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PLL synthesizer cuts costs in FMCW radars

Posted: 08 Jan 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:PLL synthesizer? radar system? FMCW?

Analog Devices Inc. has released a new PLL synthesizer that enables flexible and cost-effective implementation of frequency modulated continuous wave (FMCW) radar systems.

FMCW radar systems are used widely in automotive, aerospace, military, industrial and communications applications to remotely measure the relative distance and speed of external objects. FMCW radar systems can deliver detection and ranging at much lower power levels compared to traditional pulsed radar approaches thereby offering a significant cost advantage.

FMCW radar systems require high radio performance and current approaches that rely on the linearity of the voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO) pose a number of design challenges due to their complexity, inflexibility, and high cost. The latest addition to ADI's family of PLL synthesizers, the ADF4158, is a 6.1GHz feature-rich and programmable device that can easily be configured to suit individual FMCW radar system designers' needs. Implementation of an FMCW radar system using the ADF4158 produces a highly linear ramp profile that is completely independent of VCO linearity, thereby improving radar resolution and reducing cost and complexity associated with system calibration. The ADF4158 is based on dependable BiCMOS process technology to enable affordable implementations at one-third the cost of competitive devices.

Additional features of the AF4158 include 25bit modulus, which allows sub-hertz frequency resolution. The synthesizer also packs frequency and phase modulation capability and generates saw-tooth and triangular waveforms in the frequency domain. The device generates parabolic ramp, ramp with frequency-shift keying (FSK) superimposed, and ramp with two different sweep rates. It also offers ramp delay, ramp frequency readback and ramp interruption. Operating at 2.7V to 3.3V power supply, the AF4158's separate VP allows extended tuning voltage.

The ADF4158 PLL synthesizer is available now in a 4mm x 4mm 24 lead LFCSP package and is priced at $4.88 per unit in 1,000 quantities and $4.14 per unit in 10,000 quantities. It is supported by ADI's popular ADIsimPLL, a free downloadable design tool that enables the rapid and reliable evaluation of new high performance PLL products from ADI by performing simulations of all key performance variables. The ADF4158 is well suited for use together with ADI's portfolio of high performance automotive signal processing and conditioning products including the ADSP-BF531 Blackfin processor, and the high performance AD7357 14bit 4.2 MSPS ADC.

- Paul Buckley
Analog Designline Europe

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