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Generation of FM

What is Modulation?
Varying one or more properties of a periodic waveform called carrier signal with modulating
signal which carries some information
What is FM?
Frequency Modulation is the process of varying the frequency of the
carrier signal linearly with the instantaneous amplitude of message
Message signal, fm Carrier signal, fc Frequency Modulated Signal

 The frequency of the modulated wave remains constant as the carrier wave frequency when the
message signal is at zero. The frequency increases when the message signal reaches its maximum

 Thus, with increase in amplitude of modulating or message signal, the carrier frequency increases.
And with the decrease in the amplitude of the modulating signal, the frequency also decreases. (fc-Δf)

 fc is also known as the rest frequency or centre frequency.

Consider m(t)=Vm cos(2π fm t)

The instantaneous frequency of the resulting FM wave

fi(t) =fc+ kf Vmcos(2π fm t);

kf is known as frequency sensitivity or frequency deviation constant

= fc+Δf cos(2π fm t);

where Δf = kf Vm is called as frequency deviation
θ (t) =2π ʃ fi(t) dt [ω= 𝑑𝑡 ]

=2πʃ (fc+Δf cos (2π fm t)) dt

θ (t) =2π fc t + 𝑓 sin(2π fm t) = 2πfc t + β sin(2π fm t)
where β= 𝒇𝒎
is modulation index of the FM wave; vFM = A cos [2πfct + β sin(2πfmt)]
Mathematical Representation of FM

The simplest approach to generating FM signals is to apply the message signal directly to a voltage-controlled oscillator

A voltage message signal, m(t), is applied to the control voltage of the VCO, and the output signal, xFM (t), is a constant
amplitude sinusoidal carrier wave, whose frequency is ideally a linear function of its control voltage.

When there is no message or the message signal is zero, the carrier wave is at its centre frequency(rest frequency), fc.

When a message signal exists, the instantaneous frequency of the output signal varies above and below the centre frequency and
is expressed by:
fi(t)=fc+ kVCO m(t) ;
KVCO is the voltage-to-frequency gain of the VCO in Hz/V,
KVCO*m(t), is the instantaneous frequency deviation.

The instantaneous phase of the output signal is equal to 2π multiplied by the integral of the instantaneous frequency as shown
θi(t)=2π fct + 2πkVCO ∫ m(t)dt ,
where initial phase is assumed to be zero for simplicity.
Hence, the FM output signal,xFM(t), is given as:
xFM(t)= Acos [2πfct + 2πkVCO ∫ m(t)dt
The amplitude of an FM signal is constant regardless of the message signal, giving it a constant envelope
property with an output power equal to A2cinto a 1 Ω resistor.

The frequency-modulated output, xFM(t), has a nonlinear dependence to the message signal, m(t), making it
difficult to analyse the properties of an FM signal.

 To estimate the bandwidth of an FM signal, a single tone message signal is used as shown below
m(t)=Am cos2π fmt, where Am is amplitude of the message signal and fm is the frequency of the message signal.
xFM(t)=A cos[2πfct+2πkVCO ∫Am cos 2πfmt, dt]

= A cos[2πfct + sin2π fmt]
=A cos[2πfct + 𝑓 sin2π fmt] Δ or δ can be used

The quantity ∆f= Am KVCO represents the peak frequency deviation of the FM signal from the center
frequency and is directly proportional to the amplitude of the message signal and the gain of the VCO.
 This quantity, ∆f , is called the maximum instantaneous frequency deviation and 2Δf is carrier swing.

 The ratio of the frequency deviation, ∆f , to the message signal frequency, fm, is called the modulation index, β. So : β=𝒇

 For a single tone message signal, the number of significant sidebands in the output spectrum is a function of the
modulation index. This can be seen by first writing the FM output signal in terms of nth order Bessel functions of the first
kind .
xFM(t)= Ac ∑Jn(β) cos2π((fc+nfm)t)

 xFM(t) =A{Jo(mf) cos ωt + J1(mf) [cos (ωc+ ωm)t+ cos (ωc- ωm)t]+J2(mf) [sin (ωc+ 2ωm)t+ sin (ωc-2ωm)t]
+J3(mf)[sin(ωc+ 3ωm)t- sin (ωc- 3ωm)t]+J4(mf) [sin (ωc+ 4ωm)t+ sin (ωc- 4ωm)t]...}

 By taking the Fourier transform, we see a discrete FM output spectrum with magnitude coefficients as a function of β as
shown in the equation below.
xFM(t)= Ac ∑Jn(β)[δ(f-fc-nfm)+ δ(f+fc+nfm)]

 The number of sidebands of an FM signal and its associated magnitude coefficient can be found with the help of Bessel
function tables.
 Importance of modulation index, β or mf, is that it determines the bandwidth of the signal by determining
the number of effective sidebands of an FM signal.
 β or mf, is the measure of radian shift of unmodulated FM signal compared to phase of unmodulated
if β=0.25, only one sideband is needed; while if β=5, eight sidebands are required
 When β<<1 radian then it is called as narrowband FM consisting essentially of a carrier, an upper side-
frequency component, and a lower side-frequency component.
 When β>>1 radian then it is called as wideband FM which contains a carrier and an infinite number of
side-frequency components located symmetrically around the carrier
 A very important aspect of modulation index is it can change a lot even for a fixed frequency deviation
because the message signal frequency(fm) can vary. In general, as the modulation index increases, the
number of sidebands increases and the bandwidth goes up.
 However, the increase in modulation index due to decreasing message frequency (β = ∆ f/fm) may not
necessarily increase the FM bandwidth. The bandwidth is equal to the number of discrete spectral tones
multiplied by the frequency spacing set by the message signal frequency fm.
 The spectrum consists of a carrier component at fc plus sideband components at fc + nfm (n = 1,2,...
 The number of sideband terms depends on the modulation index
 The magnitude of the carrier signal decreases rapidly as m increases.
 The amplitudes of the spectral lines depend on the value of Jn(m).
 The bandwidth of the modulated signal with a sinusoidal modulating signal increases as m increases, and the
bandwidth of the modulated signal is larger than 2Δf
 Unlike AM, where there are only three frequencies (the carrier and the first two sidebands), FM has an infinite
number of sidebands, as well as the carrier. They are separated from the carrier by fm, 2fm, 3fm, . . . , and thus
have a recurrence frequency of fm‘
 The J coefficients eventually decrease in value as n increases, but not in any simple manner. The value fluctuates
on either side of zero, gradually diminishing. Since each J coefficient represents the amplitude of a particular pair
of sidebands, these also eventually decrease, but only past a certain value of n. The modulation index determines
how many sideband components have significant amplitudes.
 The sidebands at equal distances from Ie have equal amplitudes, so that the sideband distribution is symmetrical
about the carrier frequency. The J coefficients occasionally have negative values, signifying a 1800 phase change
for that particular pair of sidebands.
 As mf increases, so does the value of a particular J coefficient. Since mf is inversely proportional to the
modulating frequency, the relative amplitude of distant sidebands increases when the modulation frequency
is lowered for a given deviation (i.e., the modulating voltage remains constant)
 In AM, with increased ‘m’, the sideband power and thus the total transmitted power increases. In FM, the
total transmitted power always remains constant, but with increased mf, the required bandwidth is increased
as more distant side bands acquire significant amplitudes.
 The theoretical bandwidth required in FM is infinite. In practice, the bandwidth used is one that allow for all
significant amplitudes of sideband components. This really means ensuring that, with maximum deviation by
the highest modulating frequency amplitude, no significant sideband components are left

 In FM, unlike in AM, the amplitude of the carrier component does not remain constant. Its J coefficient is
Jo, which is a function of mf. This further explains, how the overall amplitude of an FM wave remains constant
despite the increase of sideband amplitudes with increasing mf

 The carrier component of the FM wave may disappear completely for certain values of the modulation index,
called eigenvalues. The transmission efficiency is 100% for these values.

 In angle modulation, the spectral components of the modulated signal are not related in a simple fashion to
the spectrum of the modulating signal. Superposition does not apply and the bandwidth of the modulated
signal is usually much greater than the modulating signal bandwidth.
So FM is a non-linear modulation.
FM can be divided into Narrowband FM and Wideband FM depending on value of modulation Index
Narrowband FM: (i)This frequency modulation has a small bandwidth.
(ii)The modulation index is small.(< 1 𝑜𝑟 𝜋/2)
(iii)Its spectrum consists of carrier, USB, and LSB.( similar to AM)
This is used in mobile communications such as police wireless, ambulances, taxicabs, etc.
Modulating signal frequency range for NBFM=30Hz to 3 kHz

Wideband FM: (i)This frequency modulation has infinite bandwidth.

(ii)The modulation index is large, i.e., higher than 1or π/2
(iii)Its spectrum consists of a carrier and infinite number of sidebands, which are
located around it.
This is used in entertainment broadcasting applications such as FM radio, TV, etcbut occupies 15 times BW
of NBFM.
Bandwidth Requirements for FM
Schwartz developed a graph for determining BW of an FM signal if modulation index was known. It
was proposed that any frequency component with a signal strength (voltage) less than 1% of
unmodulated carrier will not be considered and the bandwidth of an FM signal can be approximated
with Carson’s rule:
BW= 2(Δf+fm) =2(δ+fm)
mf or β=∆𝒇/𝒇𝒎; ∆𝒇=βfm = mffm
BW=2(βfm +fm)
BW =2fm(1+β)= 2fm(1+mf)
For NBFM: mf or β≪1
BW =2fm
For WBFM: mf or β≫ 𝟏
BW =2fmβ= 2fmmf
 The deviation used for FM is different between different applications.

 Broadcast stations in the VHF portion of the frequency spectrum between 88.5 and 108 MHz use large values
of deviation, typically ±75 kHz (WBFM) using 200 kHz Bandwidth( Guard band of 25kHz on either side).
Thus, these signals are capable of supporting high quality transmissions, but occupy a large amount of

 For commercial two way radio communications less bandwidth is used (NBFM). It often uses deviation
figures of around ±5 kHz for modulating frequency of 3kHz. As quality is not as important for radio
communications applications, the much narrower bandwidth has advantages in terms of radio spectrum

 For sound portion of commercial T.V Broadcast, deviation is ±25 kHz for modulating frequency of 15kHz.
Direct Method
Generation of FM
Indirect Method
Direct Method or Parameter Variation Method: The baseband or modulating signal directly modulates the
carrier, which is generated with the help of oscillator circuit.

If carrier frequency has to vary in accordance with modulating signal x(t) if ‘L’ or’ C’ is varied in accordance to
(i) Thus VCO, Voltage Controlled Oscillator is used, whose frequency is varied according to
modulating signal using a shunt voltage variable capacitor (varactor diode).
Advantages of Direct Method: Simplicity of the modulator circuit and Low cost

Disadvantages :This type of modulator is not stable enough. It is a function of various parameters such as
temperature, device ageing etc. If crystal oscillator used, problem of stability solved but deviation obtained is less.
Varactor Method for FM Generation
 Capacitance is varied in the varactor by
varying the reverse bias which controls the
thickness of the depletion region, the change
in capacitance is linear with the change in the
applied voltage.
 The voltage across the diode determines the
frequency of the oscillations (rest
frequency). Positive inputs increase the
reverse bias, decrease the diode capacitance
and thus increase the oscillation frequency.
Similarly, negative inputs decrease the
oscillation frequency.
 Crystal oscillator means that the output
waveform is very stable, but this is only the
case if the frequency deviations are kept
very small
fc = Hz ;fc is centre frequency for oscillator
With a modulating signal applied, the frequency is
f= ;f is new frequency of oscillation

;ΔC is change in varactor diode capacitance due to modulating signal.

Δf = fc-f ; Δf is peak frequency deviation

The direct methods cannot be used for the broadcast applications as larger frequency deviations are not
possible with this method.
Used for AFC and remote tuning
In direct method of FM generation:
 As the carrier generation is directly affected by the modulating signal, it is not easy to get high order stability in carrier
 The non linear characteristics of varactor diode produce a distorted FM signal due to harmonics in the modulating signal.
Indirect Method
 In this method, a narrowband frequency-modulated signal (NBFM) is first generated using an integrator and a
phase modulator.
 A frequency multiplier is then used to increase the peak frequency deviation from Δf to nΔf to obtain WBFM
 Use of frequency multiplication normally increases the carrier frequency from fc to nfc
 A mixer or double-sideband modulator is required to shift the spectrum down to the desired range for further
frequency multiplication or transmission.
 A crystal oscillator can be used hence the frequency stability is very high.

Narrow fc+Δf Frequency

Integrator Y(t) WBFM
X(t) band PM Multiplier



Phase Modulation technique is preferred. It is simple to obtain

Generation of FM from phase modulator:

 The The modulating signal is passed through a low pass RC filter.(Integrator circuit)
 filter output is then applied to a phase modulator along with carrier.
 Hence, the extra deviation in the carrier fc due to higher modulating frequency, is compensated by reducing
the amplitude of the high frequency modulating signals.
 Hence, the frequency deviation at the output of the phase modulator will be effectively proportional only to the
modulating voltage and we obtain an FM wave at the output of phase modulator.
Implementation of phase modulator:
 The crystal oscillator produces a stable unmodulated carrier which is applied to the “90° phase
 Phase shifted carrier applied to the balanced modulator along with the modulation signal.
 O/P of the balanced modulator is DSBSC signal. This signal consists of only two sidebands with their
resultant in phase with the 90° phase shifted carrier.
Armstrong Method

 The most convenient operating frequency for the crystal oscillator and phase modulator is in the vicinity
of 1 MHz. Since transmitting frequencies are normally much higher than this, frequency multiplication
must be used, and so multipliers used
 The effect of mixing on an PM signal is to change the center frequency only, whereas the effect of
frequency multiplication is to multiply center frequency and deviation equally.
 The Armstrong method uses the phase modulation to generate frequency modulation.
 The crystal oscillator generates the carrier at low frequency typically at 1MHz. This is applied to the combining
network and a 90° phase shifter.
 The modulating signal is passed through an audio equalizer to boost the low modulating frequencies .The
modulating signal is then applied to a balanced modulator.
 The balanced modulator produced two side bands such that their resultant is 90° phase shifted with respect to the
unmodulated carrier.
 The unmodulated carrier and 90° phase shifted sidebands are added in the combining network.
 At the output of the combining network we get NBFM signal with low fc and low value of the modulation index
mf( low deviation) .
 The carrier frequency and the modulation index are then raised by passing the FM wave through the first group of
 The carrier frequency is then shifted using a mixer and then the fc and mf both are raised to required high values
using the second group of multipliers.
 The FM signal with high fc and high mf is then passed through a class C power amplifier to raise the power level of
the FM signal.