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28.06.2013 17:11 
Oscillator and synthesizer developments in Russia
The research and production company Micran was founded in 1991 in Tomsk (western Siberia). Today Micran is a large enterprise employing more than 1100 people that develop and manufacture complex RF/microwave equipment for the test and measurement and related markets.

 Micran’s products include vector and scalar network analyzers, spectrum analyzers, noise figure analyzers and signal sources up to 60 GHz. New developments and research activities are carried out in close cooperation with Tomsk State University of Control Systems and Radioelectronics. Recent developments include a 3 to 8 GHz YIG-based synthesizer for embedded applications. The synthesizer utilizes a high-frequency sampler that provides frequency conversion within a PLL feedback to ensure low phase noise and low spurious characteristics. A DDS is used as a PLL reference for small frequency steps. The synthesizer provides less than 1 Hz frequency resolution, phase noise of –130 dBc/Hz at 10 kHz from the 4 GHz carrier and fast frequency settling of 500 µs. These high performance characteristics are in a compact 250 × 112 × 45 mm module that includes multiple interfaces. The module also incorporates a built-in YIG preselector driver that can be conveniently used in spectrum analyzer instruments.

Another interesting Micran design is its compact, dual-output microwave synthesizer. It consists of two independent channels that utilize ceramic coaxial resonator oscillators (CRO) running at 1 and 3.5 GHz, respectively. Both CROs are locked to an external reference supplied via an MCX connector. A frequency offset PLL architecture is utilized in both synthesizers to minimize noise. The phase noise at 100 kHz offset is about –140 and –128 dBc/Hz at 1 and 3.5 GHz, respectively. This module can be used in various double-conversion receiver schemes where two independent low-noise LO signals are required.

Micran also develops various oscillator products based on LC, quartz, SAW, YIG and sapphire resonators. They manufacture a 4 GHz ultra low-noise dielectric resonator oscillator (DRO). The design utilizes a high-Q dielectric resonator (Q < 8000) as well as a silicon bipolar transistor with low flicker noise. The resonator is placed into a relatively large metal chamber (the distance from the chamber walls is 3 to 5 times greater than the dielectric puck radius). This allows achieving remarkable phase noise performance that is close to –140 dBc/Hz at 10 kHz offset from 4 GHz carrier.


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