A method and system is described wherein a signal with a lower frequency is up-converted to a higher frequency. In one embodiment, the higher frequency signal is used as a stable frequency and phase reference. In another embodiment, the invention is used as a transmitter. The up-conversion is accomplished by controlling a switch with an oscillating signal, the frequency of the oscillating signal being selected as a sub-harmonic of the desired output frequency. When the invention is being used as a frequency or phase reference, the oscillating signal is not modulated, and controls a switch that is connected to a bias signal. When the invention is being used in the frequency modulation (FM) or phase modulation (PM) implementations, the oscillating signal is modulated by an information signal before it causes the switch to gate the bias signal. In the amplitude modulation implementation (AM), the oscillating signal is not modulated, but rather causes the switch to gate a reference signal that is substantially equal to or proportional to the information signal. In the FM and PM implementations, the signal that is output from the switch is modulated substantially the same as the modulated oscillating signal. In the AM implementation, the signal that is output from the switch has an amplitude that is a function of the information signal. In both embodiments, the output of the switch is filtered, and the desired harmonic is output.