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Published February 1998 | Discussion
Journal Article Open

A general theory of phase noise in electrical oscillators


A general model is introduced which is capable of making accurate, quantitative predictions about the phase noise of different types of electrical oscillators by acknowledging the true periodically time-varying nature of all oscillators. This new approach also elucidates several previously unknown design criteria for reducing close-in phase noise by identifying the mechanisms by which intrinsic device noise and external noise sources contribute to the total phase noise. In particular, it explains the details of how 1/f noise in a device upconverts into close-in phase noise and identifies methods to suppress this upconversion. The theory also naturally accommodates cyclostationary noise sources, leading to additional important design insights. The model reduces to previously available phase noise models as special cases. Excellent agreement among theory, simulations, and measurements is observed.

Additional Information

© Copyright 1998 IEEE. Reprinted with permission. Manuscript received December 17, 1996; revised July 9, 1997. The authors would like to thank T. Ahrens, R. Betancourt, R. Farjad-Rad, M. Heshami, S. Mohan, H. Rategh, H. Samavati, D. Shaeffer, A. Shahani, K. Yu, and M. Zargari of Stanford University and Prof. B. Razavi of UCLA for helpful discussions. The authors would also like to thank M. Zargari, R. Betancourt, B. Amruturand, J. Leung, J. Shott, and Stanford Nanofabrication Facility for providing several test chips. They are also grateful to Rockwell Semiconductor for providing access to their phase noise measurement system. Correction. IEEE J Solid-State Circuits 33(6):928 June 1998. Discussion. IEEE J Solid-State Circuits 42(10):2314-2315 Oct 2007. Discussion. IEEE J Solid-State Circuits 43(9):2170 Sept 2008.

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