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Difference between RF Frequency Multiplier vs RF Frequency Divider

This page covers difference between RF Frequency Multiplier and RF Frequency Divider. Both of these RF devices are widely used in RF frequency synthesizer design as well as in RF circuit designs.

The typical applications of these devices are satellite systems, fiber optic, VSAT, PMP radio systems and more.

RF frequency multiplier multiplies the input RF frequency while RF frequency divider divides the input RF frequency. RF frequency multiplier degrades phase noise while frequency divider improves the phase noise.

The phase noise at the output of multiplier or divider depends on the factor 20*Log(N),
where N is the factor of multiplication or division. Hence for the factor of 2, phase noise gets degraded or improved by 6dB based on multiplier or divider respectively.

RF Frequency Multiplier

Following table mentions technical specifications to be considered for the RF frequency multiplier. These are basic specifications to be considered before selecting the device. Following are the typical values for the passive frequency doubler device part no HMC188MS8 from Hittite corporation. The phase noise is also another useful parameter to be considered.


Frequency multiplier specifications Value
Input frequency range 1.25 to 3 GHz
Output frequency range 2.5 to 6 GHz
Conversion Loss(dB) 15
Isolation(1Fo/4Fo) in dB 45/45
Input drive(dBm) 10 to 20

RF Frequency Divider

Following table mentions typical specifications to be considered for RF frequency divider. The dividers are available which can divide by 2, divide by 4, divide by 8 and so on. Following are the specifications of hittite device part no HMC361.

Frequency Divider specifications Value
Input frequency range DC to 11 GHz
Input power -15 to +10 dBm
Output power 3dBm
SSB phase noise at 100KHz -148 dBc/Hz
Supply voltage +5V at 83mA

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