Product Details

Phase Noise Analyzers


Phase Noise Analyzer:-About, Application, Manufactures, and Selection:

A phase Noise Analyzer (PNA) is used to measure the phase noise of the signal. Phase noise of an RF component like oscillator can define as the noise arising from the short term, rapid, random phase fluctuations caused by time domain instabilities of the device. This fluctuation is also called phase jitter and it courses the generation of the noise spectrum, spreading out on both sides of a signal.

  • Phase noise Analyzer is a measurement instrument that uses internal and external references signal to measure both residual (additive) and absolute noise which is very low and close-to-the-carrier in the signal.

In Radio communication systems, even though phase noise spreads out equally on both sides of the carrier, it will measure only for one side, hence phase noise is referred to as single side-band phase noise.

To learn more about RF and Microwave systems and Components, we recommend you check the following bestseller articles.

To understand the Phase noise Analyzer in-depth, we recommend you to check the following instruments and components associated with it during the measurements.

In this Phase noise Analyzer article, we will cover,

  • Fundamentals of Phase noise Analyzer?
  • Importance, Application and Types of Phase noise Analyzer?
  • Do specifications need to consider for the Phase noise Analyzer?
  • RF and Microwave Phase noise Analyzer Manufactures.

Design and Application

Difference Between Phase Noise Analyzer and Noise Figure Analyzer:

Phase Noise Analyzer is used to measure the noise in the sidebands of the signal which is generated due to short term, rapid, random phase fluctuation in the signal i.e. phase jitter.

Noise Figure Analyzer is used to measure the internally generated noise level of the device under test (DUT). Noise measurement involves applying a known noise at the input of the DUT and measuring the noise power at the output of the DUT and then calculating the ratio of the noise power at the input and output, to get the noise figure of the DUT.

What is the difference between the phase noise and jitter of a signal?

Both Phase noise of a signal and Jitter of the signal indicates the timing instability of a signal. Phase noise is the signal instability expressed in the frequency domain, and Jitter is the term expressed in the time domain.

Measurement of Phase Noise:

Phase noise in a signal can be measured using a dedicated phase noise analyzer, which can measure the phase noise in the range of -140 dBc @ 1 Hz Offset, -170 dBc @ 10 kHz Offset. Phase noise analyzers use dedicated external or internal references to measure the low-level phase noise (residual and absolute) which is close-to-the-carrier.

An alternative to a PNA is the measurement of phase noise using a spectrum analyzer which will have phase noise measurement features. Phase noise of the device under test (DUT) can measure in a spectrum analyzer only if the noise level is greater than the noise level of the spectrum analyzer's local oscillator. Spectrum analyzer based measurement can read the phase-noise in the range of about -100 dBc at 1 Hz offset.

  • Measurement using a spectrum analyzer will be a cost-effective solution that can provide clues on the source of phase noise in a device under test (DUT), however, if you need to know the exact value of phase noise, it is ideal to use dedicated phase noise analyzer with high stable internal or external local oscillator for the measurements.

Types of Phase Noise Analyzers:

RF and Microwave Phase Noise Analyzers are basically available as a Bench-top stand-alone unit, or PXI based Rack-mountable unit.

Bench-top Phase Noise Analyzer:

Bench-top Phase Noise Analyzer are generally AC power operated and will have the internal display and front panel keypads for the phase noise measurements. It is ideal for the analysis in the lab environment of R&D, and manufacturing of RF and microwave components like oscillators. The bench-top unit will have internal heat dissipation and accurate measurement capabilities, however, measurement capabilities, like frequency range or the phase noise amplitude cannot be extended in future.

Rack-mountable Phase Noise Analyzers:

Rack-Mountable Phase Noise Analyzers are available with PXI based cards. It will have higher measurement features and will have the features to expand the measurement ranges like frequency coverage, Noise figure level etc. These units are mostly working on remote interface and monitoring.

Application and Importance of Accurate Phase noise Analyzers:

Phase noise arising from the rapid, short term, random phase will cause the degradation of the spectral purity of the oscillator. This will affect the communication systems' performance and cause random rotations, amplitude variation of received signals, spectral regrowth, channel interference etc. In a system, phase noise will increase by +6 dB for every doubling of the signal frequency and decreases by -6 dB for every division of the signal frequency.

Phase noise causes the degraded performance of data transmissions:  If the phase noise performance for any local oscillators is not good, it will lead to the reduction of the signal margin and result in increasing the bit error rates in the data transmission.

Phase Noise caused to adjacent channel interference:  In a transmission system if the phase noise is not kept below certain limits, the signal phase noise will spread out both sides of the signal and it will fall into nearby channels and will be causing interference to other nearby channel users.

To overcome the above issues in the communication systems, it is ideal to identify the phase noise of the source using a Phase noise analyzer during the R&D and manufacturing stage itself. Identification of the phase noise at an early stage helps to reduce it by proper design.  

Basics & Selection Feature

Main specifications need to consider in the selection of Phase Noise Analyzer: 

While selecting a phase noise analysis, three prime elements need to consider is Frequency of operation, Phase noise amplitude in respective frequency offset and Measurement Bandwidth.

Input Frequency of PNA:

The input frequency of the phase noise analyzer indicates the range of frequency over which it can perform the measurement on the DUT. In the case of PXI based phase noise analyzers, it can be extended such as up to 1.8 GHz, 26.5 GHz, up to 140 GHz etc. Need to select as per the DUT operating range.

Phase Noise Amplitude of Phase Noise Analyzer

Phase Noise Amplitude of the PNA is expressed in dB relative to the carrier, denoted as dBc (decibels down from the carrier). Higher the Phase Noise Amplitude range, the better the measurement requirements. It should be a minimum of 10 dB more than the expected maximum phase noise of the DUT.

The offset from the carrier of PNA: 

The level of Phase Noise Amplitude measurement for each offset from the carrier needs to verify on the base of the expected phase noise offset of the DUT.

Example -140 dBc @ 1 kHz, 10 kHz, etc.

Measurement bandwidth of Phase Noise Analyzer

The noise power of the signal is proportional to its bandwidth. Typically measurement bandwidth of Phase Noise Analyzer is taken as 1 Hz bandwidth.

Accuracy of Phase noise analyzer:

Accuracy of the PNA is referred to as the correctness of the measurements with respect to the reading obtained. Example 1 Hz – 1 MHz : +/- 2 dB. Higher accuracy over the entire operating range of the DUT is better for the application.

Connectors of Phase noise Analyzers:

RF Connectors, external reference oscillators connectors and other electrical connectors used in the phase noise analyzer need to check to match the DUT connectors.


Phase noise of a signal is the representation of fluctuations in the phase of a waveform in the frequency domain. For example, digital communication-system engineers are concerned with the jitter of a clock signal, whereas radio-frequency engineers are concerned with the phase noise of an oscillator used in the system. A phase Noise analyzer is an ideal instrument used to identify the phase noise of the DUT and helps to correct it during the design stage.

  • In the manufacturer section, we listed the high-end phase-noise analyzer manufacturers registered on the RFMWC website. You can check the details of the products through the respective link and choose the right product on the basis of the selection specifications mentioned above.

If you have any specific phase noise test requirements or need to know any specific additional features of PNA, please feel free to reach out to us, we will help you to reach to respective phase noise analyzer manufacturers nearby your region to meet your test requirements.

Please feel free to contact us over the contact us page on the website, If you would like to add features of phase noise analyzer, measurement technology's, specific products details, or the manufacture details to this article.

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