A configurable laboratory set-up is presented for the empirical investigation on the non-linear noise properties of microwave electron devices. The system forces the device to oscillate under highly-controllable operating conditions, and acquires information on both the low-frequency noise up-conversion and broad-band noise modulation within the device in terms of phase-noise around the oscillation large-signal carrier. The operation can be configured by varying both the frequency and amplitude of the oscillation, and the low-frequency impedance at the device input port. The data acquired through the proposed set-up are very useful for the characterization of non-linear noise models of the electron devices, the validation of low phase-noise oscillator design guidelines, and the comparison in terms of phase-noise performance among devices from different process technologies.
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