ABSTRACT Dynamic access of unused spectrum via a cognitive radio asks for flexible radio circuits that can work at an arbitrary radio frequency. This article reviews techniques to realize radios without resorting to frequency selective dedicated filters. In particular, a recently proposed polyphase multipath technique canceling harmonics and sidebands is discussed. Using this technique, a wideband and flexible power upconverter with a clean output spectrum has been realized on a CMOS chip, aiming at flexible radio transmitter application. Prototype chips can transmit at an arbitrary frequency between DC and 2.4 GHz. Unwanted harmonics and sidebands are more than 40 dB lower than the desired signal up to the 17th harmonic of the transmit frequency.