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Signal Multiplication

  1. Feb 9, 2008 #1
    In engineering we're always taught block diagrams in communication systems, specifically multiplying two signals...
    How exactly do you multiply 2 seperate signals electronically? What does the circuit diagram look like?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 9, 2008 #2
    You use a mixer. Block diagram of a mixer is a circle with an X inside. How does a inside of a mixer look like is another story.
  4. Feb 9, 2008 #3


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    The simplest type of mixer is just a non-linear element of some sort, usually a diode.
    Nowadays mixer can be quite comlicated but in old-style crystal radios you can even see the diode which in their case consists of a thin wire in contact with a semiconducting crystal, the voltage-current characteristics of the metal-semiconductor interface is non-linear and can therefore be used to down-convert the radio signal back to audio frequencies.
  5. Feb 9, 2008 #4


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    a PWM chopper circuit, with an LPF, can multiply two signals at low frequencies. it's just a sorta variation of looking at the "mixer" or "non-linear element" way of doing it.

    also, there used to be these things we called Analog Computers that had very high quality op-amps in them in blocks for integrators, abs(), exp(), and log(). with a exp() and log() blocks, you can accomplish multiplication of positive voltages ("one quadrant multiply"). to do 2-quadrant multiply, i think there is something called a Gilbert cell that does it and i think they've been put together in a manner to accomplish 4-quadrant multiply (where you don't care about the sign of either voltage getting multiplied).

    check out

    http://www.analog.com/en/subCat/0,2879,770%255F847%255F0%255F%255F0%255F,00.html [Broken]
    http://www.analog.com/en/subCat/0,2879,770%255F848%255F0%255F%255F0%255F,00.html [Broken]
    http://www.analog.com/en/subCat/0,2879,773%255F862%255F0%255F%255F0%255F,00.html [Broken]

    http://www.analog.com/analog_root/static/raq/moreInfo/computation.pdf [Broken]

    you can get some pretty good app note and other information like that from Analog Devices. now they do a few different kick-ass DSPs (with warts) but when i was in college, they were purely analog.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
  6. Feb 10, 2008 #5
    How is a diode used to multiply them? I understand its a nonlinear element but is their an example circuit of how you would implement a diode and use it too multiply two seperate signals?
  7. Feb 10, 2008 #6
    That pdf file was exactly what I wanted to see - thanks.
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