High frequency designers have used S – parameters for a long time when the circuit or device is being characterized in the linear domain. However, once the device or circuit goes beyond the strictly linear domain and enters large signal or nonlinear operating modes a new set of parameters need to be used. A new paradigm is being used now called X parameter analysis, synthesis, measurement and modeling. The Wikipedia description of X parameters is :

**“X-parameters** represent a new category of nonlinear network parameters for high-frequency design and were developed and introduced by Agilent Technologies as functionality included in N5242A Nonlinear Vector Network Analyzer and the W2200 Advanced Design System in 2008. (Nonlinear vector network analyzers are sometimes called large signal network analyzers.)

X-parameters are applicable to both large signal and small signal conditions, for linear and nonlinear components. They are a mathematical superset of s – parameters meaning that, in the limit of a small signal, Agilent’s X-parameters reduce to S-parameters.

They help overcome a key challenge in RF Engineering, namely that nonlinear impedance differences, harmonic mixing and nonlinear reflection effects occur when components are cascaded under large signal operating conditions. This means that there is a nonlinear and as such non-trivial relationship between the properties of the individual cascaded components and the composite properties of the resulting cascade. This situation is unlike that at DC, where one can simply add the values of resistors connected in series. X-parameters help solve this cascading problem: If the X-parameters of a set of components are measured individually, the X-parameters (and hence the non-linear transfer function) can be calculated of any cascade made from them. Calculations based on X-parameters are usually performed within a harmonic balance* simulator environment.”

X parameters are a useful tool to not only analyze but also to characterize circuits, devices, IC packages or other multiport networks. It is a good tool to learn and know when one works with RF circuits.

* See a tutorial paper on Harmonic Balance Simulation in this blog.

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**The input interface.**

The frequency divider has a differential analog interface. The following parameters apply:

The minimum frequency that can be input is 500 Mhz and the maximum frequency is 6.0 Ghz.

The RF input level is 5 dBm to – 5 dBm. For lower frequencies make sure that the slew rate is

greater than 560 V/us. The input is biased by two 500 Ohm resistors connected to a 1.6V DC bias.

Therefore AC coupling is used at the input. These are two 100pF capacitors.

**The output interface.**

The output is single ended. The output driver is capable of sourcing and sinking 24 mA. The

equivalent output impedance is 50 Ohm. To avoid reflections it is recommended that the divider

work into a 50 Ohm load.

**General operation.**

The inputs are applied to the input SMA I/O. The product will work with both a differential input as

well as a single ended input. However, a differential input works best. The division ratio is applied

to the N1 and N2 control inputs as follows:

N2 N1 Division ratio

0 0 8

0 1 16

1 0 32

1 1 64

The logic levels are:

Logic level Voltage

1 1.4V minimum

0 0.6V maximum

The supply voltage interface.

The operating supply voltage is 3.3V typical. The quiescent (DC) operating supply current is 2 mA.

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**RF Switch typical features**

Supply voltage = Vcc = 0/+5 Vdc

Operatng temperature = TA = -50° C to 125 Deg C

Operating impedance = 50 Ohm

Input power for 1 dB

compression ( 5.0V system) = 37 dBm ( f = 0.5 to 3 Ghz)

Input third order Intercept = 64 dBm ( 0 to 5.0V system, f = 0.5 to 3 Ghz)

Operating frequency range = DC to 3 Ghz.

Insertion loss DC to 3 Ghz = 0.8 dB

Isolation DC to 3 Ghz = 14 dB minimum

Return loss DC to 3 Ghz = 20 dB

50% contl to 10/90 %

( ON/OFF) = 120 ns

Summary Specifications

Gain, Operating: 19.5 dB

Operating frequency range: 1.0 – 2700 Mhz

OIP3: (Pout = 19.0 dBm), -8.5 dBm

P1dB: 4.6 dBm

N.F: 4.2 dB

Supply voltage Operating: 3.3 – 5.5 Volts

Price: single unit $7.50, 100 units : $5:50.

Free delivery, shipping lead time 2 days.

30 day return policy, buyer ships.

Supply current Supply = 5.0V, 23.0 mA