I'm currently working on a design where I use a multiplier chip with differential inputs and output. Now, in my application all external connections are single-ended, and some app notes (e.g. the one for the ADL5391 chip) talk about using baluns for single-ended to differential conversion (and vice versa). The data sheet for the AD834 also mentions using a balun as an option, albeit only on the output side.
Now, being all new to RF design (and EE not being my trade), I have a couple of questions:
What are the principal advantages of using a balun for this conversion instead of going the simple way of just tying one side to ground? (I have some vague ideas here, but a good reference for the basics would be very much appreciated.)
How relevant are these for my application in the low hundreds of megahertz?
Which side of the balun is to be preferred for the impedance matching/AC coupling stuff? The example circuits in the above data sheets differ in this respect.
Sorry for the broadness of the question, but I'm still struggling to wrap my head around the issues involved.