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Our NLTL App Note states:

The phase noise of a non-linear transmission line is outstanding. If verification of performance is necessary, the application circuit used and input conditions are extremely important. NLTLs are AM sensitive. If there is excessive AM noise on the input of the NLTL, observing the output of the NLTL will show excessive PM/phase noise because of the high AM to PM conversion property of NLTLs.

So how do you drive the NLTL to minimize this AM noise?

 

 

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In our understanding, AM-PM conversion occurs as nonlinear devices saturate. This is why limiters in particular are not a good idea in low phase noise paths, and is also why amplifiers tend to have a bit of a sweet spot just above P1dB. However, this is a really deep question that will involve lots of experimentation over the coming years.
For now the safe advice is to design the chain to aim the input power at right about the compression point of each nonlinear device and try not to add too much extra nonlinear stuff if you don’t need it. It’s basically the balance of “Power good” and “AM-PM conversion bad”.

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