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Recent Advances in Frequency Synthesis


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Frequency synthesizers are universally used in a wide range of applications including clocking, communications, instrumentation, and radar. The most common architecture is the fractional-N frequency synthesizer which uses a nonlinear finite state machine to produce the desired frequency. Both the finite state machine itself and interaction between its output and nonlinearities in the implementation can lead to unwanted spurious periodic output frequency components (spurs) and excess noise. Understanding of the origins of these effects has led to the design of novel mitigation strategies. This talk will explain the underlying issues, explain recent innovations, and highlight open problems.