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This is a rigorous mathematical theory of the operation of the flying-adder (FA) frequency synthesizer (also called direct digital period synthesizer). The paper consists of two parts: Part I presents a detailed mathematical model of the FA synthesizer, capturing the relationships between the properties of the FA's output and internal signals and the FA's parameters. The counting of the rising edges in the FA's multiplexer's output establishes a discrete-time index that is used to analytically derive the fundamental discrete-time periods of all FA's signals. The continuous-time intervals between the rising edges are calculated and used to derive the fundamental continuous-time periods of the signals from the corresponding discrete-time ones. It is shown that the FA behaves differently within different ranges of the frequency word, and the practically useful range is identified. The FA's output average frequency, along with its maximum and minimum values, is analytically derived by calculating the number of cycles in the output signal within a fundamental continuous-time period of it. The relationship between the average and the fundamental output frequencies is also established, indicating the potential frequencies and density of output spurious frequency components. Part II of the paper characterizes the timing structure of the output signal, providing analytical expressions of the pulses' locations, analytical strict bounds of the timing irregularities, and exact analytical expressions of several standard jitter metrics. Spectral properties of the output waveform are presented, including the dominance of the frequency component at the average frequency, and analytical expressions of the dc value and average power of the output signal are derived. The FA has been implemented in a Xilinx Spartan-3E field-programmable gate array, and spectral measurements are presented, confirming the theoretical results. Extensive MATLAB simulation has also been used to gener- - ate numerous examples illustrating the developed theory.