What is a cheap way to generate a square wave with a frequency of 120MHz. I've been thinking of the following solutions:

  • Use a Raspberry Pi, then use a timer or something from that board
  • Use an oscillator (will the signal be a square wave or sinusoidal?)
  • Use an oscillator + PLL
  • Use an FPGA/CPLD

I like the oscillator (e.g. http://at.farnell.com/saronix/s1903c-120-00-e/quarzoszillator-smd-120-000000mhz/dp/1210018) approach very much, but I couldn't find out if the output signal will be a square wave or sinusoidal.

I need the signal to feed it into a SerDes part and then do some tests with that part.

Any ideas?

Maybe I should add that the device will not be directly placed near the IC, therefore the signal should have some "power" on its output line.


2 Answers 2


Just add a Schmitt trigger to get a square wave from a sine.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ explaining more will be great =) \$\endgroup\$
    – xsari3x
    Dec 18, 2012 at 14:53

Alright, just checked what parts we have in stock and I could find a 24MHz Oscillator and a configurable frequency multiplier. The result ist not really a square wave but it should be ok.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ If you want a better square wave, multiply the 24 MHz by 10 and then divide by 2. Dividing by 2 produces a good square wave with equal high and low duration. \$\endgroup\$
    – Uwe
    Apr 2, 2017 at 8:18

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