Frequency Synthesizer - Use As A Frequency Modulator

Use As A Frequency Modulator

Many PLL frequency synthesizers can also generate frequency modulation (FM). The modulating signal is added to the output of the loop filter, directly varying the frequency of the VCO and the synthesizer output. The modulation will also appear at the phase comparator output, reduced in amplitude by any frequency division. Any spectral components in the modulating signal too low to be blocked by the loop filter end up back at the VCO input with opposite polarity to the modulating signal, thus canceling them out. (The loop effectively sees these components as VCO noise to be tracked out.) Modulation components above the loop filter cutoff frequency cannot return to the VCO input so they remain in the VCO output.

This scheme therefore cannot directly handle low frequency (or DC) modulating signals but this is not a problem in the many AC-coupled video and audio FM transmitters that use this method. Such signals may also be placed on a subcarrier above the cutoff frequency of the PLL loop filter.

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