Startup creates 250 kHz to 15 GHz Arduino-compatible RF signal generator

May 14, 2017 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
ERA Instruments, a startup based in Istanbul, is utilizing state-of-the-art PLL/VCO technology to create ERASynth, an RF Signal generator with low phase noise and impressive output frequency range.

High bandwidth RF signal generators that cover frequencies over 6 GHz are expensive pieces of test equipment that are usually the domain of large corporations and research labs. An open source, crowd-funded project —now available on Crowd Supply— aims to shatter the cost barriers and make multi-GHz RF signal synthesis accessible to everyone.

ERASynth —unlike many competitors— does not rely on a single fractional PLL, instead it uses a multi-loop PLL architecture to provide continuous frequency coverage from 250 kHz to 15 GHz in 1 Hz steps. Single loop fractional PLLs with integrated VCOs are great for generating RF signals with fine frequency resolution, but they are plagued by elevated phase noise floors and excessive spurious artifacts.

Detailed PCB diagram.