USB-controlled PLL synthesizers span 25 MHz to 27 GHz

January 10, 2017 // By Graham Prophet
Pasternack (Irvine, California) has added a range of USB-controlled phase locked loop (PLL) frequency synthesizers in compact coaxial packages, suited for use as frequency sources for test and measurement applications

In RF & Microwave communications systems where signal integrity is of prime importance, PLL synthesizers offer high levels of frequency stability and accuracy with exceptional phase noise characteristics that allows components in the signal chain to perform at their optimum levels. These PLL synthesizers are aimed at applications involving signal generators, benchtop test and measurement, electronic warfare, and microwave radios.


Six models of PLL frequency synthesizers cover a broad range of frequency bands from 25 MHz to 27 GHz. The compact and rugged SMA-connectorized designs have a USB 2.0 interface to a PC that supplies DC power and control via a GUI. Models offer high output power levels that range from +10 dBm to +19 dBm typical, and output attenuation is adjustable up to 50 dB in 1 dB steps. Phase locked speed is 1 msec typical and phase noise is as low as -108 dBc/Hz at 100 MHz offset.


Additional features include a 50 MHz internal frequency source and optional external reference with supplied cable. Frequency resolution can be adjusted using either Integer (default) or fractional modes with resolution to a step size down to 1 MHz. Modules support functional LED indicators that confirm a USB connection, phase locking and unlocking, and RF power disable.