Microwave integrated RF synthesiser ranges to 16 GHz

January 19, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
STMicroelectronics claims the highest-frequency and widest-range microwave integrated wideband RF synthesiser with its StuW81300, that covers the RF frequency range from 1.925 GHz up to 16 GHz on a single IC.

Implemented in ST’s integrated BiCMOS SiGe technology, the STuW81300 enables versatile RF architectures at greater economy (BOM reduction) than traditional microwave solutions based on III-V technologies with low integration capabilities.

The STuW81300 is based on a fractional-N phase-locked-loop (PLL) core with low-noise wideband voltage-controlled oscillators (VCOs) and voltage regulators. It has a broad range of programmable hardware options to accommodate the needs of most current and future RF/Microwave applications, including radio links, satellite communications, base stations, and test and measurement equipment.

The use of microwave frequency bands (beyond 6 GHz) is steadily increasing to support an ever-expanding number of applications, demanding a new class of radio equipment with an improved cost profile to enable new markets. Integrating discrete GaAs (gallium arsenide) architectures, says ST, into a single-chip wideband SiGe device meets that need.

Features include;

Frequency range from 1.925 GHz to 16 GHz (split over two RF outputs)

+6 dBm@6 GHz and +4 dBm@12 GHz power at the internally broadband matched RF outputs

Fundamental VCO rejection at doubler output higher than 20 dB

Normalised in-band phase-noise floor of -227 dBc/Hz

VCO phase noise (6.0 GHz): -131 dBc/Hz @ 1 MHz offset

Noise floor (6.0 GHz): -158 dBc/Hz

Phase noise (12.0 GHz): -125 dBc/Hz @ 1 MHz offset

Noise floor (12.0GHz): -154 dBc/Hz

Typical RMS jitter of 0.13 psec

An evolution of ST’s STW81200 and STW8110x family, the synthesiser permits the same board design to support multiple bands and RF standards. For example, in satellite applications the STuW81300 can be directly used as a local oscillator for mod/demod of Ku band signals or Ka band with an additional on-board frequency doubler. In other applications, STuW81300 can also fully drive external VCOs (e.g. in GaAs).

ST adds that the STuW81300 is unique in its ability to be powered from a single unregulated supply, for instance 5V or 3.6V, with power consumption and performance tuning, which allows its application range to extend from