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Chenakin Rejoins the Team


Alexander Chenakin, a maven in frequency synthesizer design, has rejoined our engineering team. Chenakin is serving as vice president of advanced technologies, where he will oversee the design of frequency synthesizers, oscillators, and other signal generators.

Over the last decade, Chenakin has gained a reputation as a “synthesizer guru” in the wireless industry. In 2009, he developed a new phase-refining technology that enables frequency synthesizers to have fast switching speeds without compromising coverage, resolution, and spectral purity.

The breakthrough came from building synthesizers with voltage-controlled oscillators, which were smaller and cheaper than earlier devices based on yttrium-iron-garnet, or YIG. The new approach was used in the QuickSyn line of frequency synthesizers, which Chenakin introduced while serving as vice president of signal sources at Phase Matrix.

The design was significant because it squeezed the fast switching speed of YIG components into smaller, more efficient devices. For YIG components, the biggest drawbacks were always the low tuning speed and low efficiency. But for years, it was the only choice for high-performance frequency synthesizers.

“Why can’t we have both spectral purity and fast switching speed?” he said in a 2011 interview with Microwaves & RF magazine. “Does this break any fundamental laws of physics? Should a solution be necessarily super-complex and expensive?”

In 2009, Chenakin received an ARMMS best contribution award from the RF & Microwave Society for his synthesizer research. In 2010, he published an authoritative book called “Frequency Synthesizers: From Concept to Product.” He is also a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

For Chenakin, the new position is his second with Micro Lambda Wireless. He worked for the company before joining Phase Matrix, which was acquired by National Instrument in 2011. For the last two years, he has served as director of research and development at test equipment maker Anritsu.


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