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Title:Phase noise and spur reduction in an array of direct digital synthesizers
Author(s):Comberiate, Thomas M.
Advisor(s):Franke, Steven J.
Department / Program:Electrical & Computer Eng
Discipline:Electrical & Computer Engr
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:M.S.
Genre:Thesis
Subject(s):direct digital synthesis (DDS)
direct digital synthesizer
array
phase noise
spurs
phase truncation
quantization noise
nonlinear
Nonlinearity
digital-to-analog converter (DAC)
sine look-up table
Abstract:Many applications, including communications, test and measurement, and radar, require the generation of signals with a high degree of spectral purity. One method for producing tunable, low-noise source signals is to combine the outputs of multiple direct digital synthesizers (DDSs) arranged in a parallel configuration. In such an approach, if all noise is uncorrelated across channels, the noise will decrease relative to the combined signal power, resulting in a reduction of sideband noise and an increase in SNR. However, in any real array, the broadband noise and spurious components will be correlated to some degree, limiting the gains achieved by parallelization. This thesis examines the potential performance benefits that may arise from using an array of DDSs, with a focus on several types of common DDS errors, including phase noise, phase truncation spurs, quantization noise spurs, and quantizer nonlinearity spurs. Measurements to determine the level of correlation among DDS channels were made on a custom 14-channel DDS testbed. The investigation of the phase noise of a DDS array indicates that the contribution to the phase noise from the DACs can be decreased to a desired level by using a large enough number of channels. In such a system, the phase noise qualities of the source clock and the system cost and complexity will be the main limitations on the phase noise of the DDS array. The study of phase truncation spurs suggests that, at least in our system, the phase truncation spurs are uncorrelated, contrary to the theoretical prediction. We believe this decorrelation is due to the existence of an unidentified mechanism in our DDS array that is unaccounted for in our current operational DDS model. This mechanism, likely due to some timing element in the FPGA, causes some randomness in the relative phases of the truncation spurs from channel to channel each time the DDS array is powered up. This randomness decorrelates the phase truncation spurs, opening the potential for SFDR gain from using a DDS array. The analysis of the correlation of quantization noise spurs in an array of DDSs shows that the total quantization noise power of each DDS channel is uncorrelated for nearly all values of DAC output bits. This suggests that a near N gain in SQNR is possible for an N-channel array of DDSs. This gain will be most apparent for low-bit DACs in which quantization noise is notably higher than the thermal noise contribution. Lastly, the measurements of the correlation of quantizer nonlinearity spurs demonstrate that the second and third harmonics are highly correlated across channels for all frequencies tested. This means that there is no benefit to using an array of DDSs for the problems of in-band quantizer nonlinearities. As a result, alternate methods of harmonic spur management must be employed.
Issue Date:2010-05-19
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/16173
Rights Information:Copyright 2010 Thomas M. Comberiate
Date Available in IDEALS:2010-05-19
Date Deposited:May 2010


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