A new architecture for a frequency synthesizer with adjustable output frequency range and channel spacing is introduced. It is intended for the generation of closely spaced frequency channels in the GHz range while producing minimal spurious phase noise components. The architecture employs two independent phase-locked loops that are driven in cascade by a single reference oscillator. The approach provides fine resolution and wide bandwidth as well as low phase noise and should find application in many contemporary communication systems. The synthesizer can be operated in either of two different modes: nonfractional and mini-denominator fractional modes. The architecture produces no fractional spurs in the first mode and relatively small phase spurs when operated in the second mode. For example, in an application to a P-GSM 900 system, it is capable of tuning from 890 – 915 MHz with a channel spacing of 200 kHz and shows worst case phase spurs of -100 dBc at an offset frequency of 833 kHz. Because of the low magnitude and location of the worst case spurs, the phase-locked loop filters can be designed with a wide bandwidth which in turn results in a fast settling time. A linear frequency-switching settling time (to 0.01% of frequency increments) of 128 μs is typical in the P-GSM 900 application.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Electrical and Computer Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





cascaded-loop, dual-mode, fractional-N, integer-N, frequency synthesizer