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Understanding Phase Noise Needs and Choices in Signal Generation


The phase noise performance of an RF or microwave signal generator is often a key factor in determining how well it fits an application. Getting the best possible phase noise performance depends on a variety of factors: internal architecture, type of oscillator, internal and external frequency references and the effects of additional built-in capabilities. The most common phase noise architectures are single-loop and double-loop and these will be explored in this paper. 

This paper first discusses the fundamentals of phase noise before moving on to a closer look at architectural choices and the effects of various functionality alternatives. Within the X-Series, the MXG provides optional features and capabilities that let you optimize it for precise testing of high-performance designs. In addition, this paper will describe an overview of Keysight signal generators and the built-in capabilities they offer to enhance or selectively degrade phase noise performance. 


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