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AN10945

174 MHz to 230 MHz DVB-T power amplifier with the BLF881
Rev. 01 18 November 2010 Application note

Document information Info Keywords Abstract Content BLF881, DVB-T, VHF, ACPR, LDMOS, power amplifier, linearity, efficiency, gain flatness, peak power This application note describes the design and performance of a 50 W DVB-T power amplifier for the 174 MHz to 230 MHz VHF band using the BLF881 power transistor. In particular, it compares the DVB-T performance for flat gain with best ACPR tuning.

NXP Semiconductors

AN10945
174 MHz to 230 MHz DVB-T power amplifier with the BLF881

Revision history Rev 1 Date 20101118 Description Initial version

Contact information
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174 MHz to 230 MHz DVB-T power amplifier with the BLF881

1. Introduction
The BLF881 is a 50 V high power RF transistor based on NXP Semiconductors high voltage LDMOS process. It is designed for use in the 470 MHz to 860 MHz UHF broadcast band, where it can deliver 140 W (peak sync) for analog TV and 33 W for DVB-T (8K). When using the BLF881 in the VHF band, special attention is needed to achieve a broadband input match due to the high Q (6 at 174 MHz) at these lower input frequencies. With care, an input return loss better than 6 dB can be achieved across the 28 % fractional bandwidth. Another issue at VHF frequencies is that the load pull contours for power, gain and efficiency are all relatively steep and distinct from each other, so the designer has to make significant trade-offs between linearity, efficiency and gain flatness for a broadband output network. In this design, we compare two differently tuned outputs:

Flat gain: where gain flatness is optimized over the band while balancing peak power
at the band top and bottom, but sacrificing efficiency.

Best ACPR: where ACPR and efficiency are optimized over the band, while balancing
efficiency at the band top and bottom, but sacrificing gain flatness.

019aaa401

Output tuned for best ACPR.

Fig 1.
AN10945

The assembled DVB-T BLF881 amplifier


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174 MHz to 230 MHz DVB-T power amplifier with the BLF881

2. Test summary
The amplifier was characterized under the conditions shown in Table 1.
Table 1. RF performance summary Output tuned for Flat gain Frequency range Drain-Source voltage (VDS) Quiescent drain current (IDq) Minimum input return loss Peak DVB-T power Peak pulse power at 202 MHz ACPR at PL = 40 W DVB-T drain efficiency (D) at PL = 40 W Peak pulse efficiency at 202 MHz Minimum gain at PL = 40 W Gain flatness 174 MHz to 230 MHz 50 V 0.5 A 6 dB no CCDF data 53.4 dBm 24 dB to 34 dB 23 % to 29 % 50 % 30.5 dB 1.4 dB Best ACPR 174 MHz to 230 MHz 50 V 0.5 A 6 dB 55.2 dBm to 55.4 dBm 52.4 dBm 30 dB to 32 dB 30 % to 37 % 63 % 28.1 dB 5.9 dB

Characteristic

AN10945

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AN10945
174 MHz to 230 MHz DVB-T power amplifier with the BLF881

3. Design methodology
Initial input tuning was determined with an Agilent Advanced Design System (ADS) using the equivalent input circuit provided for UHF applications. When the amplifier did not tune as predicted by this model, it was found that the equivalent circuit was not accurate at lower frequencies. To more accurately model the device input impedance, ADS was used to measure the input impedance of the non-linear BLF881 model in a large-signal harmonic balance simulation. This modelled impedance data was then used to more accurately model the tuning of the amplifiers input network. The modelled input impedance data is shown in Table 2.
Table 2. Modelled input impedance (Zi) Pi = 10 dBm, ZL = 4 + j0 , VDS = 50 V, IDq = 0.5 A. Frequency 170 MHz 200 MHz 230 MHz Zi 1.2 j7.2 1.2 j6.1 1.2 j5.3

The optimal load impedance was determined by a load pull analysis using ADS. The compromise load points were chosen to favour peak power, followed by efficiency, while ignoring gain flatness. A load impedance of 4 + j0 across the band met these criteria. The tuning of the output was then determined for this 4 load impedance using a linear small-signal analysis. The 56 pF capacitors used to short-circuit the second harmonic were also determined using this analysis. The resulting output network needed only minor tuning to deliver the best ACPR results as shown in this application note. The flat gain tuned output was determined by iterative tuning after examination of the load pull data to see which way the load impedance had to move across the band.

AN10945

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174 MHz to 230 MHz DVB-T power amplifier with the BLF881

4. RF performance
4.1 Best ACPR tuning
35 G (dB) 33
(1) 019aaa402

0 shoulder distance (dB) 10

31

20

29

(2) (3)

30

27

40

25 170

190

210 f (MHz)

50 230

VDS = 50 V; IDq = 0.5 A; DVB-T = 8K (OFDM); ACPR measured within 30 kHz bandwidth at fc = 4.3 MHz. (1) Gain. (2) Lower adjacent. (3) Upper adjacent.

Fig 2.

DVB-T gain and ACPR at PL = 40 W

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AN10945
174 MHz to 230 MHz DVB-T power amplifier with the BLF881

0 shoulder distance (dB) 10

019aaa403 (1) (2) (3)

50 D (%) 40

20

30

30

20

40

(4) (5) (6)

10

50

0 0 20 40 60 PL (W) 80

VDS = 50 V; IDq = 0.5 A; DVB-T = 8K (OFDM); ACPR measured within 30 kHz bandwidth at fc = 4.3 MHz. (1) D = 202 MHz. (2) D = 174 MHz. (3) D = 230 MHz. (4) ACPR = 174 MHz. (5) ACPR = 202 MHz. (6) ACPR = 230 MHz.

Fig 3.

DVB-T ACPR and drain efficiency

35 G (dB) 33
(1)

019aaa404

40 D (dB) 36

(2)

31

32

29

28

27

24

25 170

190

210 f (MHz)

20 230

VDS = 50 V; IDq = 0.5 A; DVB-T = 8K (OFDM). (1) Gain. (2) Drain efficiency.

Fig 4.

DVB-T gain and drain efficiency at PL = 40 W

AN10945

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Application note

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AN10945
174 MHz to 230 MHz DVB-T power amplifier with the BLF881

9 PAR (dB) 8

019aaa405

50 D (%) 40

(1)

(2)

30

6 170

190

210 f (MHz)

20 230

VDS = 50 V; IDq = 0.5 A; DVB-T = 8K (OFDM); PAR at 0.01 % probability on the CCDF. (1) PAR. (2) Drain efficiency.

Fig 5.

DVB-T PAR and drain efficiency at PL = 50 W

34 G (dB) 32
(1)

019aaa406

80 D (%) 60

30

40

28

(2)

20

26 34 38 42 46 50 54 PL (dBm)

VDS = 50 V; IDq = 0.5 A; tp = 12 s. (1) Gain. (2) Drain efficiency.

Fig 6.

Pulse gain and drain efficiency at 202 MHz

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AN10945
174 MHz to 230 MHz DVB-T power amplifier with the BLF881

0 IRL (dB) 4

019aaa407

12

16

20 100

140

180

220

260 300 f (MHz)

VDS = 50 V; IDq = 0.5 A; Pi = 10 dBm.

Fig 7.

Input return loss

4.2 Flat gain tuning


35 G (dB) 33
(1) 019aaa408

40 PAE (%) 36

31

32

29
(2)

28

27

24

25 170

190

210 f (MHz)

20 230

VDS = 50 V; IDq = 0.5 A; DVB-T = 8K (OFDM). (1) Gain. (2) PAE.

Fig 8.

DVB-T gain and power added efficiency at PL = 40 W

AN10945

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Application note

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AN10945
174 MHz to 230 MHz DVB-T power amplifier with the BLF881

0 shoulder distance (dB) 10

019aaa409

50 PAE (%) 40

20

(1)

30

30

(2) (3)

20

40

10

50

0 0 20 40 60 PL (W) 80

VDS = 50 V; IDq = 0.5 A; DVB-T = 8K (OFDM); ACPR measured within 30 kHz bandwidth at fc = 4.3 MHz. (1) Efficiency. (2) Upper adjacent. (3) Lower adjacent.

Fig 9.

DVB-T ACPR and power added efficiency at 202 MHz

32 G (dB)
(1)

019aaa410

60 D (%) 40

30

28
(2)

20

26 34 38 42 46 50 54 PL (dBm)

VDS = 50 V; IDq = 0.5 A; tp = 12 s. (1) Gain. (2) Drain efficiency.

Fig 10. Pulse gain and drain efficiency at 202 MHz

Note that the peak power with flat gain tuning is up to 0.5 dB higher than with best ACPR tuning. Linearity (evident with poorer ACPR and more gain expansion with power) and efficiency are both significantly worse with flat gain tuning. A more suitable approach to

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AN10945
174 MHz to 230 MHz DVB-T power amplifier with the BLF881

achieving flat gain than tuning the output is probably to use a simple gain slope network at the amplifier input. A frequency-selective lossy network could also be used to improve input return loss across the band. The flat gain tuning was achieved with C8 = 2 68 pF (ATC 800B) mounted 33 mm from the start of the 4 mm output microstrip (compared to 82 pF and 41 mm, for best ACPR tuning) and C9 = 33 pF (compared to 30 pF for best ACPR tuning).

5. PCB and schematic


The PCB was designed to accommodate either the BLF881 or the BLF573, a 300 W LDMOS RF power transistor designed for broadcast applications and industrial, scientific and medical applications in the HF to 500 MHz band.

019aaa411

PCB is a Rogers 5880, height = 0.79 mm, copper thickness = 35 m.

Fig 11. PCB layout


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174 MHz to 230 MHz DVB-T power amplifier with the BLF881

Table 3. RF circuit C1, C21 C2 C3, C4, C5 C6, C7 C8 C9 C10, C31

Bill of Materials Description capacitor; 100 V 5 % NPO; 0805 capacitor; 100 V 5 % NPO; 0805 capacitor; 100 V 5 % NPO; 0805 capacitor; 500 V 5 % NPO capacitor; 500 V 5 % NPO capacitor; 500 V 5 % NPO capacitor; 500 V 5 % NPO capacitor; 250 V 5 % NPO; 1210 capacitor; 25 V 10 % X7R; 1206 capacitor; 50 V 10 % X7R; 0805 capacitor; 25 V 10 % X7R; 0805 capacitor; 100 V 10 % X7R; 1210 capacitor; 100 V 10 % X7S; 2220 capacitor; 100 V 10 % X7R; 1206 capacitor; 63 V aluminium electrolytic inductor; 5t; air ferrite bead; 5 A inductor; 3t; 20 AWG; 3 mm; ID inductor; 4t; 20 AWG; 4 mm; ID resistor; 5 %; 100 ppm; CF; 0805 tab; Faston; 0.25 inch ferrite bead; 200 mA; 0805 capacitor; 50 V 10 % X7R; 0805 capacitor; 100 V 5 % NPO; 0805 capacitor; 50 V 10 % X7R; 0805 capacitor; 100 V 10 % X7R; 1210 LED; green; 1206 LED; red; 1206 voltage regulator dual comparator transistor NPN; 45 V; 100 mA; GP rail-rail opamp potentiometer; 5t cermet resistor; 5 %; 100 ppm; CF; 2010 resistor; 1 %; 100 ppm; CF; 0805 resistor; 1 %; 100 ppm; CF; 0805 resistor; 1 %; 100 ppm; CF; 0805 Value 1 nF 18 pF 100 pF 56 pF 82 pF 30 pF 510 pF 10 nF 10 F 100 nF 1 F 100 nF 10 F 1 F 470 F 18.5 nH 45 at 100 MHz 2.2 1 k at 100 MHz 100 nF 1 nF 1 F 2.2 F 200 1 10 k 1.1 k 2 k Remarks ATC 800R ATC 100B TDK C5750X7S2A106M TDK C3216X7R2A105K Coilcraft A05T Fair-Rite 2743019447 Linear LT3010EMS8E Linear LT6700CS6-3 NXP BC847B National LM7321MF positioned under L4 NXP B.V. 2010. All rights reserved.

Component

C20, C25, C30, C34, C37 C22, C27 C23, C26 C24 C32 C33 C35 C36 L1 L2, L5 L3 L4 R1, R2 E1, E2 Bias circuit L101, L102 C101, C102, C105 C106 C103, C104, C107 C108 D101 D102 U101 U102 Q101 U103 R106 R3, R4 R112, R113, R117, R118 R104, R114, R115 R105
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174 MHz to 230 MHz DVB-T power amplifier with the BLF881

Table 3.

Bill of Materials Description resistor; 1 %; 100 ppm; CF; 0805 resistor; 1 %; 100 ppm; CF; 0805 resistor; 1 %; 100 ppm; CF; 0805 resistor; 1 %; 100 ppm; CF; 0805 resistor; 1 %; 100 ppm; CF; 0805 resistor; 1 %; 100 ppm; CF; 0805 test point Value 432 52.3 k 5.11 k 0.0 88.7 k 909 Remarks -

Component R102, R103, R108 R116 R109 R101 R111 R110 E101, E102

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Application note Rev. 01 18 November 2010 14 of 17
AN10945

NXP Semiconductors

VD
L101 BLM21BD102

VG U101 LT3010EMS8E IN 8 1 OUT +8V


L102 BLM21BD102

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R118 10 k

EN

5 GND:4,9

ADJ

R116 52.3 k

C106 1 nF

C107 1 F R115 1.1 k

R103 432

R104 1.1 k bias monitor/overdrive E102 C103 1 F

R102 432 C108 2.2 F R117 10 k D101 HSMG-C150 green = power R101 75

R106 200

R105 2 k R108 432 C101 100 nF R109 5.1 k R113 10 K R111(1) 88.7 k

U103 LM7321MF 3 5 4 C102 100 nF 2

174 MHz to 230 MHz DVB-T power amplifier with the BLF881

VGATE
ground E101 C104 1 F

3
Q101 BC847B

R114(1) 1.1 k 1 D102(1) HSMH-C150 red = overtemp

2
R110 909 C105(1) 100 nF R112(1) 10 k 4 400 mV 6

2 LT6700CS6-3 U102(1)

019aaa412

AN10945

(1) These components are optional.

Fig 12. Bias circuit schematic

NXP Semiconductors

AN10945
174 MHz to 230 MHz DVB-T power amplifier with the BLF881

6. Abbreviations
Table 4. Acronym ACPR CCDF DVB-T LDMOS OFDM PAE PAR PCB Abbreviations Description Adjacent Channel Power Ratio Complementary Cumulative Distribution Function Digital Video Broadcast - Terrestrial Laterally Diffused Metal-Oxide Semiconductor Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplex Power Added Efficiency Peak-to-Average power Ratio Printed-Circuit Board

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174 MHz to 230 MHz DVB-T power amplifier with the BLF881

7. Legal information
7.1 Definitions
design. It is customers sole responsibility to determine whether the NXP Semiconductors product is suitable and fit for the customers applications and products planned, as well as for the planned application and use of customers third party customer(s). Customers should provide appropriate design and operating safeguards to minimize the risks associated with their applications and products. NXP Semiconductors does not accept any liability related to any default, damage, costs or problem which is based on any weakness or default in the customers applications or products, or the application or use by customers third party customer(s). Customer is responsible for doing all necessary testing for the customers applications and products using NXP Semiconductors products in order to avoid a default of the applications and the products or of the application or use by customers third party customer(s). NXP does not accept any liability in this respect. Export control This document as well as the item(s) described herein may be subject to export control regulations. Export might require a prior authorization from national authorities. Evaluation products This product is provided on an as is and with all faults basis for evaluation purposes only. NXP Semiconductors, its affiliates and their suppliers expressly disclaim all warranties, whether express, implied or statutory, including but not limited to the implied warranties of non-infringement, merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. The entire risk as to the quality, or arising out of the use or performance, of this product remains with customer. In no event shall NXP Semiconductors, its affiliates or their suppliers be liable to customer for any special, indirect, consequential, punitive or incidental damages (including without limitation damages for loss of business, business interruption, loss of use, loss of data or information, and the like) arising out the use of or inability to use the product, whether or not based on tort (including negligence), strict liability, breach of contract, breach of warranty or any other theory, even if advised of the possibility of such damages. Notwithstanding any damages that customer might incur for any reason whatsoever (including without limitation, all damages referenced above and all direct or general damages), the entire liability of NXP Semiconductors, its affiliates and their suppliers and customers exclusive remedy for all of the foregoing shall be limited to actual damages incurred by customer based on reasonable reliance up to the greater of the amount actually paid by customer for the product or five dollars (US$5.00). The foregoing limitations, exclusions and disclaimers shall apply to the maximum extent permitted by applicable law, even if any remedy fails of its essential purpose.

Draft The document is a draft version only. The content is still under internal review and subject to formal approval, which may result in modifications or additions. NXP Semiconductors does not give any representations or warranties as to the accuracy or completeness of information included herein and shall have no liability for the consequences of use of such information.

7.2

Disclaimers

Limited warranty and liability Information in this document is believed to be accurate and reliable. However, NXP Semiconductors does not give any representations or warranties, expressed or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of such information and shall have no liability for the consequences of use of such information. In no event shall NXP Semiconductors be liable for any indirect, incidental, punitive, special or consequential damages (including - without limitation - lost profits, lost savings, business interruption, costs related to the removal or replacement of any products or rework charges) whether or not such damages are based on tort (including negligence), warranty, breach of contract or any other legal theory. Notwithstanding any damages that customer might incur for any reason whatsoever, NXP Semiconductors aggregate and cumulative liability towards customer for the products described herein shall be limited in accordance with the Terms and conditions of commercial sale of NXP Semiconductors. Right to make changes NXP Semiconductors reserves the right to make changes to information published in this document, including without limitation specifications and product descriptions, at any time and without notice. This document supersedes and replaces all information supplied prior to the publication hereof. Suitability for use NXP Semiconductors products are not designed, authorized or warranted to be suitable for use in life support, life-critical or safety-critical systems or equipment, nor in applications where failure or malfunction of an NXP Semiconductors product can reasonably be expected to result in personal injury, death or severe property or environmental damage. NXP Semiconductors accepts no liability for inclusion and/or use of NXP Semiconductors products in such equipment or applications and therefore such inclusion and/or use is at the customers own risk. Applications Applications that are described herein for any of these products are for illustrative purposes only. NXP Semiconductors makes no representation or warranty that such applications will be suitable for the specified use without further testing or modification. Customers are responsible for the design and operation of their applications and products using NXP Semiconductors products, and NXP Semiconductors accepts no liability for any assistance with applications or customer product

7.3

Trademarks

Notice: All referenced brands, product names, service names and trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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174 MHz to 230 MHz DVB-T power amplifier with the BLF881

8. Contents
1 2 3 4 4.1 4.2 5 6 7 7.1 7.2 7.3 8 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Test summary. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Design methodology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 RF performance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Best ACPR tuning. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Flat gain tuning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 PCB and schematic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Abbreviations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Legal information. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Definitions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Disclaimers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Trademarks. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Contents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

Please be aware that important notices concerning this document and the product(s) described herein, have been included in section Legal information.

NXP B.V. 2010.

All rights reserved.

For more information, please visit: http://www.nxp.com For sales office addresses, please send an email to: salesaddresses@nxp.com Date of release: 18 November 2010 Document identifier: AN10945