × 20mm × 3mm, a high frequency resolution of smaller than 50µHz, and a phase noise of better than -110dBc/Hz at offset frequency of 1MHz across a frequency range of 100MHz to 13.4GHz. In addition, a frequency settling time of 150 µs that is faster than our conventional dual-loop PLL synthesizers using the discrete VCOs or the YIG-tuned oscillators (YTOs) is achieved. The synthesizer SiP significantly contributes to the realization of small size, high throughput RF test modules for RF ATEs.