Spurious vs Harmonics

This page describes difference between Harmonics and Spurious frequencies with respect to RF system.

Both are unwanted frequencies generated in addition to desired output frequency in RF transceiver or any frequency translation systems involving mixers.

spurious vs harmonics


As shown in figure, in frequency domain view, spurious frequencies are present at non integer multiple of the input frequency.

RF Spur Formula,RF Spurious formula,equation

Refer RF harmonics calculator which mentions formula or equation used to describe spurious and harmonics frequencies from the input frequencies.


As shown in figure, in frequency domain view, harmonic frequencies are present at integer multiple of the input frequency. Harmonics are also spurious frequencies occuring at integer multiples of input frequency.

Both of these spurious and harmonics should be measured in dBc and their level should be down by at least 40-50dBc for proper funtioning of the RF system.

Refer RF harmonic distortion measurement for more information.

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