We are experiencing an explosive growth in demand for bandwidth that pushes the carrier frequencies to multiple decades of gigahertz. At these extremely high frequencies, consumers can enjoy wider bandwidths without the fear of overcrowding the spectrum. However, as the frequencies increase, the instrumentation solutions targeting these devices and frequencies can become extremely complex. This stems from the need for an order of magnitude better performance in instrumentation solutions to prevent impairing the device under test.
In this article, we will review several methods for low phase noise signal generation. We will demonstrate the advantages and disadvantages of these methods and introduce the translation loop device, which takes the best of all frequency generation methods without their complexity to enable ultralow phase noise signal generation.