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Phase noise and jitter are different ways of quantifying the same phenomenon. In the ideal world, the duration of a perfectly pulsed signal at a certain frequency level – 1 MHz, for instance – would be exactly 1 μs, with an alternating edge every 500 ns. Such a signal, unfortunately, does not exist. As shown in Figure 1, there are bound to be variations in the length of the period, which causes uncertainty about when the next edge of the signal will occur. This uncertainty is phase noise or jitter.