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Frequency Sweep

Frequency Sweep er en teknik inden for elektronik til evaluering og karakterisering af et kredsløbs respons over et spektrum af forskellige frekvenser.
16. August 2023
3 minutes reading


Frequency Sweep, also known as Frequency Response Analysis, is a technique in electronics used to evaluate and characterize a circuit’s response across a spectrum of different frequencies. This involves applying a varying frequency signal to a circuit and recording its response to identify frequency-dependent properties such as bandwidth, resonance frequencies, phase shift, and damping.

The purpose of a Frequency Sweep

Frequency Sweep is a crucial technique in electronic design, troubleshooting, and circuit characterization. By performing this, engineers and electronics enthusiasts can achieve the following:

  1. Circuit Characterization
    Frequency Sweep allows the analysis and characterization of a circuit’s response at different frequencies. It helps identify bandwidths, resonance frequencies, and frequency-dependent amplifications or attenuations crucial for the correct functionality and performance of a circuit.
  2. Design Optimization
    Performing Frequency Sweep can optimize the design of electronic circuits for specific frequency ranges or applications. It enables adjusting component values, filtering methods, and amplifier parameters to achieve desired frequency responses and minimize undesired signal impact.
  3. Troubleshooting and Diagnosis
    Frequency Sweep is useful for troubleshooting and diagnosing circuits by identifying frequency-dependent issues. It can reveal resonances, unwanted harmonic components, or unstable frequency ranges that could disrupt or distort the signal. However, note that a frequency sweep has its limitations – read more about that here.


To perform a Frequency Sweep, functional signal generators, oscilloscopes, or frequency response analyzers can be used. By generating a sinusoidal wave signal with varying frequencies and analyzing the resulting response, a frequency response plot can be obtained, showing the circuit’s reaction over the chosen frequency spectrum.

A sweep is usually performed on linear time-invariant circuits without applying any approximations in circuit behavior; nonlinear circuits can be explored using other advanced analyses (see below). Passive components are already defined in SPICE simulations, but you can also evaluate circuits with integrated circuits using verified component models in your simulator. The results from such an analysis can be utilized in the following ways:

  1. Construct a transfer function.
    This is the most common application of a sweep. The transfer function is equal to the output voltage divided by the input voltage at each frequency. The magnitude and phase of the transfer function are plotted in their respective graphs.
  2. Extract the circuit’s input impedance.
    Simply divide the input voltage spectrum by the current entering the corresponding circuit to obtain the input impedance spectrum.
  3. Identify the circuit’s bandwidth.
    When the magnitude of the input admittance is plotted on a logarithmic scale, you can extract the circuit’s bandwidth. The bandwidth is typically defined as the frequencies where the admittance falls by 3 dB below the maximum admittance.
Frequency Sweep


Frequency Sweep offers several advantages, making it a valuable technique in electronic design and analysis:

  1. Precise Characterization
    Frequency Sweep provides accurate characterization of a circuit’s frequency response across a wide frequency range. This offers deeper insights into circuit properties and enables precise optimization.
  2. Design Optimization
    By employing Frequency Sweep, circuit design can be optimized to achieve the desired frequency response. This ensures proper functionality and performance in different frequency ranges or applications.
  3. Effective Troubleshooting
    Frequency Sweep assists in rapidly identifying and diagnosing frequency-dependent issues in a circuit. This saves time and resources in the troubleshooting process.

Frequency Sweep is an invaluable technique in electronic design and analysis, unlocking the doors to a world of frequency-dependent properties. By engaging in this advanced dance with frequencies, we can achieve precise characterization of circuit response and fine-tune design to achieve optimal performance in various frequency ranges. Simultaneously, Frequency Sweep helps us identify and diagnose frequency-dependent issues, saving time and resources in the troubleshooting process.

When investigating how your circuits respond to different frequencies, integrate the best PCB design and analysis tools along with front-end design features with the powerful PSpice Simulator. You can easily perform sweep tests and simulate circuit behavior. Once your layout is created, a range of SI/PI analyses can be used to generate post-layout simulation results for comparison with your pre-layout simulations.

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