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Frequency synthesizers were not widely used until the 1970s and 1980s but, over time, they have become an important part of radio-frequency equipment and development. Today, they’re used in numerous devices and electronic equipment including televisions, mobile phones, GPS navigation systems, and cable TV converter boxes. They are also manufactured by a number of different companies including Wide Band Systems.


Kinds of Frequency Synthesizers

Frequency synthesizers can be categorized according to their architecture. Direct frequency synthesizers are implemented through the creation of a waveform without the use of frequency transforming elements. Indirect frequency synthesizers, on the other hand, use an oscillator (which is controlled by other signals) to generate the final output.

These can be further divided into analog or digital synthesis. Direct analog synthesis uses mixers, multipliers, dividers, RF switches, and fixed-tuned filters, which is why it’s nicknamed the “mix-filter-divide” architecture. The downside of this method is that it produces high amounts of spurious signals, which requires many levels of filtering and increases the overall cost. Indirect analog synthesis, on the other hand, adds a mixer to a phase locked loop to place an offset that’s equal to the frequency created by the reference oscillator.

Direct digital synthesis or DDS is the most widely used technique nowadays. It stores a version of the required waveform then creates the desired signal frequency through phase-advanced increments. This process promotes better output control, frequency agility, and phase noise, making it a better option than phase locked loop systems. Indirect digital synthesis, meanwhile, is based on a phase locked loop, and it adds a digital divider into the system to change the output signal’s frequency.


Switching Speed and Accuracy

Aside from architecture, another thing to consider when choosing frequency synthesizers is their switching speed and accuracy. Switching speed refers to the amount of time between the moment the request for the next frequency is made and the moment the correct frequency output is accurately created. Generally, fast-switching frequency synthesizers are preferred especially in commercial and military applications.

Fortunately, many companies now offer fast-switching synthesizing equipment, and one of the best manufacturers is Wide Band Systems. Their fast-switching synthesizers have a typical switching speed of 3μsec and frequency accuracies to 1Hz. They can be calibrated from 0.5 GHz to 18 GHz or any frequency in between this range, allowing clients to have a frequency synthesizing system that best suits their needs. The equipment can be used in commercial and military systems and utilized in a wide range of applications, such as signal jammers and simulators, unmanned aerial vehicles, and automated test equipment.


Wide Band Systems

Wide Band Systems has fast-switching synthesizers that are also used in electronic warfare (EW). Their frequency coverage, fast switching speed and precise frequency accuracy makes them an ideal choice in EW systems since they can detect a wide range of threat emitters. With maximum spurious signals of -60dBc and maximum harmonics of -26dBc, they can provide clean signals and keep up with the demands of sophisticated systems.


The best thing about synthesizers from Wide Band Systems is that they can be configured to your exact specifications. If you already have a set of requirements in mind, or even if you’re still in the process of determining what will work best for your application, contact us here at Peninsula Technical Sales. With our technical knowledge in frequency synthesis, plus our expertise in Wide Band Systems’ products, we can help you choose the best possible configurations for your fast-switching synthesizer.




Peninsula Technical Sales represents electronic equipment manufacturers and is proud to offer our services online and to the following cities and their surrounding areas: San Francisco, Santa Clara, San Jose, Fremont, Sacramento, Milpitas, and Santa Rosa.