Oscillator, clock and PLL testing

Oscillator, clock and PLL testing

Oscillator output signal characterization

Oscillators are used in both analog and digital designs. They work as clocks for digital designs or local oscillators (LO) to reach the target RF frequency through up- or downconversion.

Oscillators have various different topologies, ranging from crystal synthesizer based PLL designs to DDS techniques. Either way, the output signals have to be characterized and tested to make sure the device or module meets the design specifications for clock accuracy, signal purity and stability.

Rohde & Schwarz provides solutions to test any oscillator using oscilloscopes, spectrum analyzers, phase noise analyzers and VCO testers.

Related applications

Verifying the true jitter performance of clocks in high-speed digital designs

To minimize EMI effects, technologies like PCIe, USB and HDMI™ typically use spread spectrum clocking (SSC), applying a low-frequency FM to the reference clock. Since SSC puts additional stress on the clock, clock jitter also needs to be verified in SSC ON mode.

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Verifying additive phase noise and jitter attenuation of PLLs in high-speed digital designs

Increasing data rates require SerDes PLLs and clock synthesizers with low additive phase noise and high jitter attenuation. Modern designs often follow a two-stage architecture, consisting of a jitter-attenuator and a frequency-synthesizer stage.

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Verifying the clock source

The signal purity of clock sources has a direct impact on system performance. To ensure proper operation, it is necessary to verify that the purity meets the requirements for the analog and digital circuit designs.

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A 1 MHz to 50 GHz Direct Down-Conversion Phase Noise Analyzer with Cross-Correlation

A new phase noise test instrument covers the frequency range from 1 MHz to 50 GHz with direct down-conversion analog I/Q mixers and baseband signal sampling. The traditional PLL has been replaced by a digital FM demodulator for phase detection and frequency tracking.

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Comparison of jitter measurements in the time and frequency domain

When analyzing the robustness of data transmission systems, jitter is a key performance indicator. To achieve great sensitivity and differentiate between fast and slow artifacts with jitter measurements, the use of both time and frequency domain solutions is recommended.

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When you need an ideal clock source

Today's digital designs and data converters with high rates require clean clocks with minimal jitter. Modern digital designs and data converters can only work as well as the applied clock source allows. See how to get the best performance by using a state-of-the-art clock source.

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Related products

R&S®FSWP phase noise analyzer and VCO tester

The R&S®FSWP phase noise analyzer and VCO tester combines extremely low‑noise internal sources and cross‑correlation technology, delivering extremely high sensitivity for phase noise measurements.

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R&S®SMA100B RF and microwave signal generator

The R&S®SMA100B RF and microwave signal generator delivers purest output signals while maintaining the highest output power level. As the world's leading signal generator, it can handle the most demanding component, module and system T&M tasks.

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R&S®RTP oscilloscope

The R&S®RTP high-performance oscilloscope combines high signal integrity with a fast acquisition rate. Customized frontend ASICs and realtime processing hardware enable highly accurate measurements with unprecedented speed in a compact form factor.

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R&S®RTO2000 oscilloscope

Offering bandwidths from 600 MHz to 6 GHz, R&S®RTO2000 oscilloscopes excel at both time domain and frequency domain testing. Their excellent signal fidelity, responsiveness of 1 million waveforms/s and up to 16-bit vertical resolution lets you measure quickly with confidence.

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Related solutions

Passive component testing

Passive components include a large variety of building blocks for RF and digital designs. These range from RF filters and combiners, switches, couplers to cables, connectors and PCB boards.

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Mixer & frequency converter testing

Mixers are a fundamental element in a wide range of applications such as modulators, phase detectors, frequency converters and synthesizers in many RF and microwave systems. They are a standard building block in wireless communications systems and radar systems.

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