The circuit block diagram shown in Figure 1 is a low phase noise translation loop synthesizer (also known as an offset loop). This circuit translates the lower 100 MHz reference frequency of the ADF4002 phase locked loop (PLL) up to a higher frequency range of 5.0 GHz to 5.4 GHz, as determined by the frequency of the local oscillator (LO).
The translation loop synthesizer has very low phase noise (<50 fs) in contrast to a synthesizer using only a PLL. The low phase noise is because of the very low N value used by the ADF4002 integer-N PLL, which controls the voltage controlled oscillator (VCO). In this example, the ADF4002 phase frequency detector (PFD) runs at 100 MHz, and N = 1, yielding phase noise performance that is not limited by the N value of the PLL.
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