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New strategies for low noise, agile PLL frequency synthesis

Wang, H.; (2009) New strategies for low noise, agile PLL frequency synthesis. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Phase-Locked Loop based frequency synthesis is an essential technique employed in wireless communication systems for local oscillator generation. The ultimate goal in any design of frequency synthesisers is to generate precise and stable output frequencies with fast switching and minimal spurious and phase noise. The conflict between high resolution and fast switching leads to two separate integer synthesisers to satisfy critical system requirements. This thesis concerns a new sigma-delta fractional-N synthesiser design which is able to be directly modulated at high data rates while simultaneously achieving good noise performance. Measured results from a prototype indicate that fast switching, low noise and spurious free spectra are achieved for most covered frequencies. The phase noise of the unmodulated synthesiser was measured −113 dBc/Hz at 100 kHz offset from the carrier. The intermodulation effect in synthesisers is capable of producing a family of spurious components of identical form to fractional spurs caused in quantisation process. This effect directly introduces high spurs on some channels of the synthesiser output. Numerical and analytic results describing this effect are presented and amplitude and distribution of the resulting fractional spurs are predicted and validated against simulated and measured results. Finally an experimental arrangement, based on a phase compensation technique, is presented demonstrating significant suppression of intermodulation-borne spurs. A new technique, pre-distortion noise shaping, is proposed to dramatically reduce the impact of fractional spurs in fractional-N synthesisers. The key innovation is the introduction in the bitstream generation process of carefully-chosen set of components at identical offset frequencies and amplitudes and in anti-phase with the principal fractional spurs. These signals are used to modify the Σ-Δ noise shaping, so that fractional spurs are effectively cancelled. This approach can be highly effective in improving spectral purity and reduction of spurious components caused by the Σ-Δ modulator, quantisation noise, intermodulation effects and any other circuit factors. The spur cancellation is achieved in the digital part of the synthesiser without introducing additional circuitry. This technique has been convincingly demonstrated by simulated and experimental results.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: New strategies for low noise, agile PLL frequency synthesis
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Electronic and Electrical Eng
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/15830
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