In electronics, a frequency multiplier is an electronic circuit that generates an output signal whose output frequency is a harmonic (multiple) of its input frequency. Frequency multipliers consist of a nonlinear circuit that distorts the input signal and consequently generates harmonics of the input signal. A subsequent bandpass filter selects the desired harmonic frequency and removes the unwanted fundamental and other harmonics from the output.
Frequency multipliers are often used in frequency synthesizers and communications circuits. It can be more economical to develop a lower frequency signal with lower power and less expensive devices, and then use a frequency multiplier chain to generate an output frequency in the microwave or millimeter wave range. Some modulation schemes, such as frequency modulation, survive the nonlinear distortion without ill effect (but schemes such as amplitude modulation do not).
Frequency multiplication is also used in nonlinear optics. The nonlinear distortion in crystals can be used to generate harmonics of laser light.
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