Introduction

This was a team project which aimed to evaluate the possibility and performance of a RF signal generator built with off-the-shelf components. This project has both the hardware the software. The hardware part includes a frequency synthesizer, filter array, modulation circuit, power controller and micro-controller. The software part includes micro-controller code, CPLD code and a control interface on PC. The accomplished prototype has an output frequency ranging from 150 kHz to 3 GHz with 0.1 Hz step. The phase noise of the 2.2 GHz carrier frequency is -84 dBc/Hz at 1 KHz offset and -93 dBc/Hz at 10 KHz offset. The output amplitude can be controlled from -130 dBm to 20 dBm with 0.1 dB step.

Hardware

Tools used to design the hardware

  • Agilent ADS: For the design of microstrip filters
  • Cadence Capture / OrCAD: For the design of PCB schematic and layout

Fig. 1. System block diagram
Fig. 1. System block diagram

Fig. 2. Photo of the prototype
Fig. 2. Photo of the prototype

Software

Micro-controller

  • Device: Atmel Atmega88PA
  • IDE: AVR Studio
  • Language: C

CPLD

  • Device: XILINX XC995144XL
  • IDE: XILINX ISE Design Suite
  • Language: Verilog

PC

  • IDE: Microsoft Visual Studio
  • Language: C#

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