(Phase-Locked Loop) An electronic circuit that compares an input frequency and phase to a reference signal. It then generates a voltage proportional to the difference between the input and the reference. PLLs are used in myriad digital and mixed mode (analog and digital) applications as regulators, demodulators, synchronizers and frequency multipliers and dividers. For example, in a superheterodyne FM radio, a PLL is used to lock the local oscillator to an accurate frequency reference such as a crystal or ceramic resonator. It can also be used to demodulate the FM audio and stereo subcarrier signals from the intermediate frequency (IF) stage. See heterodyning.