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High-Frequency Circuit Design

and Measurements
High-Frequency
Circuit Design
and Measurements
Peter C.L. Yip
Department of Electronic Engineering
City Polytechnic of Hong Kong
Hong Kong
mll
CHAPMAN &. HALL
London Glasgow Weinheim . New York Tokyo Melbourne Madras
Published by Chapman & Hall, 2-6 Boundary Row, London SEt 8HN, UK
Chapman & Hall, 2-6 Boundary Row, London SEI 8HN, UK
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600 035, India
First edition 1990
Reprinted 1991, 1995
1990 P. Yip
Typeset in 10/12pt Times by Best-set Typesetter Ltd, Hong Kong
ISBN-13: 978-0-412-34160-1 e-ISBN-13: 978-94-011-6950-9
DOl: 10.1007/978-94-011-6950-9
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Contents
Acknowledgements ix
Preface x
1 Introduction I
1.1 Trends in electronic circuits and systems 1
1.2 High-frequency circuits 2
1.3 Examples of high-frequency systems 3
Further reading 6
2 Transmission-line Theory and Microstrips 7
2.1 Transmission lines in high-frequency circuits 7
2.2 Transmission-line parameters 8
2.3 Terminated transmission line 10
2.4 Terminated lossy line 14
2.5 Smith chart 15
2.6 Microstrip as a transmission line 18
2.7 An example of the application of microstrip 20
2.8 Static TEM parameters 20
2.9 Formulae for the synthesis and analysis of micros trips 24
2.10 Frequency dependence of Eeff 25
2.11 Effect of finite strip thickness and metallic enclosure 26
2.12 Fabrication of microstrips 26
Problems 27
Further reading 29
3 s-pararneters 31
3.1 Network characterization 31
3.2 Scattering parameters 31
3.3 Measurement of s-parameters 33
3.4 s-parametets and signal flow graphs 34
Problems 37
Further reading 41
4 Impedance Matching 42
4.1 Introduction 42
4.2 Concept of operating Q-factor 42
GJC_-
CONTENTS -I
.
4.3 Two-element L network
43
4.4 Three-element matching
46
4.5 Designing with the Smith chart
51
4.6
Transmission-line matching network
59
Problems
68
Further reading
70
5 Transistors at High Frequencies 71
5.1 Introduction 71
5.2 Transistor equivalent circuit 71
5.3 Input impedance 74
5.4 Output impedance 74
5.5 Gain 75
5.6 Feedback 75
5.7 Small-signal two-port parameters 76
5.8 Understanding high-frequency transistor data sheets 77
5.9 Biasing of high-frequency transistors 85
Problems 86
Further reading 91
6
Small-signal Amplifier Design
92
6.1 Characterization of high-frequency amplifiers 92
6.2 Power gain
93
6.3 Unilateral amplifier design
96
6.4 Non-unilateral amplifier design
98
6.5 Stability criteria
100
6.6 Load and source stability circles
102
6.7 Constant power gain circles
104
6.8 Low-noise amplifier design
109
6.9 Broadband considerations
113
6.10 Summary of design procedures
114
Problems
115
Further reading
117
7 Power Amplifiers 119
7.1 Introduction 119
7.2 Biasing of power transistors 121
7.3 Power transistor design data 122
7.4 Power amplifier design 128
Problems 137
Further reading 138

8 Oscillators
8.1 General overview of oscillator design
8.2 Conversion of the s-matrix
8.3 Theory of oscillation
8.4 Oscillator design
8.5 Summary of design procedures
Problems
Further reading
9 The Spectrum Analyser and its Applications
9.1 Introduction
9.2 Operating principle of a spectrum analyser
9.3 Characteristics of a spectrum analyser
9.4 Tracking generator
9.5 Applications of spectrum analysers
Problems
Further reading
10 Microwave Frequency Counting
10.1 Basics of digital frequency counters
10.2 Microwave frequency counting
10.3 Performance of down-converted frequency counters
Problems
Further reading
11 Noise Measurement
11.1 Noise and noise figure
11.2 Effective input noise temperature
11.3 Measurement of noise
11.4 Noise source
11.5 Noise-figure measurement (single frequency)
11.6 Wide-band noise-figure measurement
11. 7 Noise-figure measurement at microwave frequencies
11.8 Single-sideband and double-sideband measurements
11.9 Summary
Problems
Further reading
12 Swept Measurements and Network Analysers
12.1 Network analysis
12.2 Signal source for swept measurements
12.3 Vector or scalar measurement?
12.4 Scalar network analysis
139
139
140
142
146
150
157
161
162
162
164
168
173
174
182
184
185
185
185
192
193
195
196
196
198
200
204
205
206
206
207
208
208
210
211
211
211
212
213
CONTENTS
I viii II
L-____________________________________________ __
12.5 Other scalar network-analyser systems
12.6 Vector network analyser
12.7 Source synchronization
12.8 Power-splitter circuit
Index
Problems
Further reading
217
217
219
220
220
223
224
Acknowledgements
I would first like to acknowledge Dr B. Jefferies, Head of Electronic Engin-
eering, City Polytechnic of Hong Kong, for his encouragement and help in
establishing an elective stream in high-frequency circuit design, which has
resulted in the preparation of this book, in the BEng(EE) programme of
the Polytechnic.
I would like to express my most profound gratitude to two persons in the
City Polytechnic, without whose help the writing of this book could not
have been possible. Thanks are due to Dr T. Lund for patiently reading the
manuscript and making many invaluable suggestions, and to Mr M.W. Luk
for typing out the final manuscript as well as preparing all the computer-
generated diagrams.
I would also like to thank Dr J.S. Dahele of the Royal Military College
of Science and Dr S.H. Tan of NTI-Singapore, from whom I learnt about
the subject at different stages of my career.
Finally, I would like to thank Dr B. Lago of Stafford for the happy and
profitable years I spent working under his supervision.
Preface
An elective course in the final-year BEng progamme in electronic engin-
eering in the City Polytechnic of Hong Kong was generated in response to
the growing need of local industry for graduate engineers capable of
designing circuits and performing measurements at high frequencies up to
a few gigahertz. This book has grown out from the lecture and tutorial
materials written specifically for this course. This course should, in the
opinion of the author, best be conducted if students can take a final-year
design project in the same area. Examples of projects in areas related to the
subject matter of this book which have been completed successfully in the
last two years that the course has been run include: low-noise amplifiers,
dielectric resonator-loaded oscillators and down converters in the 12 GHz
as well as the 1 GHz bands; mixers; varactor-tuned and non-varactor-tuned
VCOs; low-noise and power amplifiers; and filters and duplexers in the
1 GHz, 800 MHz and 500 MHz bands.
The book is intended for use in a course of forty lecture hours plus
twenty tutorial hours and the prerequisite expected of the readers is a
general knowledge of analogue electronic circuits and basic field theory.
Readers with no prior knowledge in high-frequency circuits are recom-
mended to read the book in the order that it is arranged.
______ In_t_ro_d_u_c_tl_o_n ______
1.1 TRENDS IN ELECTRONIC CIRCUITS AND SYSTEMS
Before the mid 1960s electronics to most people meant AM (or FM) radio
receivers and audio amplifiers. 'Electronics', in those days, was all imple-
mented with vacuum tubes; to those who used to play with electronics in
that era, valves like 12AT7, 6BQ5 and 7189 should bring about some sweet
memories. The late 1960s and early 1970s saw the replacement of vacuum
tubes by transistors in AM/FM receivers and audio amplifiers. Television
receivers also began to get into the lives of ordinary people. To 'electronics'
people televisions signified the beginning of problems related to high
frequencies. High-frequency circuits, such as the VHF and UHF circuits
in television tuners, require a lot of tuning in order to achieve frequency
selectivity and impedance matching. In the early days, and even now-
adays with low-end AMlFM receivers, tuning was achieved by employing
coils (transformers). The major disadvantage of coil-tuned high-frequency
circuit design is the upper frequency limit of coils; the inductances required
are getting too small to be implemented by traditional core-tuned coilsl
transformers as the frequency increases.
With the introduction of microprocessors in the early 1970s, 'electronics'
has been 'digitized' and has almost become synonymous with the words
'digital' and 'computer'. For a long time since the mid 1970s, 'electronics'
people have been indulging themselves in microprocessors in the era best
described as the (microprocessor) technology-led era. A senior under-
graduate in electronic engineering once (around 1983/84) came to seek the
opinion of his professor of a certain electronic system which he had
designed to his own satisfaction. He had wanted to design a 'system' which
was capable of magnifying a time-varying signal. The way he had planned
to implement it, as he told his professor, was first to convert the input
signal into digital form by using an AID converter, then write a certain
multiplication algorithm into a microprocessor and finally convert the
output signal back to analogue form by using a D/A converter. In fact, all
this student wanted was an amplifier which could easily be implemented by
one or two transistors or an operational amplifier. Although this story
__________________ I_N_T_RO_D_U_C_T_I_O_N __________________
may seem a little exaggerated, it somehow sounds familiar to those who
are teaching electronics in this technology-led era of microprocessors.
Microprocessors are often used independently of whether they were
actually needed or not.
In the last few years 'electronics' has entered into yet another era which
can best be described as the (microprocessor) application-led era. People
began to realise that with the advances in microprocessors a lot of
applications which had not been realistic became possible. The last few
years has seen rapid advancement, with the aid of microprocessors, in all
modes of communications such as those in computer networking, FAX,
video phones and high-definition television transmissions, etc.
With the additional features of telecommunications made available by
the application of microprocessors, demand on the radio-frequency (Lf.)
end of communication systems becomes increasingly heavy, and as a con-
sequence, Lf. systems are being pushed to higher carrier frequencies and
higher transmission power for larger signal-transmitting capacities. And
all of a sudden there is a severe shortage of electronic engineers and
technicians capable of designing and testing circuits to operate at UHF
frequencies and above.
To compound this world-wide manpower shortage problem, cellular
mobile telephony, direct broadcast satellite television and high-definition
TV transmission standards, etc., have already come or are around the
corner, which make the training of high-frequency (as opposed to digital)
engineers something of a necessity.
1.2 HIGH-FREQUENCY CIRCUITS
'High frequencies' in the context of this book means any frequency above a
few tens of megahertz and below, say, 18 gigahertz. Most high-frequency
systems, whether they be a communication system or an item of test equip-
ment, can be divided into small circuit blocks. High-frequency systems are
generally made up of some or all of the following circuit blocks:
1. Small-signal amplifiers - narrow or wideband;
2. Low-noise amplifiers;
3. Small-signal oscillators - fixed tuned, varactor tuned or dielectric
resonator tuned (DRO), voltage controlled (VeO);
4. Power oscillators;
5. Power amplifiers;
6. Non-linear circuits - mixers (up or down convertors), phase detectors,
frequency multipliers, modulators and demodulators, switches;
7. Filters.
In this book we are only dealing with the design principles of small-signal
amplifiers, low-noise amplifiers, small-signal oscillators and power ampli-
c=== _______ E_XA __ M_P_L_E_S_O_F_H_IG __ H-_F_R_EQ_U_E_N_C_y __ Sy_S_T_E_M_S ________
fiers. It is hoped that in a future edition or in a separate volume filters and
some non-linear circuits can be included. Theories for designing power
oscillators employing non-class-A bias of BJTs or FETs are still not well
developed, and it will be some time before they can appear in a text book.
This book was originally written as the lecture notes for the final-year under-
graduate course in high frequency circuit design at the City Polytechnic of
Hong Kong, and the lecture hours available in this course tend to set a limit
on the coverage of this book.
1.3 EXAMPLES OF HIGH-FREQUENCY SYSTEMS
Readers may have already seen quite a few communication systems in
block schematic form, where high-frequency circuits are used in the imple-
mentation. In this section we are going to look at the block schematics of
two applications of high-frequency circuits, namely: (i) the direct-broadcast
satellite (TV) receiver (DBS-TV), and (ii) the cellular mobile radio 'phone
(MRP). Both DBS and MRP are consumer products, the demand for
which was expected to take off towards the end of the 80s and the saturation
market potentials of which are expected to be too large to be ignored by
any traditional electronic appliance manufacturing country.
Figure 1.1 shows the block diagram of a typical DBS-TV receiver and
shows how the circuit blocks listed in Section 1.2 are connected to form a
DBS receiver. There are basically four frequency bands in this receiver,
namely the 12 GHz band for the low-noise front-end amplifier, the 1 GHz
band for the first IF, the 70 MHz band for the second IF and the baseband
for video and audio outputs. While the circuits in different bands can be
designed by using similar methods, their implementation and the types of
components used may be very different. For example, both the 12 GHz
LNA and the first IF amplifier (1 GHz band) are small-signal amplifiers,
and they can be designed using the techniques discussed in Chapter 6.
However, it may require a GaAs FET as the active element for the LNA
while a much cheaper silicon bipolar transistor or MOSFET can do the job
nicely for the first IF A. While the 1 GHz circuits can be built on a printed
circuit board using micros trip technology, the same technology may result
in circuits too large for implementation when applied to the 70 MHz band.
Figure 1.2 shows the block schematics of the r.f. section of a cellular
mobile radio phone (MRP). The duplexer in Fig. 1.2 is just a parallel
combination of two bandpass filters, one in the transmitting and one in the
receiving band. Here again we see how circuit blocks such as those listed in
Section 1.2 are connected to form a high-frequency system, an MRP in this
case. Design and implementation techniques for MRPs, especially the
hand-held type where circuit size is an important factor amongst other
criteria, are not mature yet. For example, the size of the duplexer and the
size as well as spectral purity of the VCOs still have plenty of room for
INTRODUCTION
ITJI
L-______________________________________________________

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Fig. 1.1 Block diagram of a typical DBS-TV receiver.
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___________________ I_N_T_RO __ D_UC_T_I_O_N __________________
improvement. It is exactly the immaturity of this field which makes the
subject of high-frequency circuit design an interesting one.
In the last four chapters of this book, we will be dealing with the prin-
ciples and applications of commonly used high-frequency test equipment.
There again, we will see how circuit blocks in Section 1.2 are utilized to
form various types of high-frequency test equipment.
FURTHER READING
Douville, R.J. (1977) A 12GHz Low-cost Earth Terminal for Direct TV
Reception from Broadcast Satellites, IEEE Transaction on Microwave
Theory and Techniques, Vol-MIT 25, No. 12, December.
Gibson, S. W. (1987) Cellular Mobile Radiotelephone, Prentice-Hall.
Gould, R.G. (1984) Transmission Standards for for Direct Broadcast
Satellites. IEEE Communications Magazine, 22, No.3, March.
lTV (1982) Provisions for ALL Services and Associated Plan for the
Broadcasting Satellite Service in Frequency Bands 11.7-12.2 GHz (in
Regions 2 and 3) and 11.7-12.5 GHz (in Region /), Appendix 30, lTV
Radio Regulations, Geneva.
Johnstone, B. (1988) Programming better quality TV. Far Eastern Econ-
omic Review, 11 August.
Johnstone, B. (1988) Getting a clearer picture. Far Eastern Economic
Review, 11 August.
Rainger, P., Gregory, D., et at. (1985) Satellite Broadcasting, Wiley.
Transmission-line Theory
and Microstrips
2.1 TRANSMISSION LINES IN HIGH-FREQUENCY CIRCUITS
Resistance, capacitance and inductance are the three main passive ele-
ments commonly used in circuits operating up to about 300MHz, i.e. up
to the lower end of the UHF band for various functions. High-frequency
circuits from, say, a few tens of megahertz upwards, normally consist of
a.c. and d.c. (bias circuit) paths. Bias circuits in high-frequency circuits,
like those at low frequencies, employ resistive networks to set the biasing
voltages, capacitances to decouple and to act as d.c. blocks and induc-
tances to act as a.c. blocks to prevent a.c. signals from getting into the d.c.
paths. One of the most important considerations in high-frequency circuit
design is the use of reactive elements to achieve impedance matching
between consecutive stages. Capacitances and inductances are normally
used to implement impedance-matching networks up to a few hundred
megahertz. However, as frequency increases the value of the capacitance
and inductance required will eventually become too small to be realized, in
the sub-picofarad and sub-nanohenry region. When frequencies are too
high for discrete capacitors and inductors to be practical, transmission-line
or distributed circuits have to be employed.
Transmission-line circuits are not normally designed to replace directly
discrete capacitors and inductors in a design based on discrete reactance;
but rather, they require distinctly different methods and they provide more
circuit varieties than circuits merely implemented by discrete capacitors
and inductances. Examples of transmission-line circuits without discrete
'LC' equivalence are stub matching networks and interdigital filters.
A transmission line can be a pair of twisted wires, a coaxial cable, a strip
line or a microstrip. In the next few sections, we will briefly go through the
transmission-line theory relevant to high-frequency circuit design and
measurements. This theory does not only apply to the two-conductor type
of transmission lines such as coaxial cables and microstrips, but it is also
valid for one-conductor transmission lines such as rectangular and circular
waveguides. A study of the general transmission-line theory does not only
show how signals are propagated in a line but also leads to the definition of
2
[TIC

TRANSMISSION-LINE THEORY AND MICROSTRIPS
some terminologies such as reflection coefficients and VSWR, which are
important quantities in describing the terminal behaviour of high-frequency
circuits and systems.
In the later sections of this chapter, we will describe how microstrips are
designed and fabricated. The microstrip is singled out for discussion in this
book because it is the most commonly used structure in the implementation
of transmission-line circuits in applications such as amplifiers and oscil-
lators, at frequencies ranging from a few hundred megahertz to above
10 GHz.
2.2 TRANSMISSION-LINE PARAMETERS
Physical dimensions such as the inner and outer radii of a coaxial cable or
the height-to-width ratio of a microstrip, and the dielectric constant of the
material separating the two conductors of a transmission line can be related
analytically, in the case of coaxial cable, or empirically, in the case of a
microstrip, to the circuit parameters of the transmission model represent-
ing the coaxial cable or microstrip line. These transmission-line circuit
parameters are normally represented by R, G, Land C, which respectively
denote the series resistance, shunt conductance, series inductance and
shunt capacitance, per unit length, of the transmission line.
In terms of these primary circuit parameters we can express other
secondary parameters of the transmission line such as the characteristic
impedance (Zo), propagation coefficient (y), phase constant (J3), attenu-
ation constant (a) and phase velocity (v). A brief revision of transmission-
line theory is given below.
The voltage and current propagating along a transmission line are
generally functions of both time and distance (z) in the direction of
propagation, and are expressed by the transmission-line equation
d
2
V(z)
- (RG - w2LC)V(z) - jw(RC + LG)V(z) = (2.1)
and
d
2
/(z)
dT - (RG - w2LC)/(z) - jw(RC + LG)/(z) = 0, (2.2)
where the time variation is assumed to be sinusoidal of angular frequency
w, i.e. i(z, t) = f(z )e
jwf
and v(z, t) = V(z )e
jwf
.
The solution of (2.1) may be written as
(2.3)
where V+ and V- are amplitude constants for waves propagating in the
+z and -z directions, respectively, and to be determined by boundary
conditions, and y, known as the propagation coefficient, is given by
1
Y = [-w
2
LC + RG + jw(RC + LG)l'
1
= [(R + jwL)(G + jwC)]'. (2.4)
_____________ TRA __ N_S_M_I_S_SI_O_N_-L_I_N_E_P_A_R_A_M_E_T_E_R_s _____________
Similarly, the solution for 1(z) may be written as
I(z) = re-
Yz
- re
Yz
, (2.5)
where rand r are current amplitude constants for waves propagating
in the +z and -z directions, respectively. A negative sign before r is
inserted because the reflected current wave will flow in the opposite
direction to r.
The total voltage V and the total current 1 at any point z are related by
either
dV ( . )
dz = - R + JwL 1
(2.6)
or
= -(G + jwC)V.
(2.7)
Substitution of (2.3) and (2.5) into (2.7) gives
V+ Y
r G + jwC
and the ratio V+ I r is called the characteristic impedence of the line, which
is equal to
I
Z _ Y _ (R + jWL)'
o - G + jwC - G + jwC .
From the definition of Zo, it follows that
v+ V-
Zo = [+ =-r'
For a line without loss, R = G = 0, then
y = jp = jw V(LC) (loss-free line)
and
Zo = ( (loss-free line),
(2.8)
(2.9)
(2.10)
(2.11)
where f3 is called the phase constant and both f3 and Zo are real. Since y is
totally imaginary, the voltage and current wave propagate in the + z and
-z directions without attenuation.
For most microwave transmission lines the losses are very small, i.e. R <.g
wL and G <.g we, and the term RG may be neglected in the following
expression for y.
I
Y = [-w
2
LC + RG + jw(RC + LG)l'
I
"'" [-w
2
LC + jw(RC + LG)l'
"'" jwV(LC) + + = a + jp, (2.12)
where use has been made of the binomial theorem
o LI ____ ___ ----1
1
(1 + x)' = 1 + (1I2)x for Ixl 1.
The phase constant fJ is the same as that for loss free lines, fJ = wV(LC),
and the attenuation constant a is given by
V(LC) (R G) 1
a = -2- L + C = 2(RYo + GZo),
(2.13)
1
where Yo = 1/Z
o
= (c/L)' is the characteristic admittance of the line.
2.3 TERMINATED TRANSMISSION LINE
Consider a transmission line (the discussion in this section also applies to
waveguides) with characteristic impedance Zo terminated by an arbitrary
load ZL as shown in Fig. 2.1. The line is assumed to be loss-less with
propagation coefficient y = jfJ. The expressions for the voltage and current
are functions of position z only, i.e.
V(z) = V+e-i/l
z
+ V-ei/l
z
I(z) = re-i/l
z
- rei/l
z
.
At the load end, i.e. at z = 0,
V = V
L
= V+ + V-
1= IL = r - r
but zor = V+ and zor = V-, hence (2.17) may be written as
h = (V+ - V-).
Generator
v+ + v-
Z=Z
1= -z ..... II---+--...... z
z=O
Fig. 2.1 Terminated transmission line.
(2.14)
(2.15)
(2.16)
(2.17)
(2.18)
TERMINATED TRANSMISSION L_IN_E ______ -----"I 0
Combining (2.16) and (2.18), we have
V
L
_ Z V+ + V-
h - V+ - V
but Vdh is the load impedance ZL, hence
ZL _ 1 + TL _ Z
Zo - 1 - TL - L,
(2.19)
(2.20)
where ZL (= ZL/Z
o
) is the normalized (by Zo) load impedance and r
L
is
the voltage reflection coefficient at the load, defined as
Hence
V-
TL = V+
ZL - 1
TL = =--.
ZL + 1
(2.21)
(2.22)
If ZL = Zo then r
L
= 0 the load is said to be matched to the line. r
L
= 0
indicates that there is no voltage being reflected by the load. Under
matched condition, all the incident power is transmitted to the load
without being reflected back to the line (hence to the generator). The
power P delivered to the load is thus given by
or
1
P = -Re(VI*) at z = 0
2
P = IRe(v+r*)
2
= lyo 1V+1
2
= IYL 1V+1
2
2 2
(2.23)
where ,*, denotes the complex conjugate of the quantity preceding it.
If ZL "* Zo, the load is said to be mismatched to the line and a reflected
wave is produced. The power P delivered to the load is given by
P = = + V-)(l+ - r)*]
= (1 - ITLI2). (2.24)
In the absence of reflection, the magnitude of the voltage (at a specific
point z) along the line is a constant equal to I V+ I .
When a reflected wave also exists, the incident and reflected waves
interfere to produce a standing-wave pattern along the line. The voltage at
any point on the line, i.e. for any z ::; 0, is given by
V(z) = V+e-
ij3z
+ T
L
V+e
ij3z
IVI = IV+ I 11 + TLe2ij3zl
= Iv+1 11 + TLe-2ij3ll,
(2.25)
o LI ____ T_RA_N_S_M_I_SS_IO_N_-_L_IN_E_T_H_E_O_R_y_A_N_D_M_I_C_RO_S_T_R_IP_S ____ --.J
where l = -z is the distance measured from load (z = 0) towards the
generator.
Since r
L
is in general complex, it may be expressed in polar form as
(2.26)
where Q is the magnitude of the load-reflection coefficient and OL is the
phase difference between V- and V+. Equation (2.25) may then be
written as
Similarly for the current function we have
1
III = Zo [(1 + (If + 4(1sin
2
(f31 - Od2)]'.
(2.28)
Equation (2.27) shows that the magnitude of the voltage oscillates back
and forth between maxima and minima in z. For maxima
OL
f31- 2 = mr
(2.29)
and for minima
OL Jr
f31 - 2 = nJr + "2'
(2.30)
where n = 0,1,2,3 .... This simply means that voltage maxima occur when
the incident and reflected waves are in phase and that minima occur when
they are 180
0
out of phase.
Successive maxima (and minima) are spaced at a distance d = nl{3 =
n)../2n = ),,12, where).. is the wavelength for TEM waves in the medium
surrounding the conductors. The distance between a maximum and a
minimum is ),,14. The plot of the voltage and current waves for ZL = 3Z
o
is
shown in Fig 2.2.
From (2.27), the maximum and minimum values of I vi are given by
iVlmax = 1v+1 (1 + (I)
iVlmin = iV+1 (1 - (I).
(2.31)
(2.32)
The ratio of these two values is termed the voltage standing wave ratio, or
VSWR for short,
VSWR = .!.......g.
1-(1
(2.33)
VSWR is an important parameter in a transmission system. At high fre-
quencies, e.g. at microwave frequencies, direct measurement of absolute
____________ __ ____________
1.--
).
2
1=0
Fig. 2.2 Voltage and current distribution for ZL = 3Z
o
.
1=0
voltage and current is very difficult if not impossible. On the other hand, it
is possible to construct devices to measure voltage ratio. Hence VSWR is a
readily measurable quantity. From the VSWR the magnitude of r
L
, i.e. (J,
can be found. A complete knowledge of the load impedance demands the
knowledge of the angle of r
L
, i.e. (JL, which can be measured by noting
the distance of the first minimum from the load.
At a point z = i.e. at a distance I from load, the reflection coefficient
r( I) is
or
(2.34)
where rL is the reflection coefficient of the load.
The normalized impedance, looking towards the load, at z
denoted by z: (I), is given by
[U14UJ l __ u __ TRANSMISSIONuLINE THEORY AND MICROSTRIPS
Z (I) = Zin(l) = V(l)
m Zo /(/)Zo
V+e
iiJl
+ V-e-
iiJl
1 + r(l)
= V+eiiJl - V-e- iiJl = 1 - r(l)
- 1 + r
L
e-i 2/31
Zin = 1 r -i2iJl'
- Le
......
(2.35)
Replacing r
L
by (ZL - Zo)/(ZL + Zo) and eif3[ by cos (31 j sin(3l, we
have
Z = ZL + jZo tanf31
m Zo + jZL tanf3I'
(2.36)
similarly, Yin = YinlY
o
= 11 Zin is given by
y = YL + jYo tanf31
m Yo + jY
L
tanf3l"
(2.37)
Of particular interest are two special cases, namely the immittances at
(31 = n (or 1 = ,1./2) and at (31 = nl2 (or 1 = ,1./4),
Zin(l = ,1/2) = ZL

Zin(l = ,1/4) = ZL'
(2.38)
(2.39)
The first of these is an ideal one-to-one impedance (or admittance) trans-
former whereas the second one, commonly known as the quarter-wave
transformer, inverts the immittance with respect to the square of the
characteristic immittance.
It can be readily shown that the maximum and minimum of Zin are given
by
Zin(max) = VSWR X Zo
Zin(min) = Z(/VSWR.
2.4 TERMINATED LOSSY LINE
(2.40)
(2.41)
The propagation coefficient of a lossy line will be y = a + j(3 instead of
y = j(3 as in the case of loss-free lines.
Assuming that the characteristic impedance Zo is real, which is valid for
low-loss lines at microwave frequencies, the reflection coefficient as a func-
tion of 1 is given by
(2.42)
r(l) decreases expontially with I. Thus when a load ZL is viewed through a
long section of a lossy line, it appears to be matched to the line since r(l)
is negligibly small as 1 00. Zin is given by
SMITH CHART
10
L-____________________________________________________
or
1 + rLe-j2fJle-2al
Zin = Z01 _ rLe j2fJle 2al
Z = ZL + Zotanhyl
III Zo + ZLtanhyl
which shows that Zin Zo as 1 00.
2.5 SMITH CHART
(2.43)
The Smith chart is the plot of the families of the real and imaginary part of
immittances on the complex plane of the voltage-reflection coefficient or
the complex r-plane, where r = QeiO. It facilitates the solution of almost
all problems arising from transmission lines in areas such as the design of a
matching network. The most outstanding feature of the Smith chart is that,
within a finite area of the r-plane, complete information relating all pos-
sible values of normalized immittances, reflection coefficients and standing-
wave patterns for all transmission-line and waveguide circuits involving
only passive elements may be obtained. Smith charts can also be used in
the design of active circuits. A modified form of the Smith chart, known as
Linvill's chart (Linvill and Schimf, 1956), is the foundation of modern
solid-state microwave amplifier design.
The derivation of the Smith chart is based on the following equation
r(l) = Zin(l) - Zo,
Zin(l) + Zo
(2.44)
where r( I) is the reflection coefficient at a distance 1 from the termination
and Zin(l) is the transformed impedance of ZL when viewed through a
length 1 of the transmission line with characteristic impedance Zoo
Detailed derivation of the Smith chart can be found in many textbooks,
e.g. Chipman (1968), so it is not necessary to go into this here.
A Smith chart consists of a family of normalized resistance circles and
a family of normalized reactance circles; these families of circles are
respectively the real and imaginary parts of Zin(l) normalized by Zoo
Figure 2.3 shows a family of resistance circles and Fig. 2.4 shows a family
of reactance circles like those normally appearing on a standard Smith
chart.
On a standard Smith Chart there are normally eight radial scales in
addition to the resistance and reactance circles. Some of these radial scales
are more often used than the others in circuit design, but they are all briefly
explained below (and shown in Fig. 2.5) for the sake of completeness.
Scales A and B are both reflection coefficients. Distance from the centre
on scale A represents Q = I rl, the absolute value of the voltage- (or
electric field) reflection coefficient. Distance from the centre on scale B is
the square of Q, i.e. Q2, representing the ratio of the reflected power to the
incident power.
o LI ____ T_RA_N_S_M_I_SS_IO_N_-_L_IN_E_T_H_E_O_R_y_A_N_D_M_IC_RO_S_T_R_IP_S ___ ----'
Imr
r-plane
'n = 0
Rer
Fig. 2.3 Normalized resistance (rn) circles on F-plane.
Imr
r-plane
Rer
-1
Fig. 2.4 Normalized reactance (xn) circles on F-plane.


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o LI ____ T_RA_N_S_M_IS_S_IO_N_-_L_IN_E_T_H_E_O_R_y_A_N_D_M_IC_R_O_S_T_R_IP_S ___ -----'
Scales G and H are standing-wave ratios. Distance from the centre on
scale H represents the voltage standing wave ratio s, also denoted by
VSWR, defined by
1 + (2
VSWR=s=--.
1 - (2
Distance from the centre on scale G represents s in dB, i.e.
SdB = 20loglOs.
Scale E is the return loss, Ln in dB defined by
1
Lr = 20log
JO
-.
(2
Lr is the square of the reciprocal of the reflection coefficient in dB.
Scale F is the reflection loss, L" in dB defined by
1
L J = 10 IOglO -1 --2
-(2
(2.45)
(2.46)
(2.47)
(2.48)
which is the ratio in dB of the power of the incident wave to the power
absorbed by the load. The expression of L1 is arrived at by considering
P
ab
= Pi - P
refl
P
ab
= 1 _ P
refl
= 1 _ (E
refl
)2 = 1 _ (22
Pi Pi Ei
hence
(
P.) 1
L) = 1OIoglO = 1OIoglO 1 _ (22'
Scale D is the line attenuation. Each step stands for the effect of 1 dB
line attenuation loss on the radial scale parameters Q or s. Whether
measured towards generator or towards load depends on the direction in
which the point of interest in the line is moving. Note that the value of Q or
s is always the distance from the centre to the particular step.
2.6 MICROSTRIP AS A TRANSMISSION LINE
The types of transmission lines to be used in active high-frequency circuits
must provide suitable geometries so as to enable discrete active and passive
components to be solidly connected to form hybrid circuits or to enable
total integration of the transmission lines and other active/passive com-
ponents on the same substrate. There are a few such geometrical structures
suitable for high-frequency transmission, which are commonly known as
striplines. Examples of striplines are microstrip, slot line and coplanar
waveguide, as shown in Fig. 2.6. Of these three, microstrip line is the most
commonly used for high freqencies from a few hundred megahertz to over
10 GHz, because of its simplicity in geometry and hence ease of
___________ M_IC_R_O_S_T_R_IP_A_S_A __ T_RA __ N_SM __ IS_SI_O_N_L_I_N_E __________
Conducting strip
(a)
(b)
Conducting plane
(c)
Fig. 2.6 Types of striplines: (a) microstrip, (b) slotline and (c) coplanar
waveguide.
LI ____ T_RA_N_S_M_IS_S_IO_N_-_L_IN_E_T_H_E_O_R_y_A_N_D_M_IC_R_O_S_T_R_IP_S ___ -----"
fabrication. Microstrips consist of metallic strips and a ground metallic
sheet separated by a layer of dielectric. The metallic strips and the ground
metallic sheet could be made by depositing (by evaporation or sputtering)
the metal on the dielectric substrate or by etching the unwanted metallic
parts from a double-sided printed circuit board made with a dielectric such
as Teflon (PTFE).
In the next few sections, microstrips will be discussed qualitatively and
some design equations for the physical dimensions in terms of the desired
values of the electrical parameters such as the characteristic impedance
and the permittivity, will be stated. No derivation of these design equations
is given as it is more important for a circuit designer to be able to use rather
than to derive these equations.
2.7 AN EXAMPLE OF THE APPLICATION OF MICROSTRIP
In order to illustrate the problems involved in designing a micros trip cir-
cuit, we consider the input circuit of an amplifier as shown in Fig. 2.7. The
input circuit consists of a 50-ohm microstrip section connected to the tran-
sistor base through a 31.3-ohm quarter-wave transformer (also made of
microstrip). The base is shunted by a 66.7-ohm, AgiS section, that provides
a purely reactive impedance to neutralize the reactance of the transistor
input. If the optimum admittance looking into the transistor input is given
by
Yin = (0.051 + jO.015)s.
Then, by using the configuration shown, it can easily be verified that the
characteristic impedance of the AgiS section is equal to 66.7 Q. The calcu-
lation is left as an exercise to the readers. It is noted that the Ag/S shunt
section is there to neutralize the imaginary part of Yin, thus leaving a
purely resistive input admittance to be matched to the 50-ohm line via the
31.3-ohm quarter wave transformer.
After the circuit shown in Fig. 2.7 has been designed, with all the
electrical parameters obtained, the main design problem is to evaluate the
physical width (w) and lengths for a given substrate of thickness (h) and
dielectric constant (fr) at a given frequency, as shown in Fig. 2.S.
2.8 STATIC TEM PARAMETERS
Unlike coaxial lines and hollow waveguides which support one mode of
propagation, at least within a range of frequencies, microstrips support
more than one mode of propagation at all frequencies. However, the bulk
of the energy transmitted along a micros trip is through a field distribution
which resembles that of a TEM mode. The deviation from the pure TEM
mode of propagation on a microstrip increases with frequency. Analysis
L-_______________ ST_A_T_I_C_T_E_M_P_A_RA __ M_E_T_E_R_S ______________
I+--19/4 ---+I
50Q
31.3Q
Fig. 2.7 Amplifier input circuit using microstrip.
based on the TEM mode, usually referred to as the quasi-TEM approach,
is generally fairly accurate up to 1 or 2 GHz and if a frequency-correction
function is incorporated it can be extended beyond 10 GHz within 1%
error.
A commonly used technique to relate the strip width wand strip length I
to its corresponding characteristic impedance Zo and electrical length (),
with the thickness h and permittivity COC
r
as parameters, is to consider the
microstrip as a statically charged capacitor where all fields, electric and
magnetic, are in the transverse plane only. Hence, the technique is known
Dielectric
f = fOfr
Ground plane
(conducting)
Air
Fig. 2.8 Microstrip geometry.
Top conducting
strip
o 1"-----____ T_RA_N_S_M_IS_S_IO_N_-_L_IN_E_T_H_E_O_R_y_A_N_D_M_IC_R_O_S_T_R_IP_S ___ ------1
as the static-TEM method. Parameters so derived are quite accurate up to
a few gigahertz. At higher frequencies the method can still be valid if a
frequency-correction function is incorporated.
2.8.1 Characteristic impedance
For any TEM-type transmission line, the characteristic impedance Zo is
given by
Z = = v L = _1
o C p vpC'
(2.49)
where Land C are the inductance and capacitance per unit length,
respectively, and vp is the phase velocity given by
1
v =--
p V(LC)'
(2.50)
If the substrate of permittivity EoET is (effectively) removed, the microstrip
becomes an air-filled line and the velocity of propagation is equal to c, the
velocity of light in free space ( air). The characteristic impedance of this air-
filled line, Z01 is thus
Z(ll = L ) = eL = _1 ,
C
I
eC
I
(2.51)
where C
1
is the new capacitance per unit length and L remains the same, as
the change of dielectric does not affect inductance.
Combining the last three equations, we have
Z - 1
0- eV(CC,),
(2.52)
Equation (2.52) shows that the required characteristic impedance is known
if we can calculate the capacitances per unit length, with and without the
presence of the dielectric substrate.
2.8.2 The effective microstrip permittivity
For an air-filled microstrip the propagation velocity is given by
1
e=---
V(LC,) .
Dividing (2.53) by (2.50), we have
(2.53)
(2.54)
_______________ ST_A_T_I_C_T_E_M_P_A_RA __ M_E_T_E_R_S ______________
The capacitance ratio ClC
I
is termed the effective microstrip (relative)
permittivity, feff' or
With feff' Zo and Z{)1 can be related by
Z - ZOI
o - ve;:-;:;.
(2.55)
(2.56)
For very wide lines such as that shown in Fig. 2.9(a), where w h, nearly
all the electric field is confined in the substrate dielectric, just like in a
parallel-plate capacitor, and we have
feff fr for w jl> h.
(2.57)
For very narrow line such as that shown in Fig. 2.9(b), where w :: h, the
electric flux lines are almost equally distributed in the air and the dielectric
region, hence it may be approximated that
1
feff = 2( fr + 1) for w h.
The range of feff is therefore
1
2(fr + 1) ::0; feff::O; fro
(2.58)
(2.59)
It can be convenient to express the effective microstrip permittivity as
feff = 1 + q(fr - 1),
where the new quantity, the filling factor q, has the bounds
1
2::0; q ::0; 1.
E,
;7 w
1
t.-WL2:7. h
h
T
T
(a) (b)
Fig.2.9 Wide (a) (w jl> h) and narrow (b) (w h) microstrip.
(2.60)
E,
OD ,---I ____ T_RA_N_S_M_IS_S_IO_N_-_L_IN_E_T_H_E_O_R_y_A_N_D_M_IC_R_O_S_T_R_IP_S ___
2.8.3 Wavelength Ag and physical length 1
For any propagating wave the velocity is given by the product of the
operating frequency and the wavelength. In free space c = fAo and in the
microstrip vp = fAg, where Ag is the guided wavelength and vp is the velocity
of propagation usually known as the phase velocity. Equation (2.56) can
be written in terms of Ag as
or
(
AO)2
Eeff = T
g
A
g
(2.61)
In designing a microstrip circuit, the length calculated is normally expressed
as so many Ag, hence with Ag obtained from (2.61), the physical length I
can easily be found.
2.9 FORMULAE FOR THE SYNTHESIS AND ANALYSIS OF MICROSTRIPS
There are many methods to calculate the two static capacitances C and C
I
.
In this section, the results of one such method are given. The results given
can easily be programmed.
2.9.1 Synthesis formulae
Synthesis means finding wlh and Eeff with the knowledge of the values of
Zo and E
r
.
For narrow strips (Zo > (44 - 2Er) ohms)
w (e
H
1 )-1
--,;= 8- 4e
H
'
(2.62)
where
H = ZOV2(Er + 1) +! Er - 1 +
119.9 2 Er + 1 2 Er lr
(2.63)
and
Er + 1 [ 1 Er - 1 (lr 1 4) J -2
Eeff = -2- 1 - 2H Er + 1 In"2 + -zln;. .
(2.64)
Note that (2.64) was derived under a slightly different changeover value of
Zo> (63 - Er) ohms.
For wide strips (Zo < (44 - 2Er) ohms)
- 1) - In(2d, - 1)] + Er - 1 [In(d
f
- 1) + 0.293 - 0.517J, (2.65)
h lr lrEr Er
where d =
t ZoVc; ,
(2.66)
and under a slightly different changeover value of Zo > (63 - 2Er) ohms
__
Er + 1 Er - 1 ( h ) -0.555
Eeff = -2- + 1 + 10-;:;;-
(2.67)
2.9.2 Analysis formulae
Analysis means finding Zo with the knowledge of wlh and fro For wide
strips, i.e. wlh > 3.3,
Zo = 119.9JT + + In(eJT
2
/16) (Er 1)
2V Er 2h JT 2JT Er
Er + 1 [JTe (w )]}-l
+ 2JTEr In 2: + In 2h + 0.94
For narrow strips, i.e. wlh < 3.3,
Zo = 119.9 {In [4h + + 2] _ .!(Er - 1)(ln +.! In i)}.
V2(Er + 1) w -y w 2 Er + 1 2 Er JT
(2.68)
2.10 FREQUENCY DEPENDENCE OF Eeff
The formulae given in the last section and derived from the quasi-TEM
assumption are accurate up to 1 or 2 GHz. For higher frequencies, the
effect of the frequency dependence of feff has to be taken into account. In
the limiting case
as shown in Fig. 2.10
Effective
microstrip
permittivity
feff (j)
E (f) {Eeff as f 0
eff Er as f 00,

Fig. 2.10 Plot of Eeff(f) against frequency.
Frequency f-'>
L ____ T_RA_N_S_M_IS_S_IO_N_-_L_IN_E_T_H_E_O_R_y_A_N_D_M_IC_RO_S_T_R_IP_S ____ ---'
Many attempts have been made to calculate the actual frequency
dependence of feff(f) and to express it in closed form. One such result is
due to Edwards and Owens (1976) for the range of 2 GHz :::; f:::; 18 GHz,
( )
er - eeff
eeff f = e
r
- 1 + (hIZ
o
)1.33(0,43f2 - 0.009f3) '
(2.69)
where h is in millimetres, f is in gigahertz and feff is the value calculated by
(2.64) or (2.67), whichev'er is appropriate.
With the value of feff(!) calculated, the more accurate formula for
guided wavelength and hence the value for the physical length of a line
should be

g Veeff(f) .
(2.70)
It is noted that the actual physical length of a microstrip is always shorter
than the value calculated (through the value of feff) from Section (2.9).
2.11 EFFECT OF FINITE STRIP THICKNESS AND METALLIC
ENCLOSURE
In all our previous discussions, the thickness of the strips were considered
to be infinitely small and the dielectric was considered to extend infinitely.
Microstrip circuits, however, are found in most cases to be enclosed by
metallic boxes. Both the metallic enclosure and the finiteness of strip will
alter the values of Zo and feft and hence the vp and Ag that we have
calculated. There are correction formulae available to take these two
factors into account (Edwards and Owens (1976)). However, they are
beyond our present scope.
2.12 FABRICATION OF MICROSTRIPS
Microstrips are normally made from a structure where a metallic layer is
deposited on a low-loss substrate (also known as laminate). The micros trip
circuits are then constructed by etching away the unwanted metal, leaving
metallic strips sitting on top of the substrate.
The parameters for a high-frequency substrate are dielectric constant,
thickness of substrate and dissipation factor. The most commonly used
substrates are alumina (a kind of ceramic) and PTFE fibreglass. PTFE
stands for polytetrafluorethylene; sometimes it is also known as Teflon.
Ceramic materials normally have a higher dielectric constant (fr for
alumina:::::: 10) compared with PTFE fibreglasses (f
r
:::::: 2 to 3) and are
about one order of magnitude less lossy than PTFE fibre glass. On the
other hand, PTFE fibreglass materials are easy to drill and machine; they
are normally supplied in the form of single or double copper-cladded
printed circuit boards, similar in form to ordinary PCBs.
L--__________ __________ 1 0
The substrates commonly used in high-frequency work and their
respective dielectric constant and loss tangents are listed in Table 2.1.
Table 2.1 Dielectric constants and loss tangents of substrates
Substrate Dielectric constant, fr Dissipation factor approx.
Woven PTFE/glass
Microfibre Teflon
or
Non-woven PTFE/glass
tan 0 at 10 GHz
2.55,2.45,2.33,2.17
2.33,2.20 = 0.0008 to 0.0021
-----------------------
Ceramic-filled
PTFE/glass
6.0,10.2

Alumina 9.0 -10.0
= 0.003
= 0.0001
The term 'dissipation factor' or 'loss tangent (tan 6)' is the ratio of the
energy dissipated to the energy stored in the material when excited. PTFEI
glass substrates are normally supplied with a thickness of 118", 1116", 1132"
or 1164". The thickness of copper cladding is usually described as 10z eu
(or 1I20z or 2 oz). 1 oz of copper is cladded on to 1 square foot on ONE side
of the substrate and is equivalent to a thickness of 0.0014" or 0.03556 mm.
In general, non-woven PTFE/glass substrates are more uniform and have
lower losses than woven PTFE/glass substrates.
PROBLEMS
1. A transmission line is 2.00 wavelength long at its frequency of
operation. It is terminated in a normalized input impedance 0.25 -
j1.80. What is the normalized input impedance of the section if its total
attenuation is (a) zero, (b) 1.0dB, (c) 3.0dB and (d) lOdB?
Ans: (a) 0.25 - j1.8, (b) 0.68 - j1.62, (c) 1.11 - j1.06, (d) 1.08 - jO.17
2. A loss-free transmission line of characteristic impedance Zo = 50 Q is
terminated by a load impedance ZL. Measurements on the line show a
voltage standing wave ratio of 3.0. The distance between successive
voltage minima was measured to be 15 cm. If the load is replaced by a
short circuit, the position of the minima are seen to have moved a
distance of 5 cm towards the generator. Determine the value of ZL by
calculation and by Smith-chart method.
Ans: 50 + j57.7 Q
3. For a distortionless transmission line, LG = RC, prove:
1. The attenuation coefficient a = V( GR);
2. The phase constant f3 = wV(LC);
3. The phase velocity vp = lIV(LC); and
4. The characteristic impedance Zo = V(R/G).
TRANSMISSION-LINE THEORY AND MICROS TRIPS


4. An isolator is inserted between a signal generator and a device of input
VSWR 1.6. The isolator has an isolation of 18 dB. Neglecting the
insertion loss of the isolator and its input and output reflection (i.e.
input and output VSWR of isolator = 1), calculate the equivalent
VSWR of the isolator plus the device as seen by the generator.
Ans: 1.06
5. If the isolator in Problem 4 is a 'real' device with the following specifi-
cations (Radiall R462-205):
1. Isolation: min. 18 dB;
2. Loss (insertion): 0.5 dB max.; and
3. VSWR (liP and O/P): 1.3 max.
what is the maximum VSWR of the isolator plus device as seen by the
generator?
Ans: 1.3059
6. For finite (non-zero) thickness (t) of a microstrip, the width (w)
calculated from the formulae given in the text ((2.62) and (2.65)) can
be modified for better accuracy to
We = W + Llw,
where
t ( 4JTW)
Ll W = :; 1 + In -t-
for wlh ::0; 1/(2JT)
t ( 2h)
Llw = - 1 + In--
JT t
or for wlh 2: 1/(2JT).
Devise a program capable of listing wlh against Zo and Eeff for various
values of E
r
Provide an option for the inclusion of the finite strip
thickness and frequency (2.69) as input parameters.
7. The attenuation coefficient a of a microstrip is given by
where a
c
is the loss due to finite conductivity of the strip and ad is the
loss due to the dielectric. They may be calculated from
_ 2 73
cr
(Ceff - 1) -"
ad- (
Ccff Cr -
or
2.73 CrCCeff - 1) -"
ad = - tan u
Ag Ceff(Er - 1)
and
a = 2000 dBm-1
c In 10 wZo
where Rs is the surface resistance of the metal strip.
Find the total loss coefficient for a 50 Q microstrip fabricated from
a 1132", 2.55 PTFE/glass substrate with tan a = 0.0018. Repeat the
calculation for alumina of the same thickness with Er = 10 and tan a =
0.0001.
L-_________________ F_U_R_T_H_ER __ R_EA __ D_IN_G ________________
Fig. P.2.1
8. A length of micros trip is resonating at a frequency of Wo radians per
second. The Q factor of the resonator is defined as
Q
_ energy stored
- Wo
average power loss
Derive an expression relating Q to the total attenuation coefficient a.
Ans: Q = n/( aAg)
9. A transmission line section of length / can be represented by an
equivalent T network as shown in Fig. P.2.1. Show that the circuit
parameters of the T network are given by
ZI = 2Zo tanh

2 sinh y['
where y is the propagation coefficient.
FURTHER READING
Cheung, W.S. and Levien, F.H. (1985) Microwave Made Simple, Artech
House.
Chipman, R.A. (1968) Transmission Lines, Schaum's Outline Series,
McGraw-Hill.
Collin, R.E. (1986) Foundation for Microwave Engineering, McGraw-HilI.
Edwards, T.e. and Owens, R.P. (1976) 2-18GHz Dispersion measure-
ment on 10-100 ohm microstrip lines on sapphire, IEEE Trans. MTT-24,
No.8, August.
Edwards, T.C. (1981) Foundation for Microstrip Cricuit Design, Wiley.
Getsinger, W.J. (1973) Microstrip dispersion model, IEEE trans. MTT -21,
No.1, January, 34-9.
TRANSMISSION-LINE THEORY AND MICROSTRIPS
01

Laverghetta, T.S. (1984) Practical Microwaves, Howard W. Sams.
Laverghetta, T.S. (1984) Microwave Materials and Fabrication Techniques,
Artech House.
Linvill, J.G. and Schimf, L.G. (1956) The design of tetrode transistor
ampifier. B.S. T.l., 35, 813-40.
Product Bulletin for GT, GX, LX and -10 Copper Clad Dielectric
Laminates, Electronic Products Division, 3M.
Sazonov, D.M., Gridin, A.N. and Mishustin, B.A. (1982) Microwave
Circuits, Mir, Moscow.
The Non- Woven Glass Microfiber- Reinforced PTF Structure, RT/duroid,
Rogers Corporation.
_____ s_-_p_a_ra_m __ e_te_r_s ______
3.1 NETWORK CHARACTERIZATION
In the theory of network analysis, it is well known that a network, or to be
more specific a two-port network, can be completely specified by a set of
four parameters. This set of four parameters could be anyone of the set of
y-, z-, h- or ABeD parameters. All these are network characterizations
based on the total voltages and currents appearing on the terminals of the
two-ports. The term 'total' may at first sound strange, but it will be-
come obvious if one relates it to the voltage or current on a transmission
line because of the fact that any voltage or current on a transmission line
can be considered as a combination of a forward and a backward travelling
component.
In high-frequency applications these parameters are seldomly used,
although for historical reasons y-parameters may still be used up to a few
hundred megahertz in transistor circuit design, because of the following
problems at high frequencies.
1. Total voltages and currents are difficult to measure, and even the
definition of these quantities may be questionable in some cases.
2. In the measurement of these two-port parameters, short and open
circuits are required. However, they are difficult to realise over a broad
band of frequencies.
3. Furthermore, most active devices or circuits are not open- or short-
circuit stable.
In general, if these two-port (or, for that matter n-port) parameters cannot
be measured, or readily measured, at high frequencies, they are not
normally employed.
3.2 SCATTERING PARAMETERS
The two-port network shown in Fig. 3.1 can be completely described, as far
as its external electrical characteristics are concerned, by two equations via
any two-port parameter set such as the y-parameters, i.e.
___ __ ___
"
-
r
"
-
1 '
Fig. 3.1 Two-port network.
Two-port
network
II = YII VI + YI2V2
h = Y2I
V
I + Y22
V
2,
where the Vs and Is are total terminal quantities.
/,

"
-
r

-
2
2'
(3.1)
The quantities VI, 110 V
2
and 12 can be expressed in terms of travelling
voltage and current waves as
VI = Vi + VI
I_vi-vI
1- Zo
V2 = vi + Vi
I_ Vi - Vi
2 - Zo
(3.2)
where the' +' and '-' superscripts refer to whether the travelling wave is
going into or coming out from the two-port network and Zo is an arbitrary
impedance constant normally taken as the characteristic impedance of the
system to which the two-port is intended to be connected or the system
characteristic impedance of the equipment with which the two-port is to be
measured.
On substituting (3.2) to (3.1), we obtain
VI = f11 (y, Zo)Vi + fI2(Y, Zo)Vi
Vi = hl(Y, Zo)Vi + f2b, Zo)Vi (3.3)
It is important to note that the fijs are functions of the y-parameters (or z
or ABeD or h) and the impedance level Zo chosen.
Equation (3.3) will not change if we divide throughout by no and define
MEASUREMENT OF s- PARAMETERS

b - Vi
2 - ffo
and Su = tu(Y, Zo), S12 = tI2(Y, Zo), S2] = fz](Y, Zo) and S22 = fz2(Y, Zo),
such that
bl = slla] + Sl2a2
b2 = S21a ] + S22a 2, (3.4)
where the SijS are known as the scattering parameters, or simply the s-
parameters, of the two-port network and they are only uniquely defined if
the system impedance level Zo is fixed.
Note that a], b], a2 and b
2
are the square roots of the incident and
reflected (or scattered) powers at port 1 and port 2, respectively. These
quantities can be related to the total terminal voltages and currents as
vt f h "d 1
al = ,(7 = square root ate power mCI ent at port
rZo
V] + IIZo
2ffo
Vi f h d 2
a2 = ,(7 = square root ate power mc] ent at port
rZo
V2 + 12Zo
2ffo
bl = = square root of power emitted at port 1
rZo
VI - I]Zo
2ffo
b2 = = square root of power emitted at port 2
rZo
_ V
2
- 12Zo
- 2VZ;;
(3.5)
The s-parameter description of a two-port is shown schematically in Fig.
3.2.
T
Two-port
network
I
1
(Sll
S21
S12 )
S22
...,
,
Fig. 3.2 Two-port s-representation.
2
T
I
I


1
2'
IL-__ __
3.3 MEASUREMENT OF s-PARAMETERS
In measuring the Z-, y-, h- or ABeD parameters it is required to have at
least one port open or short circuited. However, from (3.4), it is seen that,
in the measurement of Sll and S2b only a2 needs to be made zero in order
that Sll be measured in one transmission measurement, i.e.
(3.6)
In these measurements, 'power' a1 is made to enter the two-port at port
1-1' and a2 is made zero by connecting a transmission line of characteristic
impedance equal to Zo terminated in a load Zo to port 2-2' of the network.
It helps to note that a2 is defined as the 'power' coming from outside into
the network at port 2-2'. Even when a2 = 0, the output of the two-port is
still not necessarily matched to the system impedance Zo, hence some of
the power output will still be reflected at port 2-2' back into the network.
However, this reflection only occurs within the 'walls' of the network
between 1-1' and 2-2' and hence it is totally within the two-port network. It
is important to note that the Sll and S21 so measured (or defined) will be
different if the same network is measured by (or defined with respect to) a
system of a different characteristic impedance.
S22 and S12 can be similarly measured by interchanging the positions of
port 1-1' and port 2-2' in the measuring system, according to
(3.7)
The measurement technique discussed so far can be extended to n-port
networks by terminating all but one port at a time in the system
characteristic impedance.
3.4 s-PARAMETERS AND SIGNAL-FLOW GRAPHS
A signal-flow graph is a pictorial representation of a system normally
described by a set of simultaneous equations. In microwave circuit
analysis, circuits are described in terms of travelling 'power' waves, as and
bs, related to each other by s-parameters in the form of linear simultaneous
equations. Hence, the signal-flow graph technique can easily be adopted to
represent linear microwave circuits pictorially via s-parameters, and
furthermore, it can also be used to simplify circuits for analysis.
Let us first represent a two-port network with parameters S, i.e.
_____ s_-P_A_R_A_M_E_T_E_R_S_A_N_D_S_IG_N_A_L_F_L_O_W_G_RA_P_H_S ____ ------11 0
bi = SUal + S12a2
b2 = S2I al + S22a2
(3.8)
By considering the variables, both dependent (bs) and independent (as), as
nodes and the SijS as branches, (3.8) can be represented pictorially by a
signal-flow graph as shown in Fig. 3.3.
Consider now a signal generator of source voltage Vs and source
impedance Zs as shown in Fig. 3.4(a). The power-delivering capacity ofthe
Fig. 3.3 Signal-flow graph for a general two-port.
Zs
bs b

I
I
Ts

I
I
a
(a)
(b)
Fig. 3.4 Signal generator.
___________________ S_-_PA_R_A_M_E_T_E_R_S __________________
generator can be described by P
avso
, defined as the power available from
the source (generator) to be delivered to a load equal to a certain system
impedance Zo, i.e.
Pavso = (z V, Z )
2Z
o.
s + 0
(3.9)
By defining a 'power'-wave variable b
s
equal to VP
avso
, i.e. b
s
is defined as
the square root of the power available from the source to a load equal to
the system impedance (chosen) Zo, the generator can be represented by a
signal-flow diagram as shown in Fig. 3.4(b).
In Fig. 3.4(b), rs is the reflection coefficient of the source, defined with
respect to the system impedance Zo as
r. = Z5 - Zo
S Z5+ Z0'
(3.10)
The signal-flow diagram for a load ZL can be similarly deduced by defining
r
L
= (ZL - ZO)/(ZL + Zo) as shown in Fig. 3.5.
Next, we consider the application of a signal generator to a two-port
network loaded by ZL' The signal-flow graph for such a system can be
arrived at by combining the last three figures, as shown in Fig. 3.6. It is
noted that out ofthe five 'power' variables shown in Fig. 3.6(b), (b., ab bb
a2 and b
2
) only b
s
is independent. Signal-flow graphs such as that shown in
Fig. 3.6 can be used to help evaluate the transfer functions and driving-
point immittance functions.
As an example, let us evaluate the power ratio b
2
/b
s
of the circuit shown
in Fig. 3.6. This quantity may be interpreted as the ratio of the power
incident to the load and the power available from the source. Figure 3.6
can be redrawn such that b
s
is the input and b
2
is the output of the system,
as shown in Fig. 3.7(a). The signal-flow diagram is reduced successively
using the basic canonical form in the feedback system as indicated in
Fig. 3.7.
a
b
(a)
(b)
Fig. 3.5 Load.
____________________ P_R_O_B_LE_M_S ____________________
Zs
v.
Ts
Two-port
network
(a)
(b)
Fig. 3.6 Loaded two-port network with source.
On simplifying the expression in Fig. 3.7(e)
b2 = S21
bs 1 - s"rs - S22rL - S12S21rsrL + S"S22rsrL'
(3.11)
Other network functions of a loaded two-port network excited by a source
of reflection coefficient rs can be evaluated in a similar way, the results of
which will be made use of in deriving various power gains and impedance
functions for an amplifier in Chapter 6.
PROBLEMS
1. Determine the s-parameters of the networks shown in Fig. P.3.1
-- - - --
Ans: (a)Z/(Z + 2), 2/(Z + 2), 2/(Z + 2), Z/(Z + 2); (b) Dual of (a)
2. For a section of transmission line of characteristic impedance Zo and of
electrical length (), determine its S matrix.
Ans: 0, exp( -j()), exp (-j()), 0
3. For the loaded two-port network shown in Fig. P.3.2, find:
____________________ s_-_PA_R_A_M __ ET_E_R_S ________ ___
b
s
a! S2! b2
b
2
(a)
Us



cU

b
s
1
S21 1 b2
(b)

L

lC:r,



bs
1
S2!
1
b2
(c)
1- SIlTs
1 - S22TL
L


T
L
s
12
T
s


..

(d)
b
s
1 1 1 1
b
2
1 - sIlTs SI2 1 - S22TL
1 _ s12s 21 TsTI
(1 - SlITs)(l - snTd



(e)
b
s
Fig.3.7 Evaluation of b2/bs'
lOLO
volts
0
0
Fig. P.3.1
50Q
Z
(a)
j.--A/8
-... alex)
Zo = 50Q
PROBLEMS

0
: : 0
(b)
Two-port
network
Zo = 50Q 50Q
x=O
Zl = 50 + j50Q
Fig. P.3.2
1. Z(O);
x =A/8
2. al (0), b
1
(0), al (/lIB), b
1
(/lIB) and a2(0);
3. The average input power at x = 0 and at x = /lIB;
4. S11 (0) and S11 (/lIB).
4. A transistor must be imbedded in a transmission-line structure known
as a test jig in order for its s-parameters to be measured as shown in
Fig. P.3.3. The transmission-line sections in front of and behind the
imbedded device are of length 11 and 1
2
, respectively. Assuming that
the propagation velocity along these sections is v, derive an expression
relating the measured s-parameters, Sm, to the true s-parameters, S,
of the device.
S. The common-emitter s-parameters of the npn transistor Motorola
MRF914 at 1 GHz measured at V CE = 5 V and Ic = 5 rnA are given by
Sll = 0.16L - 150
S12 = 0.19L55
S21 = 2.17L55
S22 = 0.55L - 45.
If a capacitor of 1 pF is connected across collector and base, find the
modified s-parameters of the common-emitter transistor-capacitor com-
bination at 1 GHz under the same bias conditions.
LI ___________________ __ ET_E_R_S __________________
Fig. P.3.3
THROUGH
SECfION
TEST JIG
_--I (in __ -
I
Fig. P.3.4 DR is the dielectric resonator; Ag is the guided wavelength.
_________________ F_U_R_T_H_ER __ R_EA_D_I_N_G ________________
6. For the signal-flow graph shown in Fig. 3.6 (in the text), find the ratio
bl/bs
7. For the partially completed circuit shown in Fig. P.3.4, derive an
expression for the source loading, r
s
, presented to the gate of the FET
by the dielectric-resonator loaded microstrips. Given: Zo, the loaded Q
of the dielectric resonator and the coupling coefficient {3 between the
dielectric resonator and microstrip.
FURTHER READING
Gonzalez, G. (1984) Microwave Transistor Amplifier Analysis and Design,
Prentice-Hall.
Hejhall, R., RF small signal design using two-port parameters, Appli-
cation Note AN-215A, Motorola Products Inc.
Hewlett Packard, S-parameter Technique for faster, more accurate net-
work design, Application Note 95-l.
Hewlett Packard, S-parameter design, Application Note 154.
Partha, R. and Sharma, M.L. (1986) design of dielectrically stabilized
oscillators using Feedback Techniques, Proc. of RF Technology Expo
86, pp. 291-6, California.
Roddy, D. (1986) Microwave Technology, Prentice-Hall.
Sander, K.F. (1987) Microwave Components and Systems, Addison
Wesley.
GI '---__ Im_p_e_d_an_c_e_M_a_tc_h_in_g_------'
4.1 INTRODUCTION
One of the most important aspects of high-frequency circuit design and
microwave engineering is the problem of impedance matching. Impedance
matching is the design of a circuit to be inserted between a source and a
load (both used in the general sense) so as to provide maximum power
transfer between them. For example, the source could be a 50-ohm r.f.
signal generator and the load could be the optimal input impedance of a
transistor under certain bias conditions. Alternatively, the output voltage
of a transistor and its output impedance could be considered as the source,
and a 50-ohm termination could be considered as the load. In either case, a
matching network inserted between the source and the load is necessary in
achieving maximum power transfer.
One of the most fundamental criteria is that a matching network must at
least theoretically be lossless. The reason is obvious. As a consequence.
matching networks in high-frequency circuit design always take the form of
an LC (never R) circuit in the discrete case, or in the form of transmission-
line sections and stubs in the distributed case.
In this chapter, the following matching techniques will briefly be
introduced with the aim of utilizing the design equations rather than
delving into their derivation:
1. Two-element L networks;
2. Three- (or more) element networks; and
3. Transmission-line networks.
Smith-chart and computer-aided methods will be introduced in aiding the
above designs where appropriate.
4.2 CONCEPT OF OPERATING Q-FACTOR
Since matching networks are basically constructed from inductive and
capacitive elements, they invariably are frequency discriminative. In fact,
_______________ T_W_O_-_E_LE_M __ EN_T __ L_N_E_T_W_O_R_K ______________ [33]
one of the functions of a matching network is to provide harmonic
attenuation within certain bandpass specifications.
Matching networks are normally designed for a single frequency, known
as the operating frequency or centre frequency, and the bandwidth
requirement of the network is fulfilled by choosing a proper quality factor
for the network. The quality factor Q of a circuit is roughly equal to the
reciprocal of the percentage bandwidth, i.e.
-.l _ ,1f
Q - fa'
(4.1)
where LJf is the 3-dB bandwidth of the matching network. In two-element
matching, the Q-factor cannot be assigned and is governed by the ratio of
the real part of the impedances to be matched. This type of matching
network normally has a low Q-factor. The value of the Q-factor can
however be assigned by the designer in the case of three-element or
transmission-line networks.
It was noted that matching is normally calculated at a single frequency.
Unfortunately, the exact operating Q of a circuit cannot be determined by
calculations made at one frequency only. The operating Q-factor or loaded
Q of a circuit is defined by calculating the Q values of each node in the
circuit at the centre frequency and by taking the highest value as the
operating Q of the circuit. The operating Q so defined is a good approxi-
mation of the actual Q for circuit-design purposes, and is a parameter to be
assigned by the designer.
4.3 TWO-ELEMENT L NETWORK
A two-element L-matching network inserted between two resistances Rl
and R2 to be matched is shown in Fig. 4.1. The idea of L matching is to put
the larger of the two resistances to be matched, R2 in this case, in parallel
L-matching
r--------------l
I I
I I
L ______________
Fig. 4.1 L-matching network.
IMPEDANCE MATCHING
01
L-____________________________________________
with a reactive element jX
2
, so that the series resistance of the (R2,jX2)
combination has a smaller value than R
2
, and X
2
is so chosen that this
series resistance is equal to R
I
. In so choosing X
2
, X
2
could be positive or
negative, depending on the designer's assignment. Xl is then chosen to be
equal to and opposite in sign to the series reactance of the (R2 , jX2)
combination, so that the reactive part of the (RbjX
I
) combination and that
of the (R
2
,jX
2
) combination neutralize each other (or resonate) at the
operating frequency. In determining Xl and X
2
, Q has no part to play and
is only a consequence of the circuit designed.
The derivation of the design equations for the L-matching network is left
as an exercise in Problem 4.3 and these equations are given below
Ql = Q2 = - 1)
QJ
Q2 =
(4.2)
In general, an L-matching network can assume either the low-pass or the
high-pass format as shown in Fig. 4.2.
L
c
(a)
c
L
(b)
Fig.4.2 (a) Low-pass and (b) high-pass L-networks.

Example 4.1
Design a matching network to match a 100 Q source to a 1000 Q load at
200 MHz. It is also required that d.c. could be transferred from source to
load through the matching network.
Solution
First of all, it is noted that it does not matter which is source and which is
load. What is important is the impedance level, 10011000, to be matched.
Because of the d.c. requirement, the matching circuit should look like
Fig. 4.3.
L

r i
X
2
r
C I
100 n 1000 n
0-------------------------0
Fig. 4.3 Circuit for Example 4.1.
From (4.2)
Ql = Q2 = - 1) = 3
Xl = QIRI
= 3 x 100Q
= 300Q.
Note that Xl is chosen to be positive (inductive).
IX
2
1 = R2 = 1000 = 333Q
Q2 3
X
2
= -333 Q (capacitive).
Hence, at 200 MHz,
L= 300 H
2.n(200 x 10
6
)
= 238.5nH
c= 1 F
333 X 2.n x 200 x 10
6
= 2.4 pF.
Lt _________________ IM_P_E_D_A_N_C_E_MA __ T_C_H_I_N_G ________________
Before leaving the topic of two-element matching, a certain question
should be raised. What happens if one of or both the impedances to be
matched are complex? Such a case would frequently occur if the
impedances correspond to the input or output port of a transistor.
The answer to this question is that it can be handled in two ways.
1. Method of absorption - neglect the reactive part of the load and source
impedance and perform the calculation as before. Then try to absorb
the reactive part of the source and load impedance into their
corresponding adjacent reactive component of the matching network.
This may not always be possible as the reactance to be absorbed may be
bigger than the matching reactance or they may be of opposite polarity
(e.g. trying to absorb capacitance into an inductor).
2. Method of resonance - when absorption is not possible or practical
(resulting element value too small), the load and source reactance can
be made to resonate (cancel) by adding an equal and opposite reactance
at the frequency of interest.
It is noted that the techniques stated in handling complex loads and sources
apply not only to two-element matching, but to all other matching
networks.
4.4 THREE-ELEMENT MATCHING
The main disadvantage of the two-element matching is in not having the
choice of the operating Q. The Q for two-element circuits is generally very
low and is, in fact, the lowest possible value for a matching network
matching R[ to R
2
. In narrow-band or high-Q applications, three-element
circuits have to be employed. Three-element circuits provide the designer
the freedom to specify an operating Q restricted only by the practicability
of the resulting component values.
A three-element matching network is usually arranged in either the II
form or the T form as shown in Fig. 4.4. The mechanism by which a three-
element network provides the matching function and the freedom to
choose the operating Q can be best understood by considering a
II-network as two L-networks connected back to back as shown in Fig. 4.5.
Looking from AA' towards R2 one should see a resistance, say R, if L-
network 2 is designed according to the procedures laid down in the last
section. The operating Q of L-network 2 is given by
By the same token, if L-network 1 is also designed in the same manner
matching Rl to R, the operating Q will be
L-______________ T_H_R_EE_-_E_LE_M_E_N_T __ MA __ T_C_H_IN_G ______________
(a)
(b)
Fig.4.4 Three-element matching networks: (a) II-form and (b) T-form.
Since the operating Q of a circuit is dominated by the branch of the circuit
having the highest Q value, therefore the overall
(4.3)
where RH is the bigger of RI and R
2
.
The overall Q factor, Qn, can be assigned by fixing the value of R, which
must be smaller than both RI and R
2
. Once R is fixed QLl and QL2 are
determined. The values for Xl, X
21
, X
22
and X3 can then be calculated
based on the two-element design method;
L-network 1
-r-
I
I
r
J
,
L-network 2
I I Virtual
R I I Resistance
L,J
I
A' I B'
__
Fig. 4.5 II-network as two back-to-back L-networks.
LI _________________ IM_P_E_D_A_N_C_E_MA __ T_C_H_I_N_G ________________
If the value of the virtual resistance R is desired to be higher than R 1 and
R
z
, II-networks cannot be used, instead the two shunt reactances should be
placed at the centre of the network to form a single shunt reactance,
resulting in a T-network. The operating Q of a T-network is then given by
where RL is the lower of Rl and R
z
.
Instead of deriving the design equations for the three-element T- and 11-
networks, the design equations for five possible variations of three-element
networks (which could result in more than three elements) with one
termination being capacitively complex are given below. These circuits
represent the most commonly used matching networks in active circuit
design.
4.4.1 Network A
Device to be Q Q
matched to R2 ... T ...
r---------l I
I COUI 1 XLI I
I 1--4:
1
)-rv-V--Y 1.... ...... --1 1----0----,
I
I
I
1 R
J
I
I
1 1
1 1
1 I
L _.:: _______ ..J
Fig. 4.6 Network A. All X-values are positive.
Design equation for network A
Select the operating Q
where
XLI = QR
I
- X
cout
(X
cout
is -ve)
X
C2
= AR2
B
XCI = Q _ A'
A = Q2) - 1]
B = R
I
(1 + Q2).
(4.4)
(4.5)
_____________ T_H_R_E_E_-E_L_EM __ E_NT __ MA __ T_C_H_IN_G ______________
4.4.2 Network B
Device to be
matched to R2
Fig. 4.7 Network B.
Design equation for network B
Select the operating Q
Q Q Q' Q'
.,. T
I XL I
I
(4.6)
Note that for this network we may have either RI > R2 or R2 > RIo
However, when R2 > Rb the overall circuit Q is not equal to the Q value
chosen, but is equal to
4.4.3 Network C
Device to be
matched to R
z
Q' = :: (Q2 + 1) - 1] 0
Q Q


I I
L _______ --'
Fig. 4.8 Network C.
_________________ IM_P_E_D_A_N_C_E_M_A_T_C_H_I_N_G ______________
Design equation for network C
Select the operating Q
(4.7)
Note that when V[(R2 - Rd/Rd > Q, the actual circuit Q is V[(R2 - RJ)/Rd.
4.4.4 Network D
Device to be
matched to R2
Q Q
r--------,
! I----+-Ilrvv!....e>-----<>---,
I I
I I
I R J I
I I
I I
I
I I
L _______ ...l
Fig. 4.9 Network D.
Design equation for network D
Select the operating Q
(4.8)
Note that the Q so defined is an approximated value for the circuit Q where
C
1
<2i C
out
is assumed. When V[(R
2
- RJ)/Rd > Q, the actual circuit Q is
V[(R2 - RJ)/Rd
L-___________ D_E_SI_G_N_IN_G_W __ IT_H_T_H_E_S_M_I_T_H_C_H_A_R_T __________
4.4.5 Network E
Device to be
matched to R2
,--------,
Q Q
I Cout I
I
I
I
I R]
I
I
I
I I
L _______ ..J
Fig. 4.10 Network E.
Design equation for network E
Select the operating Q
where
XLI = RJQ + X cout
X
L2
= R2B
A
XCI = Q + B'
A = R
I
(1 + Q2)
B = - 1).
(4.9)
The five 'three-element' networks considered above can best be utilized by
listing out the reactance values using a computer with Q as a parameter,
and R
J
and R2 as variables. This will help the designer decide on which
circuits to be chosen as this will give a quick reference as to whether the
component values required by a certain circuit configuration are reasonable
or not.
4.5 DESIGNING WITH THE SMITH CHART
The two- and three-element network design discussed in the previous
sections can also be calculated using an impedance Smith chart overlaying
an admittance Smith chart. However, it should be noted that the Smith-
chart method is not only limited to the two- and three-element networks
previously discussed.
Ll ________________ I_M_P_E_D_A_N_C_E_MA __ T_C_H_IN_G ________________
Fig. 4.11 Impedance Smith chart.
To understand the overlaid Smith chart, let us consider an impedance Z
normalized by an arbitrary Zo (usually but not necessarily equal to 50 Q),
i.e.
- z
Z = Zoo
For example, let Z = 1 + jl. The reflection coefficient, r, created by
Z = 1 + j1 on a system of normalized system impedance 2;) = Z(/Zo is
given by
Z - 1 1 + jl - 1
r= Z + 1 = 1 + jl + 1 = 0.447L63.4.
If admittance Y = Y/Y
o
were used, where Y = 1/Z, Y = 1/ Z and Yo = 1/ Zo,
then
- 1
Y = 1 + jl = 0.5 - jO.5
and
r = 1 - = 1 - 0.5 + jO.5 = 0 447 63 40
1 + Y 1 + 0.5 - jO.5 . L . .
Now, let us interpret these numerical calculation on a Smith chart as shown
in Fig. 4.11. Z is entered on an impedance chart as point A. A circle with
radius from the centre of the chart to A is drawn. Produce AO to meet the
circle at point B. The value of the 'impedance' at B is read as 0.5 - jO.S,
L-___________ D_E_S_IG_N_I_N_G_W __ IT_H_T_H_E __ SM_I_T_H_C_H_A_R_T __________
IMPEDANCE
CHART
ADMITTANCE
CHART
Fig. 4.12 Impedance and admittance chart.
t
+ve reactance (X)
Series
inductance
!
-ve reactance (X)
Series
capacitance
f
-ve susceptance (B)
Parallel
inductance

+ve susceptance (B)
Parallel
capacitance
which is actually equal, numerically, to the admittance Y of the original
impedanceZ.
However, to enter an admittance Y = 0.5 - jO.5 on an impedance chart
as point B shown is not correct since the phase of r at B is 180
0
+ 63.4
0
instead of 63.4
0
, although the magnitude I rl is the same at points A and
B. Therefore, in order to enter properly an admittance on a Smith chart,
the impedance chart has to be rotated about centre 0 by 180
0
, resulting in
an admittance Smith chart as shown in Fig. 4.12.
Consider matching an impedance Z = 10 + j 10 ohms to a 50-ohm trans-
mission line using the Smith-chart method. For convenience, Z is nor-
malized by 50 Q, i.e. Z = 0.2 + jO.2 and Z is to be matched to 1 + jO.
Z = 0.2 + jO.2 is entered on the impedance chart as point A in Fig.
4.13. Point A is then moved to point B via a constant R circle, i.e. A is
transformed into B by adding a reactance to Z. The required reactance
X
AB
is equal to
X
AB
= X
B
- X
A
= +0.4 - (+0.2) = 0.2.
IMPEDANCE MATCHING
[81 L-______________________________________________________
Fig.4.13 An example of two-element matching using the immittance Smith chart.
Point B is then moved to the matched point C (corresponding toZ = 1 + jO
or Y = 1 + jO) via the G = 1 circle. In other words, B is transformed to C
by 'adding' a susceptance in parallel with the admittance value at
point B. BBe is given by
BBe = Be - BB = (0) - (-2.0) = +2.0
Hence the matching network is as shown in Fig. 4.14.
It is noted that the network shown in Fig. 4.14 is not the only solution.
The alternative approach is shown in Fig. 4.15. Point A is moved to point
B, also via a constant R circle to meet the G = 1 circle at B, this time in
the 'toward' load direction. The rest of the chart construction is self
explanatory. The results are
or
XAB = X
B
- X
A
= (-0.4) - (+0.2) = -0.6
BBe = Be - BB = (0) - (+2.0) = -2.0
-X 1 '05
] Be = --:-2 =] . .
-]
The alternative network is shown in Fig. 4.16.
The two alternatives shown in Fig. 4.14 and Fig. 4.16 can also be
obtained by calculation using (4.2). The choice between these two con-
figurations depends on whether high-pass or low-pass characteristics are
preferred, and whether d.c. is to be blocked.
L-___________ D_E_S_IG_N_I_N_G_W __ IT_H_T_H_E __ SM __
500
(1 )
jlO 0(j0.2)
-j250
( -jO.5)
Fig. 4.14 Two-element Smith-chart matching.
100
(0.2)
+j100
(j0.2)
In designing two-element matching networks using Smith chart, the
operating Q is not up to the designer's choice, but is rather predetermined
by the terminating resistances R 1 and R
2
. In the example shown in Fig. 4.14
and Fig. 4.16, the Q-value can easily be calculated by setting (4.2) to be
equal to 2. A question arises: 'How is the operating Q read from the Smith
chart?'
Each node in a circuit corresponds to a point on the Smith chart (either
regarded as impedance or admittance), and each point on the Smith chart
Fig.4.15 An alternative solution to the example in Fig. 4.13.
________________ I_M_P_E_D_A_N_C_E_M_A_T_C_H_IN_G ________________
50 n
( 1)
-j30 n
(-jO.6)
+j2S n
(+ jO.S)
Fig. 4.16 An alternative solution to Fig. 4.14.
100
(0.2)
+jlO 0
(j0.2)
is associated with a Q-value equal to the ratio of the reactive part (or
susceptance part) to the resistive part (or conductance part) of the
immittance of that point. And the overall operating Q of the circuit is equal
to the largest Q-value of the nodes. Consider the Q-values of nodes A, B
and C of Fig. 4.13 and Fig. 4.15, they are listed below
From Fig. 4.13
QA = 121 = 1
0.2
QB = 1.41 = 2
0.2
Qc = Iii =
From Fig. 4.15
QA = 121 = 1
0.2
QB = 1-
0
.41 = 2
0.2
Qc = Iii =
Hence, it is seen that each circuit has its operating Q (=2) determined by
the Q-value at its corresponding point B.
As was seen in the section on three-element matching, the operating Q
needs to be specified, otherwise there will be too many solutions. So, in
using the Smith-chart method for three- (or more) element matching, it is
important that at least one of the nodes (points on the Smith chart) should
have a Q-value equal to the specified Q, whereas the Q-value for all other
nodes should be lower than the specified Q.
In order to facilitate graphic determination of a three- (or more) element
matching network involving the designer's choice of Q, a device known as
the constant-Q curve is plotted on to the Smith chart first. A Q = 5 curve
is plotted as shown in Fig. 4.17.
In Fig. 4.17 it is noted that points of constant Q lie on the arc of two
circles, one on the top half and the other on the lower half of the chart. It is
also noted that these constant-Q arcs are the same for both an admittance
and an impedance chart.
L-___________ D_E_S_IG_N_I_N_G_W __ IT_H_T_H_E_S_M_I_T_H_C_H_A_R_T __________
Fig. 4.17 Constant-Q curves.
The use of the Smith-chart technique in designing a three-element
matching network can best be illustrated by an example.
Example 4.2
Design a T-network to match a ZI = 15 + j15 Q impedance to a Z2 =
225 Q impedance at 30 MHz with a loaded (operating) Q of 5.
Solution
First draw the arcs for Q = 5 as shown in Fig. 4.18. Choose a convenient
normalizing value of Zo = 75 Q, then
ZI = 0.2 + jO.2
Z2 = 3.
ZI and Z2 are entered on an impedance chart as points D and A,
respectively. It is required that point A, after being transformed by the T-
network will come to point C which is the complex conjugate of D shown in
Fig. 4.18. Figure 4.19 together with Fig. 4.18 will help us understand the
procedures.
Z2, after being transformed by L
J
and C}, will come to a point, point I,
having an impedance ZI (or Y
I
). The real part of ZI should be equal to the
real part of Zc = Zo, since further action by L2 would only change the
imaginary part of ZI. To locate point I, the real part of Zc is extended to
meet the Q = 5 arc at point I.
LI ________________ I_M_P_E_D_A_N_C_E_M_A_T_C_H_IN_G ________________
Fig. 4.18 Example 4.2.
Z2 at point A is moved through constant R to point B which has a con-
ductance equal to that at point I. Point B is then moved to point I through
constant G to point I, and that completes the procedures. The flow of
transforming Z2(A) to Zl(C) is indicated by the direction of the arrows
shown in Fig. 4.18.
so
To read the reactance and susceptance from Fig. 4.18
21
15+j15 f!
(O.2+jO.2)
XLI = X
B
- X
A
= +2.5 - (0) = +2.5
2.5(75)
LJ = 2n(30 x 106) = 995 nH.
BCI = B, - BB = (+0.97) - (-0.16) = +1.13
Fig. 4.19 Circuit for Example 4.2.
22
225 f!
(3)
L-_________ T_RA_N_S_M_I_SS_IO_N_-_LI_N_E_MA __ T_C_H_IN_G __ N_E_TW __ O_R_K ________
so
_ 1.13(1/75) _
C1 - 2Jl(30 X 106) - 80pF.
X
L2
= Xc - XI = (-0.2) - (-0.96) = +0.76
so
0.76(75)
L2 = 2Jl(30 x 106) = 302 nH.
It is noted that the flow of matching actions from point A to point C as
indicated by the direction of the arrows in Fig. 4.18 is in the direction of
'towards generator' on the Smith chart. Alternative solutions can be
derived by matching point A to point C 'towards load', or by matching
point D to point A 'towards generator' or 'towards load'. Apparently,
there are four different solutions. However, it would be a good exercise for
the readers to show that these are actually two distinct solutions. It should
be further noted that the terms 'towards generator' and 'towards load' are
only transmission-line terminologies and they bear no physical meaning
when the Smith chart is used for discrete component design.
4.6 TRANSMISSION-LINE MATCHING NETWORK
The techniques for matching-network design described in the previous
section are based on lumped capacitors and inductors for their realization.
However, as the operating frequency increases beyond a few hundred
megahertz, and the values of Cs and Ls so calculated may become
impractically small, then distributed elements have to be employed
instead. The realization of distributed elements is based on the properties
of a transmission line. The most readily available transmission-line
structure in the high-frequency domain, especially for circuits involving
active devices, is the open microstrip.
In this section, two methods of matching using transmission lines are
considered.
1. Stub matching:
(i) Single stub,
(ii) Double stub.
2. Quarter-wave transformer.
In matching an immittance to a transmission line (or waveguide in general)
or to another immittance, the main objective is to provide maximum power
transfer between these two immittances. In using Smith charts to aid the
calculations in transmission-line matching problems, there is a danger in
misinterpreting the meaning of the terms 'towards load' and 'towards
generator' which appear on the Smith chart.
For example, if we are to match the input impedance of a FET or BJT,
Zin, to a signal generator of internal impedance of 50 Q, it is natural to
enter Zin as 'load' on the Smith chart and move it 'towards generator' until
IMPEDANCE MATCHING
ODI
L-____________________________________________________
it reaches 50 Q. This is correct. However, if we are to match the output
impedance of a FET or BJT, Zout, to a load of 50 Q, one is tempted to
enter Zout as 'generator' on the Smith chart and move it 'towards load'
until it reaches 50 Q. And, this time, it is incorrect. The correct way to
interpret 'load' and 'generator' on a Smith chart, in the context of
matching, is that we are always matching a 'load' to the 'generator' by
moving the 'load' 'towards generator', independent of whether the signal is
physically coming from the 'load' end or the 'generator' end.
4.6.1 Stub matching
(a) Single-stub matching
In matching a load to a generator (both used in the Smith-chart sense),
either impedance or admittance can be used. However, a matching scheme
using an impedance chart will end up with series stubs while that using an
admittance chart will end up with shunt stubs. For circuits using microstrip
implementation series stubs are not possible, hence the admittance chart,
which results in shunt stubs, is always perferred.
A stub is a short transmission line which can either be of the same
characteristic impedance as the main line concerned, or otherwise. For the
purpose of stub-matching calculations, a stub is considered to be loss-less.
The immittance of a transmission line is given by
Z = + j tan {31
In 1 + jZL tan {31
and
y = + j tan {31
In 1 + jY
L
tan {31"
For an open-circuited line, ZL = 00 and Y
L
= 0, hence
Zino = - j cot {31
Y
ino
= j tan {31.
For a shorted line, ZL = 0 and Y
L
= 00, hence
Zins = j tan {31
Y
ins
= -j cot{3l.
( 4.10)
( 4.11)
( 4.12)
( 4.13)
In actual matching problems, the Smith chart is widely used. The choice of
series or shunt stubs and shorted or opened stubs is arbitrary and the
Smith-chart method is independent of these choices. The only difference in
these choices is in the last step when the stub length I is read from the chart.
Figure 4.20 shows a single-stub matching scheme which matches a
microwave antenna ZL (Yd to a waveguide Zo (Yo), and its transmission-
line equivalent.
L-_________ T_RA_N_S_M_I_SS_IO_N_-_L_IN_E_MA __ T_C_H_IN_G __ __ O_R_K ________
Yo
Fig. 4.20 Single-stub matching.
Stub waveguide
Microwave
antenna
To find d and 1 for perfect match, Y
L
= YdY
o
is first entered into the
chart as shown by point A in Fig. 4.21. The immittance viewed from just
right of the stub towards the load is effectively equal to moving point A
towards the generator a distance d (in A), which transforms ZL (Yd to a
new immittance, shown as point B, ZL (YL) such that
Re(ZL) = Re(YL) = 1.
The transformation just described takes place under constant-VSWR or
constant-Q condition, hence the path from point A to point B is an arc of a
circle centred at G = R = 1 and B = X = O.
Viewed from just left of the stub towards the load, the new load Z'L =
1 (or Y'i. = 1), i.e. it is matched. To achieve the match condition, point B is
moved to point C under a constant-resistance (conductance) condition.
The reactance (or susceptance) change from point B to point C is provided
by the stub length I. d is given (in A) by the length of the arc of the circle
sustained by A and B with C as shown.
LI ________________ I_M_P_E_D_A_N_C_E_MA __ T_C_H_IN_G ________________
E F
Fig. 4.21 Single-stub matching.
To match B to C, an amount of reactance (or susceptance) equal and
opposite to that of B is needed. Point D has this property. To determine I,
we consider the following cases.
(a) When impedances are used and the stub is open circuited then I =
1
10
is the arc length (in A) from F (corresponds to open circuit) to D' in the
clockwise direction, hence
-- 1
10
= arc FD'.
(b) When impedances are used and the stub is short circuited, then I =
lIs is the arc length from E to D'

lIs = arc ED'.
(c) When admittances are used and the stub is open circuited, then

lAO = arc ED'.
(d) When admittances are used and the stub is short circuited, then

lAs = arc FD'.
Figure 4.22 shows the schematics of these four cases.
"'l
;':<1
"'" N
N
'Tj
NI
0
::
;
....
'"
II
S"
1
(JQ
!f
'"
2"

cr"
0
...-

3

8"
;:r
S"
i
(JQ
(")
0
::l
::n
(JQ
::
"- "-
....
! !

0"
::l
:"

NI
r
':<1
;'
II
NI
;'
II

t

:s
f
"-
"-
1 t

NI
r


IMPEDANCE MATCHING
(b) Double-stub matching
The main disadvantage of the 'single-stub method' is that the position of
the stub, d, is a function of frequency and that every new load requires a
new stub position. The 'double-stub method' which utilizes two stubs spaced
at a fixed distance and located at fixed positions is devised to overcome
the more frequency-sensitive single-stub method. However, the double-
stub method cannot match all possible load immittance values. A double-
stub matching scheme is set up as shown in Fig. 4.23.
In double-stub matching the spacing between the stubs, d{, is arbitrarily
fixed, but the best value for d{ is ,1,/8 or 3,1,/8 for minimum forbidden region.
The procedure for double-stub matching using the Smith chart is listed
below with reference to Fig. 4.24.
1. The immittance of load (ZL or Y d is entered as point A.
2. The G = 1 or R = 1 circle is rotated in the anticlockwise direction, i.e.
towards the load, through an angular length of d{ in A. For minimum
forbidden region, the rotation is 90 or 270.
3. Looking from 'just right' of stub 1, Zin (or Yin) is equal to the
transformed value of ZL (or Yd through a constant-VSWR section,
hence it corresponds to moving point A towards the generator by a line
length of d to point B.
4. Stub 1 transforms point B to either point C or point C' (depending on
the stub length) through constant R or G circles until it meets the
rotated unit circle at point C or point C'.
5. Point C or C' is then rotated in the clockwise direction by a length d{ to
points 0 or 0' where both of these lie on the original unit circle.
6. The effect of stub 2 is to match either point 0 or 0' to the centre of the
chart where matched condition is achieved.
The stub length I] is found by first letting X = Xc - X
B
(or I; is found by
X' = Xc - X
B
), where Xc and X
B
are the reactance or susceptance of
points C and B, respectively. The imaginary part of the immittance, X, of
stub 2 is then entered on the circumference of the chart. The length, I], of
stub 2 can be found as the arc length from either the open-circuit or short-
circuit point of the chart 'towards generator' to X, depending on whether
an open-circuit or short-circuit stub is chosen for stub 1. The length, 1
2
, of
stub 2 is found by using the same procedures as were employed in deter-
mining the stub length for single-stub matching. The stub lengths I] and 12
depend on whether impedances or admittances are used (throughout the
process) and whether short-circuit or open-circuit stubs are used.
Straightforward stub matching leaves no room for choosing desirable Q-
values. However, with additional reactive elements placed properly, the
operating Q could be controlled.
L-_________ T_RA __ N_SM __ IS_S_IO_N_-_LI_N_E_MA __ T_C_H_IN_G __ N_E_TW __ O_R_K ________
Ld'
d -----I
Fig. 4.23 Double-stub matching.
Fig. 4.24 Double-stub matching.
o I"-----________ I_M_P_E_D_A_N_C_E_M_A_T_C_H_IN_G _________ -----"
Example 4.3 is chosen to illustrate how single-stub matching can be
applied in matching the input of a transistor amplifier to a 50 Q source. The
problem is stated in a way that could easily mislead readers who come
across the topic for the first time.
Example 4.3
Design a single-stub network for matching the input of a common-emitter
power amplifier to a 50 Q source. The desired source reflection coefficient,
r
s
, as seen by the transistor is 0.614L160 on a 50 Q system.
Solution
The problem is better understood with the aid of Fig. 4.25. The required
source admittance is Y
s
= 2.8 - j1.9 and the required input admittance of
the transistor is thus equal to
Yin = Y; = 2.8 + j1.9.
Y, and Yin are entered on to an admittance Smith chart as points A and B,
respectively, as shown in Fig. 4.26. Point B (not point A) is required to
be transformed by the matching network to point D which corresponds to
50Q or r = O.
Point B is moved towards the generator through constant-VSWR (or
constant-I rl) to meet the G = 1 circle at point C. Moving on a constant-
VSWR circle is equivalent to providing a (series) transmission path
between two nodes. The length of the path is read from the chart as 0.097A..
Point C is then moved to point D (the matched point) by adding a shunt
susceptance Bs of value equal to
Bs = Bo - Be = 0 - (-l.6) = + 1.6.
In Smith-chart terms, point C is moved to point D through the G = 1
circle. The required additional susceptance Bs = + 1.6 can be provided by
50 n
Matching
network
Fig. 4.25 Formulation of Example 4.3.
Transistor
amplifier
fs=0.614L160
or Ys=2.8-j1.9
L-_____ T_RA_N_SM_IS_SI_O_N_-L_I_N_E_MA_T_C_H_IN_G_N_E_T_W_O_R_K ____ -------'I OD
Short circuit

B,=+0.16
Fig. 4.26 Smith chart for Example 4.3.
either an open-circuit stub or a short-circuit stub. The value of Bs = + 1.6 is
entered on the rim of the chart as point X. Realization of Bs = + 1.6 by an
open-circuit stub requires a stub length of 0.165,1, whereas the length
required of a short-circuit stub is 0.165,1, + 0.25,1,. Suppose the shorter stub,
the open-circuit stub, is chosen. The circuit is shown in Fig. 4.27.
From Fig. 4.26 it can be read that the highest Q-value of the whole
matching path is about 1.6, occurring at point C, hence the operating Q is
1.6. By merely looking at this low Q-value of 1.6, it is apparent that the
matching network is good for broadband application. However, it should
be noted that both the transmission path and stub length so calculated
50 n
d.c.
block
II
0.097.1e
Fig. 4.27 Microstrip realization of Example 4.3.
________________ I_M_P_E_D_A_N_C_E_MA __ T_C_H_IN_G ________________
are only calculated for a single frequency and, because of the transmission-
line property, electrical lengths tend to be extremely frequency sensitive.
Hence, the calculated operating Q based on a single frequency is not a
valid reference for saying that the network is wideband.
To achieve broadband matching, the double- or triple-stub method can
be used. To achieve narrower bandwidth, lumped reactances can be used
replacing some of the stubs in the appropriate manner.
(b) Quarter-wave transformer
The input impedance Zin of a quarter-wavelength transmission-line section
of characteristic impedance Zo loaded with a load impedance ZL is given by
(4.14)
If ZL is resistive, and ZL is to be matched to a real Zin, this can be done by
designing Zo to satisfy (4.14). However, if either ZL or Zin or both are
complex, a quarter-wave transformation is not enough. Under such
circumstances, additional series or shunt reactances can be placed at either
end of the quarter-wave transformer to resonate off the reactive part of
the impedance at that particular node, leaving the quarter-wave
transformer to match the real part of the impedances. In general, a
quarter-wave matching system depends mainly on the Q-value of Zin and
ZL
PROBLEMS
1. A load of ZL = 1600 + j800 Q is connected to a transmission line of
characteristic impedance Zo = 400 Q as shown in Fig. P.4.1.
1. Determine the location (d in Ag) and the length (I in Ag) of a short-
circuited series stub of the same characteristic impedance (400 Q)
such that there is no reflection beyond the plane of the stub.
2. Repeat the same problem if the short-circuited shunt stub is used
instead.
3. What will the length (I) of stub be in parts 1 and 2 if the characteristic
impedance of the stub is 600 Q?
Ans.: 1. 0.086Ag, 0.168Ag, 2. 0.198A
g
, 0.082A
g
, 3. 0.137,1,g, 0.058Ag.
2. Determine the lengths (in Ag) 11 and 12 for perfect match for the circuit
shown in Fig. P.4.2.
Ans.: 0.3056A
g
, 0.442A
g
.
3. Show that the design equations for the two-element L-matching net-
work shown in Fig. P.4.3 are given by
________________ __________
QI = Q2 = - 1)
QI =
Q2 =
4. Derive the design equations for network B in Fig. 4.7.
5. Most test equipment has a system impedance of 50 Q. When a device
under test is of a system impedance other than 50 Q, an impedance
1
14r--d
Fig. P.4.1 Note: The line and stub are lossless.
YL =O.24+jO.63
Fig. P.4.2 Note: The lines and stubs are of the same characteristic impedance and
are lossless.
_______________ I_M_P_E_D_A_N_C_E_MA __ T_C_H_I_N_G ______________
L-Matching
r-----------,
I
I jX]
I
I R2>R]
R] L __________ -1 R2
Fig. P.4.3
converter may be required. Design aT-section 50 Q to 75 Q impedance
converter for use in testing VHF TV tuners for channels 7-13 (175.25 to
211.25 MHz). Use the Smith-chart method or otherwise.
6. The output impedance of a Motorola power transistor MRF340 at
150 MHz operated in common-emitter mode with Vee = 27 V and out-
put power 8.0W is (38.3 - j17.0) Q. Design a lumped circuit to match
the power transistor output to a load of 50 Q, with a bandwidth of
30 MHz, using a Smith chart or otherwise.
7. The input reflection coefficient of the Motorola transistor MRF901
under certain bias conditions and optimal loading (for maximum gain)
at 1 GHz is 0.5LI70 (system impedance = 50 Q). Devise a single-stub
matching network to match the transistor input to a 50 Q source with an
operating Q approximately equal to 2.
8. Show how the stub-matching input network would be implemented with
microstrips using 3M LX-0625-50 PTFE PCB (substrate thickness 1132
inch = 0.625 inch, Er = 2.50).
FURTHER READING
Becciolini, B., Impedance Matching Networks Applied to RF Power
transistors, Motorola Application Note AN-721.
Bowick, C. (1982) RF Circuit Design, Howard W. Sams.
Davies, F., Matching Network Designs with Computer Solutions, Motorola
Application Note AN-267.
RCA Technical Series RFM-430 RF Power Transistor Manual, RCA
Corp., 1971.
Roddy, D. (1986) Microwave Technology, Prentice-Hall.
Transistors at High
Frequencies
5.1 INTRODUCTION
The gallium arsenide field-effect transistor (GaAsFET) and the bipolar-
junction transistor (BJT) are the two most commonly used devices in the
design of amplifiers, oscillators and mixers at high frequencies. BJTs used
in UHF and microwaves are usually of planar npn silicon type. The
advantages of silicon planar BJTs over other types of transistors at high
frequencies are that they represent mature technology both in the
understanding of the physics and the device design, low cost and proven
reliability. Compared with its microwave BJT counterpart, the GaAsFET
has high gain and lower noise figure and can operate at a higher maximum
frequency. The difference in frequency-handling capacity between BJTs
and GaAsFET is due to the slower minority carriers in the base region of
the BJT whereas conduction in a GaAsFET depends mainly on majority
carriers. GaAsFETs can be used from below 1 GHz to beyond 18 GHz
whereas the BJTs can operate up to about 10 GHz. Research on high
electron mobility transistors (HEMT) and GaAs heterojunction bipolar
transistors (HBT) in recent years has promised the potential application of
'transistors' at millimetre-wave frequencies.
In this chapter, we shall focus our attention on the BJT, which will be
abbreviated from now on as transistor, with the objective that readers will
know what to look for from a typical transistor data sheet. As for other
types of 'transistors', their a.c. parameters, i.e. the s-parameters and the
noise parameters, can be interpreted and ultilized in the circuit design in
the same way.
5.2 TRANSISTOR EQUIVALENT CIRCUIT
Figure 5.1 shows a hybrid-II model of a transistor in common-emitter
mode at high frequencies. The various quantities used in Fig. 5.1 are as
follow.
1. L
B
, L
E
, Lc represent base, emitter and collector series lead inductances
5
u
I I I
....
'S
u
U
r.J..l
....
'u
....
t:
Q)
c;;
>-
'S
0'"
Q)
....
0
....
'" 'Vi
t:
'"
....
E-
....
II'i
r.J..l
I:lil

L-____________ T_RA_N_S_I_ST_O_R __ EQ_U_I_V_A_L_EN_T __ C_IR_C_U_IT ____________
counted from the semiconductor to the external connection points.
They are each of the order of 10 nH.
2. 'bb' is the base spreading resistance. This is the junction resistance
between the base contact (or terminal) and the base region of the
semiconductor material. Smaller transistors such as those used at higher
frequencies tend to have larger values for 'bb" 'bb' is usually of the order
of tens of ohms.
3. 'b'e is the input resistance. This is the junction resistance of the forward-
biased B-E junction of the order of 1 kQ.
4. 'ee is the output resistance. This is the resistance as seen from port CE
into the transistor. As this resistor consists of that of a reverse-biased
CB junction, its value is fairly high, of the order of 100kQ.
5. rb'e is the feedback resistance. This is a very large resistance of the order
of 5MQ.
6. C
e
is the feedback capacitance. This is the junction capacitance across
the reverse-biased CB junction. This is an important parameter at high
frequencies, of the order of one picofarad.
7. C
e
is the emitter capacitance. This is the sum of the emitter-diffusion
capacitance and the BE junction capacitance, where the former domi-
nates. C
e
is usually of the order of 100pF.
8. {3 is the small-signal current gain. This is the ratio between Ie and IB of
the order of few tens to about 200.
In order to simplify the complicated model shown in Fig. 5.1 so that useful
circuit parameters of the transistor such as the input/output impedances
and the feedback characteristic can be deduced, we may simply ignore the
large feedback resistance 'b'e and transpose C
e
from its B-C series
connection to a position in parallel with Ceo The parallel combination of C
e
and the transposed value of C
e
is denoted by CT' The simplified model is
shown in Fig. 5.2.
B

Fig. 5.2 Simplified transistor model.
LI ____________ TRA __ N_S_IS_T_O_R_S_A_T_H_IG_H __ FR_E_Q_U_E_N_C_IE_S __________
5.3 INPUT IMPEDANCE
The transposed value of C
c
can be obtained by the use of the Miller effect
as
C
e
, = C
e
(1 - j3Rd
where RL is the load resistance connected across CEo Hence
CT = Ce + Ce(1 - j3Rd (5.1)
Since rce is much larger than the series impedance of the collector-emitter
loop as shown in Fig. 5.2 and rce is in parallel with LE as far as the input
impedance looking into port BE is concerned, therefore, the input
equivalent circuit of the transistor can be approximated by one as shown in
Fig. 5.3.
B
r

Fig. 5.3 Input equivalent circuit of a transistor.
The input impedance Zin can easily be calculated from Fig. 5.3 as
Zin = jWLB + jwLE (l + j3) + rbb' + 1 :b'e C. (5.2)
+ Jwrb'e T
At d.c. and low frequencies, Zin = rbb' + rb'e, dominated by rb'e' As
frequency increases, Zin becomes complex and negatively imaginary
(capacitive) due to the normally small value of (LE + LB)' As frequency
increases further, Zin eventually becomes complex and inductive with a
real part roughly equal to rw.
5.4 OUTPUT IMPEDANCE
The output impedance is a decreasing function of frequency and it can be
deduced from the equivalent circuit shown in Fig. 5.1. It can be shown
from simplifying assumptions that Zout at high frequencies approximates
lI(w
T
C
c
), where WT is the unity operating gain frequency.
_________________ F_E_ED_B_A_C_K ________________
At low frequencies near d.c., the output impedance is ree' As fre-
quency increases, C
e
and C
e
will soon determine the output impedance,
together with rb'e at lower frequencies but independent of rb'e at higher
frequencies. The C
e
and C
e
combination is the main contributor to the
decreasing function (with frequency) nature of the output impedance.
Another contribution is the feedback current through C
e
which tends to
increase I
B
, and hence in turn increase Ie, thus decreasing the output
impedance.
5.5 GAIN
The gain of a transistor is usually expressed in terms of the power gain
rather than of the voltage or current gain. Under proper operating con-
ditions, the input and output impedance level of a transistor may be very
different, hence voltage and current gain are not meaningful, and only
power gain can truly represent the gain characteristic of a transistor. The
gain of a typical transistor is shown in Fig. 5.4.
The power gain trends to decrease at a rate of 6 dB/octave at high
frequencies. This can be understood by ignoring the lead inductances of
the simplified model shown in Fig. 5.1. Without the lead inductances, the
transistor (at the input) functions as an RC low-pass filter, and this
accounts for the 6 dB/octave roll-off.
5.6 FEEDBACK
From Fig. 5.1 it is seen that the main feedback elements are rb'e and C
e
.
Since rb'e is usually very large and can generally be ignored, feedback is
mainly due to C
e
At low frequencies, instability is minimal because the
high reactance of C
e
reduces feedback to a minimum. However, at high
frequencies, the impedance due to C
e
decreases and C
e
provides both a
Power
gain
(dB)
o
Fig. 5.4 Power gain of a transistor.
Frequency
LI ____________ T_RA __ N_SI_S_TO __ RS __ A_T_H_IG_H __ F_RE_Q_U_E_N_C_IE_S ____________
low-impedance path and a phase shift to the input circuit. This phase shift,
together with the phase shift due to other stray reactances, may add up to
the 180
0
required to render unstable a CE operated transistor.
5.7 SMALL-SIGNAL TWO-PORT PARAMETERS
When a high-frequency transistor is intended for small-signal (i.e. linear,
class-A) operations such as small-signal amplification (as opposed to power
amplification or oscillation) the manufacturer usually expresses its a.c.
(high-frequency) behaviour such as input and output impedances, level of
feedback and gain, in terms of a set of linear two-port parameters, usually
in the form of s- or y-parameters.
The definition of s-parameters and some of their manipulations have
been discussed in Chapter 3. The use of s-parameters in circuit design is the
main subject matter in the following chapters.
For transistors intended for slightly lower frequencies, from VHF
upwards, y-parameter specifications are normally supplied by manu-
facturers. The y-parameters are defined by
II = YiV, + YrV2
12 = YfVI + YoV2, (5.3)
where the subscripts 1 and 2 denote the input and output ports,
respectively, and the subscripts i, r, f, and 0 specify whether the admittance
is one of the input driving point, reverse transfer from port 2 to port
1, forward transfer from port 1 to port 2 or output driving point,
respectively. Notice that the currents and voltages used in (5.3) are total
terminal quantities, which means that they are the sum of the incident and
reflected currents and voltages, respectively.
Although we will not be using y-parameters for our design in later
chapters, a conversion between the y-parameters and s-parameters will be
most useful. s-parameter design methods can be applied to transistors
whose y-parameters are given in the databook, through conversion
formulas.
It should be noted that the definition of s-parameters depends on the
value of a system impedance Zo, whereas y-parameters are defined without
any reference to Zoo The conversion equations are listed below.
S = -(Yol + Y)-I(y - Yo/)
(1 - Yi)(l + Yo) + M
Sll =
(1 + Yi )(1 + Yo) - YrYf
or
-2Yr
512 = (1 + Yi )(1 + Yo) - YrYf
_______ ____ _
521 =
(1 + Yi )(1 + Yo) - YrYf
L-_______________ TRA __ N_S_IS_T_O_R_D_A_T_A __ SH_E_E_T_S ______________
_ (1 + Yi)(1 - Yo) + M
S22 - (1 + Yi)(1 + Yo) - YrYr'
where y = yZo and I is a 2 x 2 identity matrix, and
Y = Yo(J - S)(J + S)-l
or
y. = (1 + S22)(1 - Sll) + SI2S21 x 1-
I (1 + sll)(1 + S22) - S12S21 ZO
-2s
12
1
Y - x-
r - (1 + sll)(1 + S22) - SI2S21 ZO
-2s
21
1
Yr = x-
(1 + sll)(1 + szz) - SI2S21 ZO
(1 + sll)(l - szz) + S12S21 1
Yo = - - x-
(1 + sll)(l + S22) - S12S21 Zo
(5.4)
(5.5)
The dynamic (i.e. a.c. high-frequency) characteristics of power transistors
are normally specified by manufacturers in the form of the input/output
impedances as functions of frequency under specific bias conditions and
mode of operation.
5.8 UNDERSTANDING HIGH-FREQUENCY TRANSISTOR DATA SHEETS
Different manufacturers present data of their h.f. transistors (BJTs, FETs,
etc.) in different formats. Many parameters are included by some manu-
facturers solely for historical reasons. In order to understand the data sheet
of a high-frequency transistor, the data sheet of the Hewlett Packard low-
noise transistor, HXTR 6102 (also known as 2N6742), is shown in Fig. 5.5.
Let us go through the data sheet item by item.
(a) Features
Under this heading are two important 'noise' terms, namely the noise
figure and the associated gain. The noise figure F of a transistor is defined
as the amount of noise added by the transistor, i.e.
F = (S/N)in
(S/N)out
If the transistor is modelled as a two-port network, the noise figure could
be expressed as
+ 4
Rn Irs - ropt l
2
F = F
min
I 12 I 12
Zo 1 + ropt (1 - rs )'
(5.6)
where rs is the reflection coefficient of the source as seen by the input of
the transistor, F
min
is the minimum (optimal) noise figure when rs is set at
an optimal level, r
opt
. Zo is the system impedance used to define the rs
F/i#l HEWLETT
PACKARD
Features
LOW NOISE FIGURE
2.5 dB Typical FMIN AT 4 GHz
HIGH ASSOCIATED GAIN
9.0 dB Typical G
a
HERMETIC PACKAGE
Description
The 2N6742 (HXTR-6102) is an NPN bipolar transistor
designed for minimum noise figure. The device utilizes ion
implantation techniques in its manufacture and the chip is also
provided with scratch protection over its active area. The
device is supplied in the HPAC-70GT, a rugged metal/ceramic
hermetic package, and is capable of meeting the environ-
mental requirements of MIL -S-19500 and the test requirements
of MIL-STD-750/883.
Absolute Maximum Ratings*
(T CASE 25C) ,
Symbol Parameter Limit
VCBO
Collector to Base Voltage 35V
VeEo
Collector to Emitter Voltage 20V
VEBO
Emitter to Base Voltage 1.5V
Ie DC Collector Current 20mA
PT
Total Device Dissipation 300 mW
TJ Junction Temperature 300C
TSTG
Storage Temperature -65C to
- Lead Temperature 200C
(Soldering 10 seconds each lead) +250C
* Operation in excess of anyone of these conditions may result in
permanent damage to this device.
Notes:
1. A(-)JC maximum of 245CfW should be used for derating and junction
temperature calculations (T J = PD x (-)JC + T CASE).
2. A MTTF of 1.0 x 10
7
hours will be met or exceeded when the junction
temperature is maintained under TJ = 200C (based on an activation
energy of 1.1 eV). For operation above this condition, refer to page 10S.
"Reliability Performance of Bipolar Transistors"
LOW NOISE
TRANSISTOR
1.00 (0,039)
MAX
2N6742
(HXTR6102)
j i=di5L=:::J
0.838 (0033)
0.102 (0.004) 0.533 (0.021)
TVP
DIMENSIONS IN MILLIMETERS AND INCHES)
Outline HPAC-70GT
Fig. S.S(a) Hewlett Packard low-noise transistor. Copyright of Hewlett Packard.
Used by permission,
Electrical Specifications at T CASE = 25C
Test
Symbol Parameters And Test Conditions MIL-STD-750 Units Min. Typ.
BVCES Collector-Emitter Breakdown Voltage at Ic=100,.A
ICEO
Collector-Emitter Leakage Current at VCE=10V
ICBO
Collector Cutoff Current at VCB= 1 OV
hFE Forward Current Transfer Ratio at VCE= 1 OV, Ic=4mA
FMIN Minimum Noise Figure
f= 4GHz
2GHz
G. Associated Gain
f= 4GHz
2GHz
Bias Conditions for Above: VCE = 10V, Ic = 4mA
.
300 !AS Wide pulse measurement at :52 Yo duty cycle.
"""'" I
-,..... .....
MAG
I 1"-..
.....
ASSOCIATED
r-...
...
-GAIN
(Gal
r-...
I
I
I'
ioo-NOISE FIGURE ( FMIN)
1.0 1.5 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.06.0
FREQUENCY (GHz)
12
z
"
'" 9
"
-

z 8 6


3
z
:;
u. 0
I I I
11J.
"'
ASSOCIATED
GAlN-r-
(Gal
I I
I I

012345678
COLLECTOR CURRENT (mAl
3001.1-
V 30
3041.1 nA
3036.1 nA
3076.1- - 50 150
2.8
dB 1.6
3246.1
dB 8.0 9.0
dB 13.5
COLLECTOR CURRENT (mA)
Figure 1. Typical MAG. FMIN and
Associated Gain vs. Frequency at
VCE = 10V, Ic = 4mA.
Figure 2. Typical FMIN and
Associated Gain vs. Ic at 4 GHz
forVCE = 10V (Tuned for FMIN).
Figure 3. TypicallS2'El
2
vs. Bias
at4GHz.
Typical S-Parameters VCE = 10V, Ic = 4mA
S" S2' S'2
S22
Freq. (MHz) Mag. Ang. Mag. Ang. Mag. Ang. Mag.
100 0.917 -11 7.149 168 0.007 79 0.991
500 0.782 -54 6.277 135 0.026 54 0.901
1000 0.635 -98 5.037 113 0.037 33 0.787
1500 0.598 -127 3.881 87 0.039 28 0.763
2000 0.589 -149 3.148 71 0.042 26 0.754
2500 0.570 -163 2.646 59 0.042 25 0.760
3000 0.575 -173 2.209 48 0.043 25 0.773
3500 0.560 180 1.948 37 0.046 25 0.795
4000 0.548 173 1.665 29 0.049 24 0.816
4500 0.530 167 1.450 20 0.053 24 0.850
5000 0.518 160 1.346 11 0.058 23 0.860
5500 0.500 152 1.210 1 0.060 22 0.880
6000 0.489 146 1.076 -7 0.063 20 0.877
Max.
500
100
250
3.0
Ang.
-4
-18
-30
-35
-43
-50
-58
-64
-71
-76
-84
-92
-99
7000 0.491 132 0.897 -23 0.069 15 0.872 -108
Fig_ 5.5(b) Hewlett Packard low-noise transistor.
Typical Noise Parameters
VeE = 10V, Ie = 4mA
r. RN
Freq, (MHz) (MagJAng,) (Ohms) FMIN (dB)
1000 .480/23' 23.31 1.45
1500 .450/61' 15.57 1.58
2000 .410/88' 15.73 1.72
3000 .425/121' 10.72 2.18
4000 .475/166' 3.50 2.75
5000 .530/-164' 2.81 3.67
6000 .520/-131' 7.23 4.78
Low Power Bias Performance
Bias
VeE Ic FMIN G. RN I'o fL
V rnA dB dB Ohms Mag.lAng. Mag.lAng.
3 0.25 2.25 8.5 60.5 .805/31' .788/25'
3 0.50 1.87 12.7 25.5 .713/38' .779129'
3 1.00 1.55 15.7 13.9 .571/39' .774129'
Figure 4. Noise Parameters at 1 GHz.
Frequency
BIAS 1000 MHz 1500 MHz 2000 MHz 3000 MHz
VeE Ie FMIN G. FMIN G. FMIN G. FMIN G.
V rnA dB dB dB dB dB dB dB dB
3 0.25 2.25 8.5 2.67 5.0 2.83 4.7 3.88 4.1
3 0.50 1.87 12.7 2.06 9.9 2.23 7.9 2.93 6.4
3 1.0 1.55 15.7 1.73 11.7 1.79 10.2 2.38 8.1
F,gure 5. NOIse Performance VS. Frequency and BIas.
Typical S-Parameters VeE = 3V, Ie = 0.25 rnA
5"
521 5
'2
522
K
Freq. (MHz) Mag. Ang. (dB) Mag. Ang. (dB) Mag. Ang. Mag. Ang.
500 .988 -22 -6.9 .451 152 -28.2 .039 72 .993 -12 .220
1000 .956 -42 -7.2 .438 127 -23.1 .070 55 .975 -22 .464
1500 .929 -65 -7.5 .423 106 -20.6 .093 38 .956 -33 .586
2000 .910 -81 -7.7 .412 89 -19.7 .104 27 .945 -42 .679
3000 .888 -112 -8.1 .394 56 -19.3 .108 6 .938 -59 .821
VeE = 3 V, Ie = 0.50 rnA
5"
521 5
'
2 522
K
Freq. (MHz) Mag. Ang. (dB) Mag. Ang. (dB) Mag. Ang. Mag. Ang.
500 .976 -24 -0.8 .991 152 -28.4 .038 70 .986 -13 .220
1000 .929 -47 -1.3 .863 128 -23.6 .066 52 .955 -24 .423
1500 .887 -72 -2.0 .792 107 -21.4 .085 35 .920 -34 .583
2000 .856 -89 -2.5 .747 91 -20.6 .093 24 .906 -43 .682
3000 .818 -121 -3.3 .688 60 -20.1 .099 7 .889 -60 .816
VeE = 3 V. Ie = 1.0 rnA
5"
521 5
'
2 522
K
Freq. (MHz) Mag. Ang. (dB) Mag. Ang. (dB) Mag. Ang. Mag. Ang.
500 .952 -25 4.4 1.67 149 -28.6 .037 66 .972 -14 .328
1000 .884 -54 3.7 1.54 125 -24.3 .061 47 .919 -25 .492
1500 .821 -82 2.7 1.36 104 -23.1 .070 31 .873 -36 .664
2000 .775 -102 1.9 1.25 88 -22.6 .074 23 .854 -43 .793
3000 .738 -133 .77 1.09 59 -22.1 .079 10 .842 -59 .908
Fig. S.S(c) Hewlett Packard low-noise transistor.
L-______________ T_RA __ N_SI_ST_O_R_D_A_T_A __ SH_E_E_T_S ______________
and Rn is an important parameter known as the equivalent noise resistance
of the transistor.
Noise measurements in general will be discussed in a later chapter. In
order to measure these noise parameters, the output of the transistor under
test is connected to a noise-figure meter through a stub tuner and the input
of the transistor is connected to a noise generator through another stub
tuner. The stubs are tuned until minimum noise is read and the noise figure
is F
min
. The input stub tuner is then taken out, with the generator end
loaded by a 50-ohm termination, and the Sl1 of the other end is measured
by a vector network analyser. The Sl1 value measured is ropt. The input
stub is then connected back to the original test arrangement and is
detuned. The output stub is again tuned until the noise figure read is a
minimum. This new noise figure, F, corresponds to the noise figure of
the transistor when its input is connected to a termination of rs. rs can
be measured by repeating the procedures for measuring ropt. The Sl1
measured is rs. With F
min
, F, ropt and rs measured, the equivalent noise
resistance Rn can then be found (Zo = SOQ).
In any noise measurement, the measuring equipment itself also
contributes to the overall noise figure (Ftotal) measured. Assuming the
noise figure of the measuring equipment to be F
2
, then the noise figure F of
a transistor is given by
F2 - 1
Ftotal = F +-a'
where G is the transducer gain of the transistor with its output port
conjugately matched. When F = F
min
(i.e. rs matched at r
opt
), G = Go is
known as the associated gain.
(b) Description
The manufacturer normally includes here a brief description of the
fabrication process or other such information as will help the designer to
choose a transistor to suit his purpose.
(c) Absolute maximum ratings
These are the maximum values of the static parameters, which are not to
be exceeded. The term MTTF appearing in Note 2, denotes the 'mean time
to failure', and is defined as the reciprocal of the rate of failure.
(d) Electrical specifications at T CASE = 25C
T CASE refers to the case or ambient temperature. The first three items are
static parameters which are not normally used in the design. hFE is the d.c.
current gain used in the bias calculations. Note that the a.c. current gain h
fe
01

TRANSISTORS AT HIGH FREQUENCIES
is not given. This is because of the fact that h
fe
is normally given at 1 kHz
and is thus not meaningful in h.f. operations.
In the three graphs under this heading, there are two more gain terms
which need to be defined.
1. MAG - maximum available gain - is the theoretical maximum of the
transducer power gain, which occurs when the transistor is conjugately
matched at both its input and output ports. It is a function of frequency
and is only defined when the transistor is unconditionally stable.
2. 1 S21E 12 is a transmission transducer power gain of the transistor in
common-emitter mode with a 50 Q source and load. This is the power
gain offered by the transistor even without matching.
(e) Typical s-parameters
There are four tables of typical values of s-parameters as a function of
frequency under different bias conditions. In the last three tables, the
stability factor k is given. k is Rollet's stability factor. A transistor is
unconditionally stable when k > 1 and potentially unstable otherwise. k
will be discussed further in Chapter 6.
(f) Typical noise parameters/Low-power bias performance
In the table for typical noise parameters, ro is the optimal source reflection
(r
opt
) coefficient needed to achieve F = F
min
. The r
L
given is the output
reflection coefficient as seen by the transistor when its input is loaded by
rs = ro (r
opt
).
Instead of providing the s-parameters, some manufacturers supply with a
transistor its y-parameters. A typical y-parameter representation of
transistors is shown in Fig. 5.6.
Figure 5.7 shows an alternative (but less precise and less convenient)
way of presenting the noise figure of a transistor. Figure 3 of Fig. 5.7 shows
the noise figure F (or NF) as a function of frequency measured at V CE =
6.0V
ct
.
c
. and Ic = LOrnA d.c. The source resistance (as seen by the
transistor input) employed in these measurements is near to the optimal
value.
Very rarely would a designer be using a transistor under the conditions
stated in obtaining Figure 3 (in Fig. 5.7), hence Figure 4 and Figure 5 (in
Fig. 5.7 for two different frequencies) are more useful. To relate the
quantities in these two diagrams with those of (5.6), we note that, from
Figure 4 (Fig. 5.7): at Ic = 1.5mA d.c., F
min
= 3dB (or 2) when Rs =
220Q
Rs - 50
rs = Rs + 50 = 0.6296 = r opt (for Ie = 1.5 rnA d.c.);
L-_______________ TRA __ N_S_IS_T_O_R_D_A_T_A __ SH_E_E_T_S ______________
FIGURE 6 - CURRENT-GAIN-BANDWIDTH PRODUCT
2. 0
B
6
4
--

--
-
r----..
2
_V
-

0
B ___
l---
O.
O. 6
i3 o. 4
1.0
2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0 1.0 8.0 9.0 10 20
Ie. COLLECTOR CURRENT (mAde)
0
FIGURE 7 - INPUT ADMITTANCE
versus FREQUENCY
8 r- :
u
z

::

B.

6
4
2
0
0
0 __
6.
4.0
2.0
--
.....---
.....---
...-;1--'
L
f/"
V
+jbie".,.
/
V
/
Oi.,/'
,;'
-g

E
z







FIGURE 8 - OUTPUT ADMITTANCE
...... s FREQUENCY
10
9.
o f-YCE'
Ie = 1.5 mAde
B.O
7.0
6.0
5.0
.1 /
+jb
o7
",
,/
4.0
3.0
V .......
2.0
1.0
.--
'r-
-
-
30
o
100 150 200 300 400 500 600 800 1000
o
100 150 200 300 400 500 600 SOD 1000
1
E
E
u
:l
::


z

0



0
5
0
5
0
5
0
5
0
5. 0
0
f, FREQUENCY (MHz)
FIGURE 9 - FORWARD TRANSFER
ADMITTANCE verllls FREQUENCY
VeE = 6.0 'Ide
Ie = 1.5 mAde
01,
.........
-
.....-
r--..
..............
V
-jb'e
..............
5.0
4.5
4.0
3.5
3.0
2.5
2.0
15
1.0
0.5
f, FREOUENCY (MHz)
FIGURE 10 - REVERSE TRANSFER
ADMITTANCE ....... FREQUENCY
f-VCE' 6.0 V"
Ie = 1.5 mAde
-jbrt
/'
./'
........
--
-
-gre
V
",
100 150 200 300 400 500 600 800 1000
o
100 150 200 300 400 500 600 BOO 1000
f, FREQUENCY (MHz) f. FREQUENCY (MHz)
Fig. 5.6 Typical y-parameter representation of transistors. Copyright of
Motorola, Inc. Used by permission_
and atlc = 1.5mA d.c., F= 4dB (or 2.51) when Rs = 60Q (or 580Q)
60 - 50
rs = 60 + 50 = 0.0909.
Using these two sets of data in (5.6)
L ____________ T_RA_N_S_IS_T_O_R_S_A_T_H_IG_H __ F_RE_Q_U_E_N_C_IE_S __________
0
10
9.
B.O
7.0
6.0
5.
'.0
0
3.0
2.0
1.0
FIGURE 1 - 200 MHz AMPLIFIER POWER GAIN
ANO NOISE FIGURE CIRCUIT
TYPE
lN31H
L 1 13/4 Turns, AWG, OS'l, O.S" Ol,mlter
II 2 Turns, .'6 AWG, 0.5" L, 0.5" Diameter
LJ 2 Tllms. .13 AWG, 0.25" L, 0.5" Dllmellr (POSllion 1/4" from 121
f--
f--
FIGURE 3 - NOISE FIGURE
enUsFREQUENCY
VeE = S.OVdc
Ie = 1.0 mAde
RS" Optimum (% 250 Ohms@ 105 and 200 MHZ)
"" 100 Ohms@450MHz
-
I---
V
2200
OHMS
V"
I
w
u
z

*
u

"
0

It
600
500
400
300
200
100
90
80
10
60
SO
40
FIGURE 2 - 500 MHz OSCILLATOR CIRCUIT
Ir-

r--


f;::

SEE NOTE 1
Note 1- CouillLintoutpulntlWOrkconlilliogol
2 G __ R,dio Typt814TEE or lquiVllen'
Vee
1 GtnerJlRldioTyprB14020AdjllsllbirSIubOf.quiwalint
1 G,neral Rldio Type 81eLA Adjumbl.line or equivalent
1 G,nml R.dio Typ. 874WNJ or tquivale .. :
Holt 2 - RFC = O.2J1H Ohmll' #2-460 or
Notl3 - Lnd Number 4 (ca.) flOiling
II - 2turmMl6AWGwirl, 318 Inch 00. 1114 inch long
Q= 2NS119
FIGURE 4 - NOISE FIGURE _sus SOURCE
RESISTANCE and COLLECTOR CURRENT
-t-I- r-- r- VeE IE 6.0Vdc
-
-f-,. ......... f = lOS MHz
f:::t:I-+..
r-.
.......
r--..
1-...."

" '"
f-,.3.0dB
.-/

f-'.OdB

II
o
SO 70 100 200 300 SOD
30
II
0.5 0.1 1.0 2.0 3.0 5.0 7.0 10
1. FREQUENCY (MHz) Ie. COLLECTOR CURRENT (mAde)
I
w
u
z
..
i;;
*
w
u

"
51
It
600
500
300
200
100
10
SO
40
30
FIGURE 5 - NOISE FIGURE ...... SOURCE
RESISTANCE and COLLECTOR CURRENT

VeE'" 6.0Vdc
r-.
f = 200 MHz
_..!;.2dB
............ ..........

--
r-.
-
./
t-
'.0 dB
1"--1-.

I--
0.5 0.1 1.0 2.0 3.0 5.0 7.0
Ie. COLLECTOR CURRENT (mAde)
10
Fig. 5.7 Noise figure of a transistor. Copyright of Motorola, Inc. Used by
permission.
2.51
4Rn 10.0909 - 0.62961
2
2 + To 11 + 0.62961
2
(1 - 0.0909
2
)
or Rn = 57.85 Q (for Ic = 1.5 rnA d.c.)
We can use this value of Rn to calculate the noise figure at Ic = 1.5 rnA
d.c., V CE = 6.0 V d.c. for other values of Rs and compare the calculated
result with the values in Figure 4 (of Fig. 5.7).
_________________ __ IN_G __________________
This latter method of noise-figure presentation is not as accurate as the
former method because the optimum source impedance is not in general
purely resistive. In actual circuit design, one should measure rs and Rn at
the bias condition and frequency at which one intends the transistor to
operate. The NF (Noise Figure) data given in the data sheet should only be
used as a guide to transistor selection.
5.9 BIASING OF HIGH-FREQUENCY TRANSISTORS
Good d.c. biasing for high-frequency circuits is essential because unstable
d.c. bias will result in a set of actual s-parameters which is quite different
from the set of values used for the design, and this affects the gain, noise
figure and bandwidth, etc. Worse still, it may even render the transistor
unstable.
While purely resistive bias networks can be used over moderate
temperature changes, active bias networks are usually employed for better
temperature compensation. The function of the bias network, active or
passive, is to maintain the values of VeE and Ie for the h.f. transistor (or
Vos and los for h.f. FETs). The selection ofthe d.c. quiescent point for an
h.f. transistor depends very much on the application.
Figure 5.8 shows the transfer (d.c.) characteristic of a transistor (similar
for a FET with VeE changed to Vos, Ie changed los and Is changed to
Vos). In Fig. 5.8, point A corresponds to low noise and low power, point B
corresponds to low noise and higher gain, point C corresponds to higher-
power class A, whereas point D corresponds to higher output power and
higher efficiency class AB or B.
IdmA)
40
IB = 800 flA
20

-B -C
/,--------------------------------
400
fl
A
/,----------------- 200 flA
-A -D
o
10
20
30
VeE (V)
Fig. 5.8 Bias point selection.
____________ T_RA __ N_S_IS_T_O_RS __ A_T_H_IG_H __ F_RE_Q_D_E_N_C_I_ES __________ ___
A popular active bias scheme for a microwave BJT is achieved by means
of a pnp transistor stabilizer circuit as shown in Fig. 5.9. The idea of such a
stabilizing network is to reduce Ie when Ie would otherwise increase due to
temperature change at Q2. FETs can be biased similarly. However, it
should be noted that FETs may be subject to damage if Vos is applied
before the application of a reverse-biased Vos, or a reverse-biased Vos is
taken away before Vos is switched off.
Figure 5.10 shows five basic d.c. bias networks for microwave FETs. The
power-supply connection and disconnection sequence must be observed in
order to avoid device damage. The voltages indicated in all the circuit
diagrams are for the bias conditions of Vos = 5 V and Vos = -2 V. Rs in
Fig. 5.10 (d) and (e) provides transient protection as well as the negative
voltage that Vos requires.
PROBLEMS
1. The available noise power from a thermal-noise source is given by
P
a
= kTB,
where k is Bolzmann's constant = 1.3805 x 10-
23
J K-
1
. T is the
absolute temperature of the noise source in kelvin and B is the system
noise bandwidth (rectangular noise bandwidth).
Calculate P
a
in dBm per hertz of system bandwidth at room
temperature (290 K). Find the Thevenin's equivalent circuit of a noise
source described by Pa. Repeat for the Norton's equivalent.
Vee
RI
C
I
RFC
fBI
I
QI
C
2
Microwave
transistor
I
R2
Fig. 5.9 Active biasing for a BJT.
____________________ P_R_O_B_LE_M_S ____________________
Circuit Diagram
(d) Jifll----o
Vo=7V <>-l
Vs=2V
=IDsRs Rs -::-
-::- I V _ _ 0
Type of
Application
Low noise
High gain
High Power-
High efficiency
Same as (a)
Same as (a)
Low noise
High gain
High Power-
lower efficiency
Variable gain
adjust Rs
Same as (d)
Power Supply
Requirements
1 +ve and
J-ve supply
2+ve supply
2-ve supply
J +ve supply
J-ve supply
Fig. 5.10 Five basic d.c. bias networks for FETs.
Connection
Sequence
Disconnection
Sequence
L! ____________ TRA __ N_S_IS_T_O_R_S_A_T_H_IG_H __ F_RE_Q_U_E_N_C_IE_S __________
2. A noisy two-port network (between 1-1' and 2-2') is connected to a
noise source of mean square current and admittance Y
s
' The noisy
two-port network can be expressed by a 'two-generators' model as a
noiseless two-port network connected to two noise generators as shown
in Fig. P.S.l.
Show that the noise figure F of a two-port is given by
Rn I 12
F = Fm + G
s
Yopt - Ys
4Rn IFs - Foptl
2
F = Fm + - -,--_'--"--;""';"...,--"'t:..:..!...;---;-;;:-
Zo 11 + Foptl
2
(1 - IFsI2)'
or
where Fm is the minimum value of F, Y
opt
is the value of Y
s
which
in F
m
, F
opt
is the value of Fs which results in F
m
, G
s
= Re(Y
s
),
e
2
= 4kT oRnB, and Rn is the equivalent noise resistance.
Note. The two noise generators ez. and P. are generally correlated.
However, is assumed to be uncorrelated to ;2 and fi.
3. From Figure S of Fig. S.7 calculate Rn for 2NS179 at 200 MHz, VCE =
6 V and Ic = 1 rnA. Use the value of Rn to calculate the noise figure
when the source resistance as seen by the transistor is SO Q, 40 Q and
SOOQ.
4. Design an active (with temperature compensation) unipolar biasing
circuit for a GaAsFET to operate at Vos = 5 V, V GS = - 2 V and los =
lOrnA. Use the bias configuration shown in Fig. S.lO(d). You have to
modify it to allow temperature compensation.
Use a pnp bipolar transistor with hFE = 100 and VBEsat = -0.7V,
V CEsat = 0.2 V and a V cc supply of 12 V for your design.
S. For the bias network shown in Fig. P.S.2, calculate the value of Rs and
Vo required to bias the MESFET (2SK609) to 10 = lOrnA and Vos =
3 V, given that
?
+
1 '
Fig. P.S.l
a
a'
Noiseless
two-port
2
2'
_________________ P_R_O_BL_E_M_S ________________

o It--........ --H
Fig. P.S.2
where Vp is the pinch off voltage which equals -1 V and I
Dss
is the
zero-gate voltage drain current which equals 40 rnA.
Estimate also the value of C
1
and C
2
if the transistor is to operate at
12GHz.
6. The operating point for the r.f. transistor shown in Fig. P.5.3 is VeE =
10 V and Ie = 5 rnA, and the power supply available is Vee = 20 V.
Given that V
BE
= 0.7V and hFE = 50, calculate the values of R
t
and R
2
.
Ans: 1.96kQ, 90.9kQ
7. Determine the values of the resistors required to bias the transistor
shown in Fig. P.5.4 to VeE = 15 V and Ie = 15 rnA. Given that hFE =
50, Vee = 20V, V
BE
= 0.7V and IBB = 1 rnA.
Ans: Re = 316Q, RB = 4.22kQ, RBt = 1OkQ, RB2 = 1.96kQ
8. Figure P.5.5 shows the construction of the gate biasing circuit of a FET

Vee
RFC
Fig. P.S.3
1L-___________ T_RA __ N_sI_s_To_R_s_A_T __ H_IG_H __ FR_E_Q_U_E_N_c_IE_S __________
Re
Vee
Fig. P.S.4
+
Fig. P.S.S
L-_________________ F_U_R_T_H_ER __ R_EA_D_I_N_G ________________
operating at 1.2 GHz. Assign a suitable value for ZOI and for Z02, then
calculate the line lengths 11 and 1
2
, and the line widths WI and W
2
, if the
circuit is to be realized by microstrips on a PTFE printed-circuit board
of lOr = 2.6 and of substrate thickness O.79mm (1132").
FURTHER READING
Bowick, C. (1982) RF Circuit Design, Howard W. Sams.
Danley, L., Mounting Stripline - opposed-emitted (SOE) Transistor,
Motorola Application Note AN-555.
Gardner, F.M. (1963) Optimum Noise Figure of Transistor Amplifier,
Proc. IRE, pp. 45-8, March.
Gonzalez, G. (1984) Microwave Transistor Amplifiers Analysis and
Design, Prentice-Hall.
Hewlett Packard, Diode and Transistor Designer's Catalogue 1984-85.
Johnsen, R.J. Thermal Rating of RF Power Transistors, Motorola Applica-
tion Note AN-790.
Microwave Transistor Bias Considerations (1975) Hewlett Packard Appli-
cation Note 944-1, April.
Motorola Application Note AN-421, Semiconductor Noise Figure Con-
siderations.
Poole, c.R. and Paul, D.K., Optimum Noise Measure Terminations for
Microwave Transistor Amplifiers, IEEE trans. MTI-33 , No. 11,
November 1985, pp. 1254-7.
RF Transistor Design (1986) Motorola RF Device Data, Technical
Information Center, Motorola.
Verdelin (1978) Five Basic Bias Design for GaAs FET Amplifiers,
Microwaves, February.
Small-signal Amplifier Design
6.1 CHARACTERIZATION OF HIGH-FREQUENCY AMPLIFIERS
High-frequency amplifier design has traditionally followed the route of
an art rather than a science. Engineers would carry out approximate
calculations and then make the amplifier circuit work by means of tuning,
shielding, grounding and the design of a good layout.
Good shielding, grounding and layout are always essential in any high-
frequency circuit. Tuning is getting more difficult as frequency increases.
At HF and VHF bands circuits can still be adjusted by tuning ferrite-core
transformers, for example the radio-frequency transformers (RFT) and
intermediate-frequency transformers (1FT). At the lower UHF frequencies
circuits can be adjusted by tuning variable capacitors. However, as fre-
quency increases beyond, say, two or three gigahertz, capacitance values
required in the circuits become too small to be tuned or even too small to
exist in the form of a lumped element, and circuits have to be designed with
distributed elements such as those realized by microstrips. Unfortunately,
most distributed circuits are very difficult, if not impossible, to tune.
Therefore, a more systematic approach to designing high-frequency
amplifiers (as well as other circuits) is necessary.
Scattering parameters are getting more popular in design work at
frequencies above a few hundred megahertz because they are easier to
measure and work with at high frequencies than are other kinds of
parameters. They are conceptually simple, analytically convenient, and
capable of providing a surprising degree of insight into a measurement or
design problem. For these reasons, manufacturers of high-frequency
transistors and other solid-state devices are finding it more meaningful to
specify their products in terms of s-parameters than in terms of other
parameters. However, for high-frequency small-signal transistors below
1 GHz, some manufacturers present their a.c. characteristics through
y-parameters, whereas for power transistors below 1 GHz, their optimum
input and output impedances are normally given.
This chapter describes the important considerations and design pro-
cedures of high-frequency solid-state small-signal amplifiers using scattering-
L-________________ __ R_G_A_IN ________________
Zs

AmplifierS



l
r l r
fs fin f
out
fL
Fig. 6.1 Linear active transistor circuit.
parameter design techniques. Fundamental concepts of transmission lines
and network theory are prerequisites in the understanding of this chapter.
It is noted that the derivation and formulae used in the techniques de-
scribed in this chapter can also be expressed in terms of y-parameters.
6.2 POWER GAIN
Consider a single-stage amplifier shown in Fig. 6.1 and described by its s-
parameters. The amplifier can be characterized in terms of s-parameters by
b! = sUa! + S12a2
b 2 = s2!a! + S22a2'
Also, the reflection coefficients of the load and the source are
ZL -Zo
F
L
=--
ZL+ZO
Zs-Zo
Fs=--
Zs+Zo
bs
at
b
2
S21
Fig. 6.2 Signal-flow graph of a linear transistor circuit.
(6.1)
(6.2)
(6.3)
(6.4)
SMALL-SIGNAL AMPLIFIER DESIGN


The four equations above can be represented graphically by means of a
signal-flow graph as shown in Fig. 6.2, with 1 b
s
12 as the power coming from
the source.
In order to define the power gain of the amplifier, we need to know the
power delivered to a load. As described in Chapter 3, the square of the
magnitudes of the incident and reflected waves has the dimensions of
power. The power delivered to the load is then the difference between the
incident power and the reflected power at the output port
Pout = Ib2 1
2
- la212.
Likewise, the power delivered into the amplifier is
Pin = lad
2
- Ib1 1
2
.
(6.5)
(6.6)
The power available from the source is the power delivered to a
conjugately matched load connected directly to the source. This implies
that the reflection coefficient of the input is the complex conjugate of the
source reflection
a
b
Fig. 6.3 Signal-flow graph representing a conjugately matched source.
From Fig. 6.3 it can easily be shown that
b
s
b
s
a = 1 - rsFS = 1 - Ir sl2
(6.7)
I
bsr-s
(6.8)
A number of power ratios based on Fig. 6.2 can be derived using the same
method employed in deriving (3.11); they are listed below
L-____________________ P_O_W_E_R_G __ A_IN _____________________
b2 _ S21
bs - 1 - Sl1TS - S22TL - S12S21TLTs + SllS22TSTL
(6.9)
a2 _ S21T L
b
s
- 1 - Sl1TS - S22TL - S12S21TLTs + Sl1S22TSTL
(6.10)
_ 1 - T
L
s
22
bs - 1 - sliTs - S22TL - S12S21TLTS + SlIS22TSTL
(6.11)
!!..L _ Sl1(1 - T Ls 22) + S21 S 12T L
b
s
- 1 - Sl1TS - S22TL - SI2S21TLTs + SlIS22TSTL'
(6.12)
6.2.1 Operating power gain
The operating power gain (Gp ) is defined as the ratio of the power delivered
to the load (Pout of (6.5)) to the power input to the network (Pin of (6.6))
G
_ Pout _ Ib212 - la21
2
p - - I 12 I 12
Pin al - b l
_ Ib212/1bsl
2
- la212/1bsl
2
- lad
2
/1b
sl
2
- Ib
l
l
2
/lb
sl
2
'
6.2.2 Transducer power gain
(6.13)
(6.14)
( 6.15)
The transducer power gain of a two-port network is defined as the ratio of
the power delivered to the load to the power available from the source, i.e.
Ib212 - la212
lal
2
- Ibl
2
Ib212/1bsl
2
- la212/1bsl
2
I a 12/1 b
s
12 - I b 12/1 b
s
12 .
On substituting (6.7-10) into (6.16)
(6.16)
_____________ S_M_A_L_L_-S_IG_N_A_L_A_M __ PL_I_F_IE_R_D_E_S_IG_N ____________
G
_ IS211
2
(1 - IrLI2)(1 - Ir sl2)
T - 2
11 - SllrS - S22rL + LlrLr
S
I .
( 6.17)
The transducer power gain is not equal to the operating power gain un-
less the transistor is conjugately matched to the source, i.e. r
in
=
Transducer power gain provides a measure of the advantages of using a
transistor over driving the same load directly by the source.
6.3 UNILATERAL AMPLIFIER DESIGN
A unilateral device is one whose scattering parameter S12 (reverse-
transmission coefficient) is insignificant. This implies that the transistor
network is assured to have virtually no internal feedback. When S12 = 0,
i.e. r
in
= SII and rout = S22, the unilateral transducer gain, G
TU
, defined
as G
T
when S12 = 0, can be written as
IS2112 (1 - IrLI2)(1 - Irsl2)
1(1 - sllr
s
)(1 - S22rd 12
I 12 1 - Irs 12 1 - I r d 2
S21 11 - sllrsl2 11 - s22rLI2
G
s
=
Go =
1 - Irsl2
11 - sllrsl2
1 - IrLi
2
11 - S22r d
2
I
S
211
2
( 6.18)
and Go = 1 s211
2
is a parameter of transistors usually given in the manu-
facturer's data sheet.
Go (S21) is fixed once the bias conditions of the active device are chosen
and remains invariant throughout the design. The term G
s
is related only
to the input network. Similarly, the term G
L
is related only to the output
network. Hence it is seen that rs and r
L
are two quantities that designers
are able to control in the design of an amplifier. In fact, the design of a
unilateral amplifier (or even an amplifier in general) consists almost
entirely of the design of the input and output matching networks.
In most amplifier design the actual load impedance and signal source
impedance are both equal to the system impedance (50 Q in most cases).
These impedances, in general, do not match well with the active device
represented by S, or in other words, these impedances do not produce the
desirable rs and r
L
as seen by the active device. Hence a practical
amplifier can be treated as a system consisting of an input matching
network, an active device characterized by S and an output matching
network as shown in Fig. 6.4.
L-_____________ U_N_IL_A_T_ERA __ L __ A_M_P_LI_F_IE_R_D_E_S_IG_N ________
z"
I "" . ..--------- Amplifier
Input
matching
network
(a)
Active
device
S
S22 r L
Output
matching
network
""1_.._-------- Amplifier
Input
matching
network
(b)
Active
device
S
Output
matching
network
z"
Fig. 6.4 Block diagram for a single-stage amplifier: (a) unilateral amplifier,
(b) general amplifier.
Maximum unilateral transducer gain G
TU
can be achieved if maximum
power transfer occurs between the device and both the input
matching and output matching networks. This can be accomplished by
designing the matching networks such that
and then
rs = Stl
r L = S12
1 1
2 1 1
G
TUm
." = S21 1 - IS111
2
1 - IS2212
1 1 12 1
1 - ISII1
2
S21 1 - IS221
2
'
This is illustrated schematically in Fig. 6.5.
( 6.19)
_____________ S_MA __ L_L_-S_IG_N_A_L_A_M __ PL_I_FI_E_R_D_E_S_IG_N ____________
1""" .. ..._-------Amplifier -------..
Source
Input
matching
network
Active
device
S
Output
matching
network
Fig. 6.5 Maximum transducer gain of a unilateral amplifier.
6.4 NON-UNILATERAL AMPLIFIER DESIGN
Load
When the reverse-transmission coefficient S12 of the transistor used is not
insignificantly small, a more accurate design is required. The analysis is
much more complicated.
From Fig. 6.6 it can be written that
b, = slIa, + S12a2
b2 = s2,a, + S22a2
a2
r L = b
z
'
Dividing both sides of (6.20) by at gives
Source
Linear
active

device
l r
rs ri
Fig. 6.6 Linear two-port network.

j+-a
2
l
r
r"
r
L
(6.20)
(6.21)
(6.22)
(6.23)
ZL
L-___________ N_O_N_-U_N_I_LA_T_E_RA __ L_AM __ P_L_I_FI_E_R_D_E_S_IG_N __________
On substituting (6.22) into (6.21)
b2 = S21 al + S22T
Lb2
b2(1 - S22Td = S21 al
b2 = S21
al 1 - S22TL
On substituting (6.22) and (6.24) into (6.23)
Similarly
r _ Sl2S21TS
10 - S22 + 1 r .
- Sl1 S
(6.24)
(6.25)
(6.26)
By choosing a complex-conjugately matched load, i.e. r
L
= ro and
complex-conjugagely matched source, i.e. rs = rt, maximum gain can be
achieved.
Hence for maximum gain
T* - SI2
S
21
T
L
S - Sll + 1 T
- S22 L
T
* - S12
S
21
T
S
L - S22 + 1 - r
Sl1 S
(6.27)
(6.28)
Solving the last two equations simultaneously, we obtain the optimum
source termination, r
Sm
, and the optimum load termination, r
Lm
, as
where:
r _ CnBI V(Bt - 4Ict/z)]
Sm - 21cl12
BI = 1 + ISlliz - IS22lz - ILll
z
Bz = 1 - ISttl2 + IS2212 - ILll
2
Ct = Stt - LlS12
C2 = S22 - LlS(t
Ll = Sl1S22 - St2S21.
(6.29)
(6.30)
B I and B2 are always positive for an unconditionally stable two-port
device. Mathematically, it can be shown that the negative sign of the
square root has to be taken in (6.29) and (6.30).
L _____________ S_MA __ L_L_-S_IG_N_A_L_A_M __ PL_I_FI_E_R_D_E_S_IG_N ____________
6.5 STABILITY CRITERIA
A primary concern in the design of an amplifier is to ensure that the active
device does not oscillate at any frequency, especially at the frequency of
operation. An active device (two-port network) is unconditionally stable if
both its input and output impedances have a positive real part for any
passive load and source terminations. In s-parameter terminology it is
equivalent to saying that I rd and I ro I as defined in (6.25) and (6.26) are
both less than unity. Alternatively, for the active device to be uncondi-
tionally stable, the simultaneous solution of (6.25) and (6.26) are required
to satisfy
and
(6.31)
(6.32)
From (6.25) and (6.26) it is seen that for the particular cases when r
L
= 0
and rs = 0 (6.25) and (6.26) reduce, respectively, to
and
rj = Sll
ro = S22
Hence, for an unconditionally stable device,
ISIlI < 1 and Isd < 1. (6.33)
The expressions (6.33) are only necessary but not sufficient conditions for
inherent stability of an active device characterized by a set of s-parameters.
The stability criteria given in (6.31) and (6.32) have to be expressed in a
convenient form, a form which can readily be used (in terms of the device
s-parameters) to test the inherent stability of the device. To this end we
consider (6.31), i.e.
I
r I = Ict[BI V(Br - 4 ICI 1
2
)]1 1
Sm 21Cd2 <
I ct I 1 I[ 2 2 I 12 V 2 I 12
= I cd 21 Cd B[ + B[ - 4 Cl 2B[ (Bl - 4 C[ )] < 1,
thus By - 41C[1
2
B[ V(Br - 4 IC[1
2
) < 0
V(Br - 41Cd
2
) [VcB[2 - 4IC[1
2
) Bd < O. (6.34)
Since the first term is positive, the second term must be negative. A
necessary condition for this to be true is that the negative sign must be
taken when Bl > 0, and vice versa. Another necessary condition for (6.31)
to hold is that
Br > 41Cd
2
(6.35)
A similar result can be derived from (6.32) and is given as
L-_________________ ST_A_B_IL_I_T_Y_C_R_IT_E_R_IA ________________
> 41c21
2
. (6.36)
On substituting the expressions for B2 and C
2
into (6.36)
(1 - IS1112 + Iszzl
2
- ILlI
2
? > 4(S22 - LlSI'I)(s12 - Ll*Sl1)
[(1 - ISl112 - IS2212 + ILl 12) + (21szzl
2
- 21Ll1
2
)F
> 41s2212 + 41Lll
2
ISl112 - 81s1112 IS2212 - 41Lll
2
- 41s1112 IS2212 + 4Is12s2t12
(1- IS1112 - IS2212 + ILl 12)2 + 4(ls2212 - ILl 12)2 + 4(1- IS1112 - Iszzl
2
+
ILlI
2
)(lszzl
2
- ILl 12) > 41s12S2112 + 4(1 - ISlt!2)ls2212 - 4(1 - IS1l12)ILl12
(1 - IS1112 - IS2212 + ILl 12)2 + 4(ls2212 - ILl 12)(1 - ISl112 - Iszzl
2
+
ILll
2
+ Iszzl
2
- ILl 12) > 41s12S2t!2 + 4(1 - ISII 1
2
)(lszzl
2
- ILl 12)
(1 - ISll12 - Iszzl
2
+ ILlI
2
? + 4(lszzl
2
- ILl 12)(1 - IS1l12)
> 41s12S2112 + 4(1 - ISIl12)(lszzl2 - ILlI
2
)
(1 - ISII 12 - IS2212 + ILl 12)2 > 4Is12S2112. (6.37)
The inequality (6.37) has two possible roots
1 - IS1112 - IS2212 + ILll
2
> 21s12S211
and 1 - ISII 12 - Iszzl
2
+ ILll
2
< -2Is12S2t!. (6.38)
Define the stability factor K, known as the Rollet stability factor, as
K = 1 - I
S
l11
2
- Isnl
2
+ ILll
2
(6.39)
21 Sl2S211
The solution to (6.37) is thus
or
K>1
K < -1.
(6.40)
(6.41)
However, it can be shown that the negative root for K violates the basic
stability criteria that I slll < 1 and I s221 < 1.
Most literature states that the criteria for inherent stability, i.e. the
device is unconditionally stable, are K > 1 and one of the following
conditions:
1. 1 - IS1112 > IS12s2ti and 1 - IS2212 > IS12s2d,
2. Bl > 0,
3. B2 > 0,
4. ILlI < 1.
In fact, 1. can be derived from K > 1 by assuming I sill < 1 and I szzl < 1,
2. and 3. can be derived from 1. with no further assumption and 4. is
derived by adding 2. and 3. with no further assumption. Hence the
necessary and sufficient conditions for inherent stability are
and
K > 1 1
ISIII < 1
IS221 < 1.
(6.42)
SMALL-SIGNAL AMPLIFIER DESIGN
CJI L-____________________________________________
In designing an amplifier the s-parameters of the active device are first
measured and the device is tested against the stability criteria of (6.42). If
(6.42) is fulfilled, the device is unconditionally stable, otherwise it is
potentially unstable (also called conditionally stable).
For an unconditionally stable device, Bl and B2 are both positive. The
optimal load and source terminations are equal to the complex conjugate
of the input and output impedances, respectively, and are given by
where:
BI = 1 + ISl112 - Iszzl
2
- ILlI2 > 0,
B2 = 1 - ISI\ 12 + Iszzl
2
- ILlI2 > 0,
C
I
= Sl1 - LlS!2,
C
2
= S22 - LlStl,
LI = Sl1S22 - S12S21.
(6.43)
(6.44)
(6.45)
The transducer gain of an amplifier with the active device conjugately
matched at both ports can be found by putting r L = r Lm and rs = rSm
into (6.17).
6.6 LOAD AND SOURCE STABILITY CIRCLES
When an active device is potentially unstable i.e. either one or more of the
following expressions or their equivalent statements is not valid:
K> 1,
IS111 < 1 and Iszzl < 1.
The device can still be used to perform as an amplifier provided the regions
of source and load termination that cause instability are avoided.
6.6.1 Load stability
The input reflection coefficient of a loaded two-port network is given by
One of the criteria for the loaded network to be unconditionally stable is
that I rd < 1. We are now going to find out what kind of load (r d will
push the network to the boundary of stability represented by I r j I = 1.
LOAD AND SOURCE STABILITY CIRCLES I
I
S12S21rL 1- 1
Sl1 + -
1 - r
L
S
Z2
I
S
l1 - LJrLI = 1
1 - r
L
S
Z2
(Sl1 - LJrd(Sl1 - LJrd* = (1 - r LS2Z)(1 - rLSZZ)*
* SZ2 - LJSj1 S2Z - LJ*Sl1 * _ IS11lz - 1
rLr
L
- Isnl
2
_ ILJI
2rL
- I
S
221
2
_ ILJlzTL - Isd
z
_ ILJI2' (6.46)
Consider the equation of a circle in the complex Z-plane with the centre at
A and a radius of R,
IZ-AI =R
(Z - A)(Z - A)* = R2
ZZ* - AZ* - A*Z + AA* = R2. (6.47)
Comparison of (6.46) with (6.47) shows that there is a circle in the r
L
-
plane, points on which represent load reflection coefficients or load im-
pedances which will push the input stability to its limit corresponding to
Ird = l.
The centre (r
2S
) and radius (Q2S) of the load stability circle are thus
given by
r
- (S22 - LJSj1)* _ q
2S - 1 s221
2
- 1 LJI2 - 1 S221
2
- 1 LJ1
2
'
(6.48)
The radius of the load stability circle is given by
I
S
12
S
211
(6.49)
An example of the load stability circle is shown in Fig. 6.7.
The centre of the Smith chart (r
L
plane) in Fig 6.7 corresponds to r
L
=
0. When r
L
= 0, r j = S11' If IS111 < 1, the centre of the Smith chart
corresponds to a stable load. Since in this case, the Smith chart centre is
outside the load stability circle, the shaded region corresponds to values of
r
L
which, when used in terminating the two-port (at port 2), will render
net power flowing out from the input port. If I S11 I > 1, the shaded region
corresponds to loads granting input stability. Examples of load stability
plots are shown in Fig. 6.8. In Fig. 6.8 the Smith chart corresponds to the
rL-plane, and the shaded regions are regions of stable load terminations.
If I sIll > 1 in Fig. 6.8 the shaded regions represent regions of unstable
terminations.
6.6.2 Source stability
Following exactly the same arguments as in the derivation of the load
stability circle, the source stability circle can be derived by letting ro in
_____________ S_MA __ L_L_-S_IG_N_A_L_A_M __ PL_I_FI_E_R_D_E_S_IG_N ____________
r L -plane
Smith chart
Fig. 6.7 Load stability network.
Load stability
circle \ r.l = I
Unstable region
if \SII\ < 1
(6.26) equal unity. The centre (TIs) and radius (QIS) of the source stability
circle are thus given by
centre: (6.50)
radius: (6.51)
The source stability circle is a locus on the Ts-plane Smith chart. The
centre of the Smith chart represent Ts = 0 or To = S22' Hence, if I s221 < 1
the centre lies in the stable region, and vice versa.
6.7 CONSTANT POWER-GAIN CIRCLES
An amplifier can be designed using a stable active device (i.e. K > 1,
ISIII < 1 and Isni < 1) by selecting the conjugately matched input and
output terminations, i.e. Tsm and T
Lm
. The gain of such an amplifier is the
highest gain that can be derived from the active device. In this case, the
operating gain of the amplifier is the same as the transducer gain of the
amplifier and is given by (6.17).
For designs using potentially unstable active devices, the maximum
operating gain corresponds to a source and/or load termination outside
the Ts and/or TL Smith chart. Hence, it is not achievable and is thus
meaningless. In designing with potentially unstable devices, one has to give
Smith
chart
Smith
chart
Smith
chart
( c)
CONSTANT POWER-GAIN CIRCLE_S ______ --'1
Stable
region
Smith
chart
Smith
chart
(d)
(f)
Stable
region
Fig. 6.8 Load stability circle: (a) conditionally stable (K < 1, ISlIl < 1); (b)
conditionally stable (K < 1, ISlIl < 1); (c) conditionally stable (K < 1, ISlll < 1);
(d) conditionally stable (K < 1, ISlll < 1); (e) unconditionally stable (K > 1,
ISlll < 1); (f) unconditionally stable (K > 1, ISlll < 1).
up looking for the maximum gain (conjugate input/output matching), but
rather one should be looking for realizable source and load terminations by
defining a lower (than maximum) gain. The operating power gain of an
active device for any arbitrary terminations is given by (6.15), i.e.
LI _____________ S_MA __ L_L_-S_IG_N_A_L_A_M __ PL_I_FI_E_R_D_E_S_IG_N ____________
G
_ IS2d
2
(1 - IrLI2)
P - I 12 I 1
2
'
1 - r
L
S
22
- SlI - rL.1
Note that Gp is independent of rs by virtue of its own definition.
Defining the normalized operating gain, g2, as
Gp
g2 = IS2ti2
1- Ihl
2
(6.52)
The locus of r
L
for a constant value of g2 is expressed by the circle
equation
I
r - g2q 12 = g21
s
12
S
2I1
2
- 2g21
s
12
S
2dK + 1 (6.53)
L 1 + g2(lszz\2 - 1.112) [1 + g2(ls2212 - 1.112)F .
The centre and radius of the circle are
Centre:
r
- g2q
2C - I 12 I 12
1 + g2( S22 - .1 )
(6.54)
Radius:
_ - 2g21s12S2ti K + 1)
Q2C - 1 + g2(l s221
2
- 1.112)
(6.55)
The circle is known as the constant power-gain circle. The constant power-
gain circle is on the Smith chart of the r
L
plane. It is the locus of the load
terminations (rLS) which, when connected to port 2 of the active device,
will provide an operating gain of I S211
2
g2.
For an inherently stable device, K> 1 and ILl I < 1, conjugate matching
at both ports is possible and this leads to the maximum gain, i.e.
and
Gp Gpmax. Q2C 0 (the locus being a point)
r Lm.
On putting (}2C = 0 into (6.55)
iz IS12S2ti
2
- 2g2 IS12S2ti K + 1 = 0
or
1
g2 = -I --I [K V(K2 - 1)] = g2max
S12S21
Gpmax = II
s
21II [K V(K2 - 1)] = G
Tmax
,
S12
or
where the minus sign is used for inherent stability.
(6.56)
(6.57)
It is noted that r Lm = r
2C
when g2 = g2max and that r
2C
and r
2S
lie on
the same radial line independent of whether the device is unconditionally
stable or potentially unstable. The angle of the radial line is defined by the
angle of C1.
In amplifier design using a potentially unstable device, a set of constant
CONSTANTPOW_E_R_-G_A_I_N_C_I_RC __ LE_S ____________
power-gain circles is generated first. A load reflection coefficient r L, in
the stable region of the r L -plane Smith chart with as high a gain as desired
is selected. The source reflection coefficient rs can be selected by
choosing the complex conjugate of the input reflection coefficient, i.e.
or (6.58)
The value of rs as given by (6.58) is usable if it falls well inside the stable
region of the rs-plane Smith chart. If not, a different r
L
has to be selected
and the procedures are repeated until both r Land rs are on the stable
region.
Example 6.1
The s-parameters of a GaAs MESFET measured at 6GHz are given as
s" = 0.614L - 167.4 S2' = 2.187L32.4
s12 = 0.046L65 S22 = 0.716L - 83.
Design a narrow-band amplifier at 6 GHz using the device for maximum
gain. Calculate the transducer gain and the operating gain.
Solution
First, check the stability of the device.
also:
Ll = S"S22 - S'2S21
Is,,1 = 0.614 < 1
Isd = 0.716 < 1
= 0.614 x 0.716L - 250.4 - 2.187 x 0.046L97.4
= 0.3420L113.16.
The stability factor K can be computed using (6.40), i.e.
K = 1 - 0.3770 - 0.5127 + 0.1169 = 1.1292> l.
2 x 0.1006
The device is unconditionally stable at 6 GHz. Hence, maximum gain can
be achieved by simultaneously conjugate matching the source and load.
The required terminations are given by
r. _ Ci[S, - V(BT - 4IC,1
2
)]
Sm - 21 C
l
l
2
LI _____________ S_MA __ L_L_-S_IG_N_A_L_A_M __ PL_I_FI_E_R_D_E_S_IG_N ____________
Tsm = 0.8682LI69.76
T _ q [B2 - V,.,.,(
Lm - 21 C
2
1
2
T
Lm
= 0.9055L84.48.
The maximum transducer gain is equal to the maximum operating gain for
a conjugately matched device. It is given by (6.1S) or (6.17) as
G
Tmax
= Gpmax = 28.7 = 14.5 dB.
Exampie6.2
Given the s-parameters of a silicon bipolar transistor 2N6603 (MRF 902) at
Ic = SmA, VCE = SV at 1 GHz
Sll = O.64L - 158 S21 = 4.13L88
S12 = 0.087L28 S22 = 0.39L - 68.
Design a narrow-band 1 GHz amplifier.
Solution
LI = 0.2496L - 266 - 0.3593L116
ILl 1 = 10.1443L - 96.331
= 0.1443 < 1
K = 1 - 0.4096 - 0.1521 + 0.02082 = 0 6389 1
2 x 0.3593 . <.
Although both 1 s II 1 < 1 and 1 s221 < 1, K < 1 still implies that the device is
potentially unstable. The source and load stability circles can be computed
as
TIS = ILlI2 = 1.7421LI61.67
I
S
12
S
211
QIS = IIStd2 _ ILlI21 = 0.9241.
The stability circles are shown in Fig. 6.9.
The next step is to select a value for TL in the stable region of the T
L
-
plane. Since the required gain is not specified, TL can be chosen arbitrarily
provided it stays clear of the stability circle in the stable region. Ts can
then be found from (6.64) using source conjugate match.
If TL = 0.71SL4So (arbitrary) is chosen, then
L-_____________ LO_W __ -N_O_IS_E_AM ___ PL_I_FI_E_R_D_E_SI_G_N ____________
(a)
/ Load stability
circle
Source stability
circle
(b)
Fig.6.9 Stability circles for Example 6.2 (a) rL-plane, (b) rm-plane.
rs = rt;. = 0.901L175.
Stable
region
This solution is not acceptable since rs lies inside the source stability
circle.
If r
L
= 0.41L77 (arbitrary) is chosen, then
rs = rt;. = 0.8137L - 159.57.
This solution is in the stable region but only marginally, and hence it is not
recommended.
If r
L
= O.22L77 (arbitrary) is chosen, then
rs = rt;. = 0.7256L158.97.
This solution is slightly better than the previous one, and can be accepted
for the purpose of this example.
The operating gain Gp and the transducer gain G
T
can be found by using
(6.15) and (6.17), respectively. They are
Gp = G
T
= 40.91 = 16.12dB.
Gp and G
T
are the same in this case because complex-conjugate matching
at the input has been employed.
6.8 LOW-NOISE AMPLIFIER DESIGN
The noise figure of a two-port active device was quoted in Chapter 5 and is
repeated here
(6.59)
LI __ __
where Fm is the minimum noise figure of the two-port active device when
its source termination is at an optimum value, rapt. Rn is the equivalent
noise resistance and Zo is the system impedance to be taken as SO Q for
all practical purposes. Equation (6.S9) can be derived using the 'two-
generator' model on a two-port network. The noise performance of an
active device such as a BJT or FET is completely described by F
m
, Rn ,
I rapt I and Lr
opt
. These parameters can either be measured or taken
from the data sheet of the active device such as those given for HXTR 6102
in Fig. S.S(c). The measurement of noise in general will be discussed in
Chapter 11.
The source termination rs can be chosen to be rapt if the amplifier is to
be designed for the lowest noise figure. This is always possible if the device
is unconditionally stable. The output port is normally conjugately matched
for maximum power transfer to the load, i.e.
_ ( S12
S
21
r
opt ) *
rL - S22 + 1 - r.
Sl1 opt
or
_ (S22 - LlroPt)*
r
L
- .
1 - roptSll
(6.60)
For potentially unstable devices, it is necessary to ensure that rs = r
opt
lies in the stable region of the source stability circle plot. If input-port
stability is not satisfied by rs = r
opt
' then a value other than r
opt
must be
chosen for r5 at the expense of having a noise figure higher than Fm.
After selecting r
s
, whether it is equal to rapt or not, conjugate
matching at the output is normally assumed. The r
L
so calculated must
also lie within the stable region of the load stability circle plot.
Example (6.3)
A low-noise amplifier at 6 GHz is to be designed using a GaAsFET whose
a.c. parameters at 6GHz under the low-noise bias condition of Vos
3.5 V and los = 0.15/055 are given below
Sl1 = 0.674L - 152 S21 = 1. 74L36.4
S12 = 0.075L6.2 S22 = 0.60L - 92.6
Fm = 2.2dB
Rn= 6.64Q
r
opt
= 0.575L138.
Solution
Stability analysis gives
Is,,1 10.6741 < 1
IS221 10.61 < 1
____________ L_O_W __ -N_O_IS_E_A_MP __ L_IF_I_E_R_D_E_SI_G_N ____________ [D2J
so
LI = SllS22 - S12S21 = 0.3865L134.22
ILl I < 1
K=1-l
s
llI
2
-l
s
d
2
+ ILlI2 =1.284>1.
21
s
12S21I
Hence the device is inherently stable. Therefore we may choose rs =
r
opt
= O.575L138 to achieve the lowest noise figure of F = Fm = 2.2dB.
The output is assumed to be conjugately matched, i.e.
(
s -LIT )*
r
L
= 22 opt = 0.601L104
0

1 - roptsll
The power gains are
C
2
= S22 - LIsT! = 0.3633L - 105.97.
The operating gain Gp is given by
G _ IS2t1
2
(1 - IrLI2)
p - 1 - ISlll2 + Ihl
2
(IS2212 - ILl 12) - 2Re(r
L
C
2
)
= 10.43 = 1O.18dB.
The transducer gain G is given by
G
_ IS2l1
2
(1 - IrLI2)(1 - Ir optl
2
)
T - I 12
1 - suropt - szzrL + LlrLropt
= 7.97 = 9.01 dB.
For the sake of comparison the gains for conjugate matching design, i.e.
the case when rs = rSm and r
L
= r
Lm
, are calculated to be Gp = G
T
=
10.45 dB. It is seen that while the operating gain of the low-noise design is
only marginally lower, the transducer gain is more than 2dB below what
the FET can achieve with conjugate matching. This is due to the mismatch
loss in the input circuit.
6.8.1 Noise circles
If the design using rs = r
opt
is not possible because r
opt
is in the unstable
region or is too near to the source stability circle, we may design for a
prescribed noise figure F = Fj To this end we define a parameter Nj such
that
(6.61)
Then from (6.59), we have
N
SMALL-SIGNAL AMPLIFIER DESIGN

L-__________________________________________________
It follows from (6.61) that
(rs - ropt)(TS - npt) = Nj - Nj Ir sl2
Irsl2 + Iropt l
2
- 2Re(rsr opt) = Nj - Nj Ir sl2
(1 + Nj ) Irsl2 + Iropt l
2
- 2Re(rsr opt ) = Nj
On multiplying throughout by (1 + Nj )
Irs - rlFI = QIF,
where r
lF
= rop/(1 + NJ and
QIF = 1 : N Jl[Nr + Nj (1 - Iropt I
2
)].
I
(6.62)
(6.63)
Equation (6.63) is a circle equation known as the noise circle with its centre
at r
lF
and a radius of !?IF. The noise circle is the locus of all values of rs
having the same noise figure Fj By varying the value of Fj , a family of
noise circles each signifying a specific noise figure can be plotted.
Example (6.4)
Design an amplifier with a noise figure Fj = 3 dB at 6 GHz using the same
FET under the same bias conditions as that used in Example 6.3.
Solution
Fj = 3 dB = 1.9953
Fm = 2.2 dB = 1.6596
6.64
Tn = 50 = 0.1328
N = (Fj - F m) 11 + rop, 12 = 0.3009
I 4rn
ropt
r lF = 1 + N = 0.4420L138
I
QIF = 0.4154.
The noise circle for Fj = 3 dB is plotted in Fig. 6.10.
The conjugate source termination rSm is calculated to be
O.7974LI61.35, and rSm is also entered into the plot in Fig. 6.10. It is
found that it almost lies on the noise circle for Fj = 3 dB. Hence we may
choose rs = rSm and r L = r Lm
L-_____________ B_R_O_A_D_BA __ ND __ C_O_N_S_ID_E_RA __ T_IO_N_S ____________
Fig. 6.10 Design for Example 6.4.
6.9 BROADBAND CONSIDERATIONS
Fm=2.2 dB
(data sheet)
The design of broadband amplifiers is more critical than that of narrow-
band amplifiers because both the s-parameters of the active device and
the reflection coefficient looking into the matching networks vary with
frequency. Hence conjugately matched conditions fail to exist over a band
of frequencies.
Bearing in mind that both the s-parameters of the active device and of
the matching network vary with frequency, the transducer gain at three
different frequencies within the band, namely the lowest frequency, the
centre frequency and the highest frequency, can each be calculated using
their respective s-parameters and the reflection coefficient for fixed
matching networks. The transducer gains so calculated over the band of
frequencies will show, in most cases, a flatness of not more than 3 dB
variation. If the variation is too large to be accepted, a different matching
network can be tried and the process continued until a satisfactory
combination of gain flatness and transducer gain is obtained.
Another method is to forget about the conjugate source matching at
the centre frequency as in the narrowband amplifier design and choose
arbitrarily the input and output matching networks. The transducer gain at
the three frequencies mentioned above are then calculated. Since the
process is merely a trial and check method, it is best done with the aid of a
microcomputer. The versatility of using a microcomputer is that various
choices of matching networks can be tried until the maximum transducer
gain with an acceptable degree of flatness is obtained.
SMALL-SIGNAL AMPLIFIER DESIGN
[IBJ I
L-__________________________________________________
6.10 SUMMARY OF DESIGN PROCEDURES
In all small-signal design the initial step is to check for inherent stability of
the active device using
K = 1 - I
S
111
2
- I
S
221
2
+ ILll
2
> 1
2Is'2
s
21 I
ISIlI < 1 and IS221 < 1.
For inherent stability any load and source reflection coefficient within the
Smith chart represents a stable termination.
For a potentially unstable device, the load stability is calculated and
plotted on the Smith chart using (6.48) and (6.49).
Centre:
C
z
T
2S
= IS2212 _ ILll
2
(6.48)
Radius:
_ IS!2s2d
Q2S -ll s221
2
- ILl121
(6.49)
Likewise the source stability circle was given in (6.50) and (6.51).
Centre:
TIS = I
S
lll2 _ ILll
2
(6.50)
Radius:
_ IS'2
s
211
QIS -ll sul
2
- ILl121
(6.51 )
The load and source terminations selected, i.e. r
L
and r
s
, must fall within
the stable region as defined. Design can normally be classified as either
maximum-gain design or low-noise design. Broadband design adds addi-
tional constraints to, but is basically the same as, the maximum-gain or the
low-noise design.
6.10.1 Maximum-gain design
An inherently stable device can achieve a maximum gain of
Gpmax = Il
s
2'11 [K - V(K2 - 1)]
S'2
with conjugately matched source and load using (6.29) and (6.30), i.e.
r. _ CnB, - V(BI - 4IC,1
2
)]
Sm - 21C,12
T _ q[B2 - - 41C21
2
)]
Lm - 21 C
2
12 ,
PROBLEMS
I [DB
L-____________________________________________
where:
Bl=1+ ISl1I2_lsd
2
-1L112
B2 = 1 - ISl112 + IS2212 - 1.,11
2
C1 = Sl1 - L1S!2
C2 = S22 - L1Sl'1
.,1 = Sl1S22 - S12S21'
For potentially unstable devices, constant power-gain circles are plotted,
with
Centre:
r
- g2q
2C - 1 12 1 12
1 + g2( S22 - .,1 )
Radius:
_ IS12S2d2 - 2g2 IS12S2d K + 1)
Q2C - 1 + g2( Isd
2
- 1.,112)
r
L
is selected on the stable region for a chosen power gain. rs is then
calculated by using
The calculated rs must fall on the stable region of the rs-plane.
6.10.2 Low-noise amplifier
A set of noise-figure circles is generated using (6.63) with
Centre:

r
lF
- 1 + N
1
Radius:
rs is selected to lie on the required noise-figure circle and r
L
is calculated
using
r
L
= (S22 - L1rs) *.
1 - r
S
s
l1
Both r
L
and rs must lie in the stable region. The transducer gain is then
checked using (6.17). If r L does not lie in the stable region or the
transducer gain is not high enough, the process of selecting rs can be
repeated until a suitable noise-gain compromise is achieved.
PROBLEMS
1. The small-signal behaviour of a microwave transistor (bipolar or
MESFET) is described by a set of two-port parameters. Show that for
LI _____________ S_MA __ L_L_-S_IG_N_A_L_A_M __ PL_I_FI_E_R_D_E_S_IG_N ____________
maximum operating gain of the transistor, the source and load termina-
tion are given by
where:
r. - Ci[BI - V(Bi - 4I Cd
2
)]
Sm - 21CI12
r _ CHB2 - - 4IC2 1
2
)]
Lm - 21C212 ,
BI = 1 + ISlll2 - IS2212 - ILlI2
B2 = 1 - ISlll2 + Isnl
2
- ILlI2
CI = Sll - LlS12
C2 = S22 - Llstl
LI = SllS22 - S12S21'
2. For an unconditionally stable transistor the Rollet stability factor K > 1.
Show that it is necessary that
where:
BI > 0 and B2 > 0,
BI = 1 + ISlll2 - IS2212 - ILlI2
B2 = 1 - ISlll2 + IS2212 - ILlI2
LI = Sl1S22 - S12S21'
3. Show that the expressions given below are necessary consequences of
the conditions K > 1, Is 11 I < 1 and I S221 < 1 (which are the necessary
and sufficient conditions for inherent stability):
1. 1-l
s
lll
z
> IS12S211
2. 1 - S22 2 > S12SZ1
4. The a.c. parameters of the bipolar junction transistor Motorola
MRF571 at 1 GHz under the bias conditions of V CE = 6.0 V and Ic =
5.0mA are given by
Sll = 0.61L178 S21 = 3.0L78
S12 = 0.09L37 S22 = 0.28L - 69
0
Fm = l.5dB
r
opt
= 0.48L134
Rn=7.5Q
1. Show that the device is unconditionally stable at 1 GHz under the
above stated bias conditions.
2. Calculate the required source and load terminations for maximum
gain design.
3. Calculate the maximum operating gain and the maximum transducer
gain.
_________________ F_U_R_T_H_ER __ R_EA_D_I_N_G ________________
5. Implement the design in Problem 4 by using single-stub microstrip
matching circuits for both the input and output port, or other microstrip
matching circuits of similar complexity. The minimum circuit Q is to be
greater than 5.
6. Calculate the noise figure of the circuit in Problem 4.
7. Using the same device under the same bias conditions as in Problem 4,
design a low-noise amplifier of noise figure F = 2.2 dB and implement it
with the simplest possible microstrip circuit.
8. The a.c. parameters of the Motorola BJT MRF572 at 1 GHz under the
bias conditions of VCE = 6.0V and Ic = 5.0mA are given by
Sll = 0.66L - 167 S21 = 3.3L79
S12 = 0.lOL22 S22 = 0.29L - 77
Fm = 1.5dB
F
opt
= 0.56L116
Rn = 6.0Q
1. Plot the constant-power circles in the rL-plane for Gp = 12, 13 and
14dB.
2. Plot the noise circles in the rs-plane for noise figure F = 1.5,2.0 and
2.5dB.
3. Design an amplifier for the best compromise of gain and noise figure
by giving your choice of rs and r
L
with reasons.
9. The s-parameters of a Motorola MRF966 (N-channel dual-gate GaAs
MESFET) under the bias conditions of V
DS
= 5.0V and IDs = lOrnA
were measured to be as in Table P6.1.
Table P6.1.
Frequency
SlI S21 S12 S22
(GHz)
0.8 0.950L - 24 1.58L153 0.005L91 0.96L - 15
1.0 0.928L - 30 l.57L146 0.006L95 0.96L - 19
1.2 0.893L - 36 l.55L139 0.006L101 0.95L - 22
Write a computer program (or use software such as Touchstone,
Supercompact or MDS) to design a wideband amplifier covering the
range 0.8 GHz to 1.2 GHz with highest possible gain and a gain flatness
of better than 3 dB. The matching circuits are to be implemented by
microstrips.
FURTHER READING
Bodway, G.E. (1987) Two port power flow analysis using generalized
scattering parameters. Microwave Journal, May.
____________ S_MA __ L_L-_S_IG_N_A_L_A_M_P_L_I_FI_E_R_D_E_SI_G_N ____________
Carson, R.S. (1982) High-Frequency Amplifiers, 2nd edn, Wiley.
Froehner, W.H. (1967) Quick amplifier design with scattering parameters.
Electronics, October.
Gonzalez, G. (1984) Microwave Transistor Amplifiers Analysis and
Design, Prentice-Hall.
Ha, T.T. (1981) Solid-State Microwave Amplifier Design, Wiley.
Hejhall, R., RF Small Signal Design Using Two-port Parameters, Motorola
Application Note AN-2I5A.
Hewlett Packard Application Note 154 (1972) S-Parameter Design, April.
Kurokawa, K. (1965) Power Waves and the Scattering Matrix, IEEE
Transactions on MTT, March.
Linvill, J.G. and Gibbon, J.F. (1961) Transistors and Active Circuits,
McGraw-Hill.
Pengelly, R.S. (1982) Microwave FET Theory, Design and Application,
Wiley.
Poole, C.R. and Paul, D.K. (1985) Optimum Noise Measure Terminations
for Microwave Transistor Amplifiers, IEEE Transactions on MTT, Vol
33, November.
Vendelin, G.D. (1978) Five basic bias designs for GaAs FET amplifiers.
Microwaves, February.
Vendelin, G.D. (1982) Design of Amplifiers and Oscillators by the S-
Parameter Method, Wiley.
___ p_o_w_e_r_A __ m_p_li_fi_er_s ____
7.1 INTRODUCTION
The y- or s-parameter representation of a high-frequency transistor
operating under small-signal conditions provides a very convenient linear
circuit model for the purposes of analysis and design. For power
transistors, however, linear models are not applicable in describing the
terminal behaviour of the transistors. The behaviour simply varies with the
power level.
Some transistors, known as 'linear power transistors', such as Hewlett
Packard HXTR-5103 (2N6741), when operated in class-A mode, are low-
level power-amplifier transistors capable of delivering only hundreds of
milliwatts. Design methods using small-signal s-parameters can still be
used. This kind of amplifier can be considered as 'high-power' small-signal
amplifiers.
Small-signal transistors are all class-A biased. Power amplifiers can
nevertheless be biased in class-A, class-B or class-C mode, and at
frequencies below, say, a few hundred megahertz in class-D, class-E or
class-S mode employing VMOS or TMOS devices. The most commonly
used mode for power amplifiers is class-C because of its high efficiency. All
power amplifiers are fairly non-linear, but a class-C is more non-linear than
is a class-B which in turn is more non-linear than is a class-A amplifier. A
class-C amplifier is most non-linear in the sense that it generates more
harmonics than do other modes. The efficiency of a class-A amplifier is less
than 50% while that for a class-B amplifier, where the conduction angle is
180
0
, is less than 78.5%. For a class-C amplifier the theoretical limit of
efficiency is 100% as the conduction angle approaches zero; however in
practice it does not normally exceed 80%.
Bipolar transistors can be biased in all of class-A, B or C modes, whereas
GaAs MESFETs are normally limited to class-A operation, and the power
output is usually lower than a few watts.
For relatively low-power applications of BJTs, common-emitter mode
is popular while for applications above, say a few watts common-base
operation is quite common. Most power BJTs have either their base or
POWER AMPLIFIERS


emitter internally grounded to a substantial mass of metal which serves as
both the circuit and thermal connection to the chassis. For transistors with
this kind of package the choice of common-emitter or common-base
operation is predetermined by the transistor manufacturer. The base or
emitter lead inductance, which most often is the source of instability, is
greatly reduced with internal grounding.
The transfer characteristic of a power amplifier with harmonic distortion
can be expressed as
where Po and Pi are the output and input power, respectively, and aj is the
coefficient for the jth harmonic term. When the linear term is equal to the
second-harmonic term, i.e. when
alPj = a2P?
or Pi = al/a2 (7.1)
I
Pi al/a2 is called second-order intercept. Similarly, Pi = (al/a
n
)n-l is
known as the nth-order intercept. The nth-order intercepts are figures of
merit, the larger the values of the intercept the better. The second- and
third-order intercepts are usually the most important.
The linearity of a power amplifier can also be expressed in terms of the
1 dB compression defined in Fig. 7.1. The higher the value of the 1 dB
compression the larger is the linear dynamic range of the amplifier.
Power
gain
in dB
o
I ..
Dynamic
range of
amplifier
Fig. 7.1 Definition of the 1 dB compression.
Input power
in watts
____________ B_IA_S_I_NG __ O_F_P_O_W __ ER __ T_RA_N_S_I_ST_O_R_S ____________
7.2 BIASING OF POWER TRANSISTORS
Class-A biasing of BJTs and FETs has been encountered briefly in Chapter
5. Techniques for biasing class-A small-signal and class-A power transistors
are similar except that, for maximum output voltage swings, the V CE for
power transistors tends to be fixed at V cc (through an RFC without the
collector resistor). For class-C operations, the base-emitter junction of the
transistor must be reverse-biased to ensure that the transistor conducts for
less than 180.
Figure 7.2 shows a popular self-biased common-emitter class-C con-
figuration. The base-emitter junction is biased by the input (sinusoidal)
voltage applied between point X and ground. Due to the p-n junction
effect of the BE junction, the base current iB (and hence ic) will assume a
waveform similar to that shown in Fig. 7.3.
By applying Fourier series analysis to i
B
, it is easily seen that iB contains
a d.c. current in addition to various harmonic current terms. The d.c.
current IB varies with the magnitude of the input a.c. signal and must be
returned to ground. Hence an RFC between point Y and ground is
necessary to provide a d.c. path for the BE junction current.
The base-spreading resistance Tbb' is the parasitic between the base of
the transistor and the base contact of the transistor package. Reverse bias
of the BE junction is achieved by the d.c. current passing through TW. If
this voltage drop is not enough to reverse bias the BE junction, an external
resistor can be connected between point Y and ground in series with the
RFC.
X
---
/--- -........
// "-
I \
I \
0-------1 t---....... -'--\ ---i
\
\
"-
""-
........ --------/
\
I
/
/
/
Fig. 7.2 A self-biased common-emitter amplifier suitable for cIass-C operation.
IL-_________________ P_O_W_E_R_A_M_P_L_IF_I_E_RS ________________
- iB (orie)
o
<
Fig. 7.3 Base current in class-C operation.
Time or
conduction angle (8)
A class-C common-base self-biased circuit is shown in Fig. 7.4. The
resistor R is a very small-value high-power resistance in the range of an
ohm. It serves many purposes. It tends to increase the reverse bias of the
BE junction to ensure class-C operation. R decreases the Q-value of the
RFC and makes low-frequency oscillation less likely to occur. R also limits
the extent of Ie.
7.3 POWER TRANSISTOR DESIGN DATA
Figure 7.5 shows the manufacturer's data sheets for the Motorola micro-
wave power transistor MRF2001M. Out of the vast amount of data given,
some are more pertinent to power amplifier design than others.
RFC
R
Vee
Fig. 7.4 Self-biased common-based class-C operation (rbb' omitted; C
1
and C
2
are feedthrough capacitors).
MOTOROLA
SEMICONDUCTOR
TECHNICAL DATA
The RF Line
NPN SILICON MICROWAVE POWER TRANSISTOR
.. designed for Class Band C common base broadband amplifier
applications in the 1.7to 2.3 GHz frequency range.
Internal Input Matching for Broadband Operation
Guaranteed Performance @ 2 GHz, 24 Vdc
Output power = 1.0 Wan
Minimum Gain = B.5 dB
100% Tested for Load Mismatch at All Phase Angles
with 10: 1 VSWR
Hermetically Sealed Industry Standard Package
Gold Metallized, Emiller Ballasted for Long Life and
Resistance to Metal Migration
Silicon Nitride Passivation
Characterized for Operation from 20 V to 28 V
Supply Voltages
MAXIMUM RATINGS
Rating Symbol
Collector-Emitter Voltage
VCEO
Collector-Base Voltage
VCBO
Emitter-Base Voltage
VEBO
Collector-Current - Continuous IC
Total Device Dissipation @ TC = 25C (1)
Po
Derate above 25C
Value
20
45
4.0
250
7.0
40
Storage Temperature Range Tstg -65 to +200
THERMAL CHARACTERISTICS
Characteristic Symbol Max
Thermal Resistance, Junction to Case (2)
R8JC
25
Unit
Vdc
Vdc
Vdc
mAde
Watts
mW/oC
C
Unit
C/W
(1) These devices are designed for RF operation. The total device dissipation rating
applies only when the devices are operated as RF amplifiers.
(2) Thermal Resistance is determined under specified RF operating conditions by
infrared measurement techniques.
MRF2001M
1.0 W 2 GHz
MICROWAVE POWER
TRANSISTOR
NPN SILICON
- r==:==J
f
H
.... ____ - -I E
NOTES.
STYLE L
PIN t. EMITTER
1. COLLECTOR
3. BASE
t. DIMENSIONS WAND W
ARE DATUMS.
1. POSITIONAL TOLERANCE FOR
MOUNTING HOLES.
1*19. t31O.0051@ITII'@IB@1
3. rn IS SEATING PLANE.
4. DIMENSIONING AND
TOLERANCING PER ANSI
Y14.5.1973.
MILLIMETERS INCHES
DIM MIN MAX MtN MAX
A 10.07 10.57 0.790 0.810
I 6.22 6.48 0.245 0.155
C 3.68 4.06 0.t45 0.t60
0 1.29 1.79 0.090 0.110
E t.41 t.73 0.056 0.068
G t4.171se 0.5608SC
H 2.29 2.79 0.090 O.lto
K 3.43 4.t9 0.t35 0.165
N 7.87 8.38 0.3tO' 0.330
Q 3.05 3.30 0.t20 0.t30
R 7.24 7.49 0.285 0.295
CASE 33702
Fig. 7.5(a) Motorola MRF2001M data sheet. Copyright of Motorola, Inc. Used
by permission.
ELECTRICAL CHARACTERISTICS ITC = 25C unless otherwise noted)
I Characteristic I Symbol Min
OFF CHARACTERISTICS
Collector-Emitter Breakdown Voltage
IIC = 5.0 mAde, IB = 0)
Collector-Emitter Breakdown Voltage
(lC = 5.0 mAde, VBe = 0)
Collector-Base Breakdown Voltage
IIC = 5.0 mAde, IE = 0)
Emitter-Sa .. Breakdown Voltage
liE = 1.0 mAde, IC = 0)
Collector Cutoff Current
IVCB = 2B Vde, IE = 0)
ON CHARACTERISTICS
DC Current Gain
IIC = 100 mAde, VCE = 5.0 Vde)
DYNAMIC CHARACTERISTICS
Output Capacitance
IVCB = 24 Vde, IE = 0, f = 1.0 MHz)
FUNCTIONAL TESTS
Common-Base Amplifier Power Gain
IVCC = 24 Vde, Pout = 1.0 W, f = 2.0 GHz)
Collector Efficiency
IVCC = 24 Vde, Pout = 1.0 W, f = 2.0 GHz)
Load Mismatch
IVce = 24 Vde, Pout = 1.0 W, f = 2.0 GHz)
VSWR = 10:1 All Phase Angles)
VIBR)CEO
VIBRICES
VIBR)CBO
VIBR)EBO
ICBO
GpB

..
FIGURE 1 - 2.0 GHz TEST CIRCUIT
Z1-Z12 - Microstrip, See Photo master
Cl - 0.6-4.5 pF Johanson 7271
C2, C3 - 56 pF Chip Capacitor
C4-0.1
C5-10"F,35V
Board Material- 0.0312" Teflon Fiberglass
,,= 2.5 0.05
20
45
45
4.0
-
8.5
35
Typ Max
- -
- -
- -
- -
- 0.5
9.5 -
40
No Degradation In Power Output
Unit
Vde
Vde
Vde
Vde
mAde
dB
Vcc=
+24 Vde
Fig. 7.5(b) Motorola MRF2001M data sheet. Copyright of Motorola, Inc. Used
by permission,
2.0
i
'"


1.0
....
::>
::
::>
<:>
J
1.6
ii)
1.4
t=
!
1.2
'"

1.0

0.8 ....
::>
::
::>
0.6
<:>
FIGURE 2 - OUTPUT POWER versus INPUT POWER
(f=1.7GHz)
f...-
Vee - 28 V
./ f...-
24 V
/' ./
-
I--
20 V
/
V
h
I/, V
II'
r-
100 120 140 160 180 200 220 240 260
Pin. INPUT POWER ImW)
FIGURE 4 - OUTPUT POWER versus INPUT POWER
(f = 2.3 GHz)

!----
Vee = 28 V
---
.,/
V
.....
I-
24 V
/'
..... V

f...-
20 V
./
,/'
V V
ii)
51

'"


....
::>
::
::>
<:>
J

z

'"


2.0
10
FIGURE 3 - OUTPUT POWER versus INPUT POWER
(f = 2.0 GHz)
Vee = 28 V
_r-
./
-
24 V
V
,,-
I-""
/
/V ..... 1--
20 V
V
V
/ V
V
/ V
V/
V
060 80 100 120 140 160 180 200 220 240 260
P,n' INPUT POWER ImWI
FIGURE 5 - POWER GAIN versus FREQUENCY
14
Pin= 140mW
12
10
--
-
t---
Vee J 28 V
-
r--,..... l-
I--
r--
----
8.0
--
r-
r-..
-....
24 V
0.4
,L/
V
,/'
1e
<..0
r--......
...........
20 V
O.
6.0
2V
060 80 100 120 140 160 180 200 220 240 260
4.0
17 2.0
Pin. INPUT POWER ImW)
f. FREQUENCY IGHz)
FIGURE 6 - SERIES EQUIVALENT INPUT IOUTPUT IMPEDANCE
+j50
-j&O
Coordinates in Ohms
Vee = 24 V. Pin = 140' mW
f
lin ZOl'
6Hz Ohms Ohms
17 15.5 + j 3.0 4.5 - j15.0
2.0 7.5 + j11.0 4.0 - j12.0
2.3 10.0+j100 30-,7.0
ZOL = Conjugate of the optimum load impedance
into which the device output operates at 8 given
output power, voltage and frequency.
Fig. 7.S(c) Motorola MRF2001M data sheet. Copyright of Motorola, Inc. Used
by permission.
2.3
IL-_________________ P_O_W_E_R_A_M_P_L_IF_I_ER_S ________________
o 0
00

00
..... 100 "
" ,
0 __ ' __ 0
o 0
o Denote Eyelet
o 4-40 crcw Placcmcnt
Fig, 7.S(d) Motorola MRF200lM data sheet. Copyright of Motorola, Inc. Used
by permission.
It is noted in the first page of the data sheets that MRF200lM is designed
for common-base class-B or class-C operation over a frequency range of
1.7 -2.3 GHz. Some special features of the transistor are also stated in the
same page; they include a load mismatch ruggedness of VSWR = 10 and a
maximum output power of no less than 1.0 W.
From Figure 3 in Fig. 7.5(c) it is seen that a power amplifier using
MRF2001M can deliver an output power of 1.2 W at 2.0 GHz for an input
power of 140mW, i.e. it has a power gain of 9.3 dB provided the input and
output ports of the transistor are conjugately matched. Figures 2, 3 and 4
give the same input-output power relationship at different frequencies .
L-____________ PO __ W_E_R_T_RA __ N_S_IS_T_O_R_D_E_S_IG_N_D_A_T_A ______
Figure 5 provides the maximum achievable gain as a function of frequency
at various values of V cc at 140 m W input level.
Figure 6 in Fig. 7 .5( c) shows the most important data for power amplifier
design. It gives the input impedance (Zin) and the 'output impedance'
(Z(,)d as functions of frequency at Vcc = 24 V and Pin = 140mW. If
variable loads (stub tuners) are placed at both the input and output of the
transistor, and are tuned for zero reflected power and an optimum
gain/efficiency compromise, then the complex conjugate of the impedance
seen by the transistor input is defined as the input impedance Zin of the
transistor. The complex conjugate of the optimum load impedance as seen
by the transistor output, i.e. Z(')L, is defined as the 'output impedance' of
the transistor. Strictly speaking, the output impedance of a transistor
operated in class-B and class-C is undefined, however the conjugate of
Z2k, i.e. ZOL, does represent the optimum load impedance required for
optimum performance, hence for the purpose of output matching network
design, Z(')L may be regarded as the equivalent series output impedance of
the transistor.
The input impedance and the 'output impedance' of the MRF200lM at
Vcc = 24V, Pin = 140mW andf= 2.0GHz are given by
Zin = 7.5 + jl1.0 Q
ZbL = 4.0 - j12.0Q.
Note that both impedances are series impedances. Some manufacturers give
these impedances in parallel form and some give this information in both
forms. The series and parallel equivalent circuits of the MRF2001M at
2.0 GHz under the conditions described are shown in Fig. 7.6.
For power transistors intended to be used at lower frequencies, say
below a few tens of megahertz, the parallel output resistance Ro is roughly
equal to the parallel loading resistance RL in order to deliver a maximum
output power of Po according to
R _ (Vee - Vsat)2
L - 2P
o
'
(7.2)
where V cc is the supply voltage to the output port and V
sat
is the saturation
VCE or V
CB
voltage for CE and CB mode, respectively. In the case that
V CEsat or V CBsat is not given, they can be taken as zero for the purpose of
using (7.2). The expression (7.2) is valid for class-A, class-B and class-C
(Smith, 1987) at low frequencies where the a.c. impedance of the transistor
output port is neglected. It is derived with the assumption that the supply
voltage Vcc is connected to the collector through an RFC (without
collector resistor). However, (7.2) becomes increasingly inaccurate as
frequency increases. Certainly at upper UHF frequencies or above (7.2) is
not meaningful. Expression (7.2) is historically used to calculate the
loading resistance required for a given output power when the parallel
IL __________________ P_O_W_E_R_A_M_P_L_I_FI_E_R_S ________________
MRF2001M
,----------------,
I +jll.O n -j1.2 n I
E I I I 0 C
I I
E
I I
I I
I I
I I
I I
L_________ _ _______
B
Series
MRF2001M
,-----------------,
I I
I
I
11.28 nH
I
I
I
4.36 n
23.6 n
I
I
I
I
I
I
L _______ _

B
Parallel
Fig. 7.6 Series and parallel equivalent circuits for MRF2001M.
C
output resistance of the transistor is not given. The use of this equation at
higher frequencies should be avoided.
7.4 POWER AMPLIFIER DESIGN
The first step in the design of a high-frequency power amplifier is to
determine the number of stages (transistors) required to deliver the output
power intended for the input power provided. The design of a multi-stage
amplifier is the same as that for a single-stage except for the inter-stage
matching requirements.
L-______________ P_O_W __ E_R_A_M_P_L_IF_IE_R __ D_ES_I_G_N ______________
When a transistor is chosen, the input and output impedances for the
required power level can be read from the transistor data sheet as discussed
in the previous section.
It is noted that the impedances read from the data sheet only serve as a
rough guide because the actual values vary from device to device. Also, the
data sheet may not give the input and output impedances at the power level
and the frequency required. For these reasons, as an alternative, a test set-
up as shown in Fig. 7.7 can be used to measure the input and output
impedances of the transistor at the intended power level and operating
frequency.
The input and output power levels are monitored by the two power
meters. When the input power level is properly set, the two stub tuners are
tuned until the output power is maximum. The input power is adjusted
until the maximized output power is at the required operating power level.
The circuit is then disconnected at PP' and QQ', and the transistor
holder is removed by disconnecting AA' and BB'. The triple stub tuners
are terminated with 50-ohm loads at PP' and QQ'.
The impedance at AA' looking into the input tuner can be measured
using a vector network analyser; the complex conjugate of the measured
sit is the rin looking into the transistor holder
but rin is only r AA', not r
l1
,. They are related by
B
B'
Transistor Holder
50 ohm
load
Fig. 7.7 Measurements of input and output impedance.
IL-_________________ P_O_W_E_R_A_M_P_L_I_FI_E_RS ________________
Similarly, the output reflection coefficient of the transistor can be obtained
by measuring the sh at BB' looking into the output tuner with QQ' loaded
by a 50-ohm termination, then
Once the input impedance and the 'output impedance' of the transistor
at the proper power level are read from the data sheet or measured, power
amplifier design is reduced to the design of two impedance matching
networks matching the input and output impedances to the source and
load, respectively. Techniques of impedance matching thoroughly dis-
cussed in Chapter 4 can be applied to the design of matching networks for
power amplifiers in exactly the same way as for small-signal amplifiers.
Example 7.1
The input impedance and the 'output impedance' of a common-base BJT
2N6267 were measured at 2.3 GHz under aVec of 24 V and an input power
of 1.5W. They are
Zin = 1.8 + j12Q
Zout = 1.6 - j8 Q.
Design a power amplifier for maximum power gain with no less than
10% bandwidth. Note: The manufacturer suggests an emitter resistance of
0.43Q.
Solution
For maximum gain design the input and output ports of the transistor must
be conjugately matched.
In order to design an amplifier with a bandwidth greater than 10%, all
the impedance (admittance) points for the input and output matching
circuits as indicated on the Smith chart must have a Q-factor smaller than
10 (in fact, smaller than, say,S or 6). The major task ofthis design is thus
the design of the input and output matching circuits with Q-values low
enough to provide 10% bandwidth. A constant-Q curves chart is shown in
Fig. 7.8 for reference purposes.
Input Matching A simple matching network as shown in Fig. 7.9 is
proposed for the input circuit. The purpose of the microstrip section of
characteristic impedance ZOl is to transform Zin (point AI) to (point A
2) an
impedance of 50 Q plus a position reactance (inductive). The inductive
component of the impedance at point A2 is then neutralized by the
negative reactance provided by C
I
to give a purely resistive impedance of
50 Q at point A
3
.
L-_______________ PO_W __ E_R_A_M_P_L_IF_IE_R __ D_ES_I_G_N ________________ I
Smith chart
Fig.7.8 Constant Q-curves chart.
The choice of ZOl affects the overall Q-value of the input circuit. Since
Zin is very small, if ZOl is relatively large, say 50 Q, Zin will be located very
near to the edge of the Smith chart after being normalized by 50 Q. This
will produce a fairly high Q-value at point A
2
To this end, a smaller value
of ZOI = 12.5 Q (say) is chosen. Point AI. i.e. Zin = 0.144 + jO.96 Q, and a
50-ohm circle, i.e. R = 4 are entered into a Smith chart as shown in Fig.
7.10. The microstrip of length II transforms point Al through a constant-
VSWR circle to point A2 where it meets the 50-ohm circle (R = 4). The
length II required is It = 0.109 wavelength (A
g
l)' The Q-values at points Al
and A2 are 6.7 and 1.5, respectively. Since the Q-value of A2 is much lower
Fig. 7.9 Input circuit.
Microstrip
section
(ZOl)
11
(A
1)
(A
2
) Z = 1.8 + j12
E
2N6267
B
__________________ P_O_W __ E_RAMP_L_IF_I_ER_S ___________________
Fig.7.10 Input matching for Example 7.1 (impedance coordinates).
50 n
circle
than that of AI> the transformation does not reduce the bandwidth. The
reactance at A2 is jX
2
= +j5.8, hence the capacitance required of C
1
is
or
1
2n x 2.3 X 109 x C
1
= 5.8 x 12.5
C
1
= 0.95pF.
Therefore, a variable capacitor of 0.3 - 3.5 pF can be used as C
I
. Note:
ZOI = 12.5 Q, 11 = 0.109A
g
i.
Output Matching The series equivalent output impedance is
Zout = 1.6 - j8Q
and the parallel output admittance is
Y
out
= 0.024 + jO.12mhos.
An output matching network as shown in Fig. 7.11 is proposed.
The Zout (or Y
out
) has a relatively large reactance (or susceptance),
hence if it is transformed by a transmission-line (microstrip) section, the
Q-value will be quite high even if Z02 is small. Therefore, a pair of
balanced short-circuit stubs can be added to shift Y
out
to a better starting
______________ P_O_W __ ER __ A_M_P_L_lF_lE_R_D_E_S_l_G_N ______________
c
2N6267
B
(A4)
(A6)
Microstrip
short-circuit stubs
Fig. 7.11 Output matching circuit.
lis = 1
1
(A7)
50 n
Fig. 7.12 Output matching chart for Example 7.1 (admittance coordinates).
LI _________________ P_O_W_E_R_A_M_P_L_IF_I_ER_S ________________
point before it is transformed by the microstrip section of length 1
2
,
Since we are using shunt stubs to add susceptance, we enter YOU! into a
Smith chart as point A4 in Fig. 7.12 by normalizing YOU! by Z02 = 25 Q, i.e.
-Y YOU! 06 '3
out = 1125 = . + J .
In order to move from point A4 to point A
5
, a susceptance Ii = B5 - B4 =
1 - 3 = -2 is added.in parallel with YOU!' Hence
1 -
B = 25 x B mho = -0.08 mho.
Note that the choice of point A5 is fairly arbitrary; as long as point A5 has a
Q-value low enough for our purposes, it is acceptable.
This susceptance, B = -0.08 mho, is provided by a pair of balanced
short-circuit stubs, each contributing BI2mho or -0.04 mho. The required
stubs may have a Z03 different from Z02 (25 Q). 13 will be determined later.
Point As, the impedance looking into the transistor and the shunt stubs,
is then entered into Fig. 7.13. Point As is then transformed by the
microstrip section of length 12 (in A
g
2) to point A6 through the constant-
VSWR circle from point As towards 'generator' until it meets the 50-ohm
circle (R = 2) at point A
6
The second intersecting point is not taken
because it represents a capacitive point, the capacitance of which cannot be
neutralized by adding a series capacitance as scheduled. The reactance at
point A6 is X
6
In order to neutralize the inductance X
6
, the required
capacitance C
2
is thus given by
- 1
25 X X6 = 2n x 2.3 x 10
9
x C
z
1
C
z
= 2n x 2.3 x 109 x 25 x 1.7 = 1.63pF.
Hence a 0.3 - 3.5 pF variable capacitor can be used as C
2
. 12 is read from
the chart as 0.318A
g
2'
We now go back to find the length 13 of the short-circuited shunt stubs.
The required susceptance for each stub was previously found to be
-0.40 mho. The choice of short-circuit stubs rather than open-circuit stubs
for 13 is because of the inductive nature of required 1
3
, For an open-circuit
stub to be inductive, 13 is necessarily greater than one quarter of a wave-
length and Z03 needs to be fairly high in order to keep 13 reasonably short,
but a high Z03 will the stub width too small to be accurately
fabricated; hence short-circuited stubs are chosen.
Zo3 is arbitrarily chosen to be 75 D. The normalized susceptance (by
75 Q) of each stub is thus
POWER AMPLIFIER DESIGN


50n
circle
Fig. 7.13 Output matching chart for Example 7.1 (impedance coordinates).
Fig. 7.14 Output matching chart for Example 7.1 (admittance coordinates).
LI _________ P_O_W_E_R_A_M_P_L_I_FI_E_RS ___ ___
RFC
Vcc=2SV
ZOI = 12.5 n
Z02=25n
Z03 = 75 n
L-L---_l
(Zm)
12
Fig. 7.15 Overall circuit for Example 7.1. T, and T2 are microstrips on Teflon
glass board: Cr = 2.55, thickness = 0.79 mm = 1/32". C, and C2 are 0.3 to 3.5 pF
(Johanson 1700 or equivalent). C
3
and C
4
are 470 pF (Allen-Bradley FAC5 or
equivalent). C
s
and C
6
are 220 pF chip capacitors. RFC is No.2 wire, three turns,
ID = 1/8". R, is 0.43 Q (recommended by manufacturer). All dimensions in mm.
I, = 1O.62(0.109).g')' W, = 13.10, 12 = 31.59(0.318).g2), W2 = 5.56, 13 =
5.45(0.052).g3), W3 = 1.11.
B' = -0.04 = -3
1/75 .
B' = -3 is entered into an admittance chart as shown in Fig. 7.14. The
short-circuit point, SIC, is also noted on the chart. The required stub length
13 is found by reading the arc length from SIC to B' towards 'generator', i.e
13 = 0.052).g3'
The overall circuit of the power amplifier is shown in Fig. 7.15.
L-____________________ ____________________
PROBLEMS
1. Explain why common-base operation is commonly employed for
higher-power d. amplifiers.
2. For the c1ass-A biased power amplifier shown in Fig. P.7.1, show that
the power-conversion efficiency YJ is smaller than 50%.
3. Even if the VCEsat of the circuit shown in Fig. P.7.1 is zero, the coil
resistance of the collector RFC is zero and the base circuit does not
consume any power, the conversion efficiency for a c1ass-A RF power
amplifier is still normally much smaller than 50%. Explain why this is
so. Note that the answer can be extended to c1ass-B and c1ass-C
operations.
4. Show that the theoretical power-conversion efficiency for a non-linearly
biased power transistor (class-Band c1ass-C) is given by
Po 0 - sin 0
YJ = Pi = 4 sin 012 - 20 cos 012 '
Vee

Fig. P.7.1
LI _________________ P_O_W_E_R_A_M __ PL_I_FI_E_RS ________________
where:
() is the conduction angle of the transistor in radians,
Po is the a.c. power output, and
Pi is the power supplied to the amplifier.
5. Refer to the design data of MRF2001M in Fig. 7.5. Use the input and
output impedances at 2.0 GHz given in Fig. 7 .5( c) to design a 2.0 GHz
test circuit with a similar microstrip configuration to that shown in Fig.
7.5(d). Note that the design given in the data sheet contains a number
of arbitrary choices, hence it is virtually impossible to design a circuit
which is exactly the same as that given unless these arbitrary choices are
specified.
Note that the circuit shown in Fig. 7.5(d) is the microstrip implemen-
tation of the schematic diagram shown in Fig. 7.5(b).
6. The input and output impedances of the class-C operated transistor,
Motorola MRF233, at 100 MHz under aVec of 12.5 V and at an output
power level of 15 Ware given by (common-emitter mode)
Zin = 1.7 - j2.7Q
Zout = 5 - j5.6 Q.
Use simple L-matching networks with discrete components to complete
the power amplifier design. Draw the circuit diagram and give com-
ponent values including those of the biasing circuit.
FURTHER READING
Bowick, C. (1982) RF Circuit Design, Howard W. Sams.
Miceli, M., A i-Watt, 2.3GHz Amplifier, Motorola Application Notes,
EB89.
Moline, D., 800 MHz Test Fixture Design, Motorola Application Notes,
An-923.
Motorola RF Device Data (1986) Motorola Inc.
Power Circuits, DC to Microwave (1970) RCA Electronic Components.
RF Power Transistor Manual (1972) RCA Solid State Division.
Smith, J. (1987) Modern Communication Circuits, McGraw-Hill.
______ o_S_C_il1_a_to_r_s ______
8.1 GENERAL OVERVIEW OF OSCILLATOR DESIGN
One way of classifying transistorized oscillators is according to whether
their design is based on linear device (BJT or FET) parameters such as
the s- and y-parameters, or based on large-signal behaviour of the transis-
tors. The former category is sometimes known as the linear oscillator
whereas the latter is sometimes referred to as the power or large-signal
oscillator.
Power oscillator design utilizing non-class-A biasing is a trial-and-error
art. Very little about it in any form has been reported. Power oscillators
normally make use of low-frequency techniques in oscillator design, such
as the Colpitt's, Hartley's and Clapp's, the design procedures are not as
well defined as those of low-frequency amplifiers and they normally
require a substantial amount of after-design trimming.
The design of oscillators at high frequencies using linear device s-
parameters will be discussed in this chapter.
At the outset it is assumed that the s-parameters of a transistor biased
and operated in a particular mode, most often the common-emitter mode,
have already been measured or read from the databook. We shall then go
through some matrix algebra to allow the 2 x 2 common-emitter s-matrix
to be converted, first, to a 2 x 2 common-emitter z-matrix, which enables
the designer to connect reactive components to the transistor so as to
provide more feedback (positive in sense!) in order to make the device
more inclined to oscillate. The feedback is normally added in the form of
a capacitor from emitter to ground or an inductor from base to ground.
The loaded device can then be described by a 2 x 2 common-emitter or
common-base s-matrix depending on the terminal to which the reactive
element is connected.
All this matrix algebra is necessary if the device on its own represented
by the original measured s-matrix is stable (K> 1). These matrix opera-
tions enable the addition of reactive elements to the device resulting in a
'loaded' s-matrix which represents an oscillating or potentially unstable
device.
LI ____________________ O_S_C_IL_L_A_T_O_RS __________________
With a potentially unstable device represented by a 2 x 2 s-matrix, the
design of an oscillator is fairly similar to the design of an amplifier using s-
parameters. In the output port of the device, one has to design a matching
network to match the device to the load (usually 50 Q). The only difference
is in the design of the input network. The input network of an oscillator is a
network which when connected to the input port of the device will form a
resonator resonating at the desired oscillator frequency.
8.2 CONVERSION OF THE s-MATRIX
Suppose the s-parameters of a transistor to be used for an oscillator design
are measured in common-emitter mode and are represented by
Sm = (SlIm Sl2m) ,
S21m S22m
(8.1)
where the subscript m stands for measured values (or values from data-
book). Note that Sm could also be measured from common-base mode.
For an active device to oscillate, its stability factor K must be less than
unity. If this condition is not satisfied, either the common terminal should
be changed, e.g. from common emitter to common base, or some kind of
feedback is necessary.
In this section some expressions enabling the addition of positive feed-
back and the change of common terminals (i.e. either common emitter or
common base) are listed. The measured common-emitter s-matrix Sm is
represented as in (8.1). In this case, port 1 is the base-to-ground port and
port 2 is the collector-to-ground port. Since the actual transistor configur-
ation used in the oscillator may be different from that of the measurement,
conversion is necessary.
The two-port common-emitter z-matrix (2 x 2), Z, can be obtained from
the measured common-emitter s-matrix S (2 x 2) by the expression
z = (ZII ZI2)
Z21 Z22
= Ro(I + Sm) (/ - Sm)-I,
(8.2)
where I is a 2 x 2 identity matrix, and Ro is the characteristic impedance
from which the s-parameter is defined.
In high-frequency linear oscillator design, two feedback models are
commonly used to make the transistor potentially unstable, or in other
words, to decrease the value of K. They are shown in Fig. 8.1. Model A is a
common-emitter topology with 'positive' feedback and model B is a
common-base topology with 'positive' feedback. The reactive element
shown in Fig. 8.1 can be a capacitor, an inductor, a series LC network or a
parallel LC network. These reactive networks can either be discrete or
distributed.
L-_____________ C_O_N_V_E_R_SI_O_N_O_F __ T_HE __ ____________
Model A
.-----02
3
Reactive
element
ModelB
Fig. 8.1 Two models showing transistor feedback.
2
1 '
l' 2'
Fig. 8.2 Series connection using z-parameters.
Model A or
r-----,
I I
I I
ZB
I I I
0
I I
0
L ____ ...J
Fig. 8.3 Series connection using z-parameters.
)r----o 2

2'
ModelB
___________________ O_S_C_IL_L_A_TO __ RS __________________
In circuit theory it is well known that when two two-port networks are
connected in series as shown in Fig. 8.2 the overall z-matrix Z is equal to
the sum of the individual z-matrices, i.e.
(8.3)
Hence models A and B of Fig. 8.1 can be redrawn as the circuits shown in
Fig. 8.3 with the reactive elements taken as a capacitor and an inductor,
respectively, for model A and model B.
The overall s-parameter representation of a transistor with series
feedback can easily be obtained from the conversion formula
s = (Z + RoI)-1 (Z - RoI). (8.4)
8.3 THEORY OF OSCILLATION
A simple and popular method in oscillator design using s-parameters is to
place a tuning resonator across the input terminals of the transistor (con-
sidered as a two-port network) and to place the load at the output terminals
of the two-port network as shown in Fig. 8.4. We will show that the
conditions for oscillation can be expressed as
K<l
if and only if
(8.5)
(8.6)
(8.7)
The stability factor K of the active network should be less than unity in
order for the device to oscillate. If this condition is not satisfied, either
the common terminal should be changed or positive feedback should
be added. The passive termination r
1
and r
z
must be so designed that
the input and output ports are resonating simultaneously at the same
frequency.
,...
-
-
Two-port
Resonator
active Load

network
r+' s
."
,...
-
fout =
Fig. 8.4 Block diagram of an oscillator.
_______________ TH __ EO_R_Y __ O_F_O_S_C_IL_L_A_T_IO_N ______________
It shall be shown in Theorem 1 that when port 1 is in resonance, the
following expression holds
(8.8)
In Theorem 2, it will be shown that if the circuit is oscillating at port 1, it
must simultaneously be oscillating at port 2, i.e.
(8.9)
if and only if
(8.10)
It shall also be shown in Theorem 3 that in order for oscillation to start and
be sustained, it is necessary that
ITII >1+1
Sll
(8.11)
Theorem 1
The condition for port 1 to be in resonance is given by
Proof
For oscillation to occur, the real and imaginary parts of the input imped-
ance of the network must be equal to zero. Referring to Fig. 8.5, the
conditions for oscillation can be expressed as
i.e.
Rin + R I = 0 and jXin + jXI = 0
Rin
= -RI and X
in
= -XI' (8.12)
The reflection coefficient Tin, looking into the input port of the active
network, is given by
Port 1 Two-port active network
Port 2
-"

,...

-
-
RdJ
jX1
jX
in
J . Load
Rm
1""1
,..

'"

-
Fig. 8.S Oscillation in port 1.
LI ___________________ O_S_C_IL_L_A_T_O_RS __________________
F; = Zin - Zo
10 Zin + Zo
R
in
+ jX
in
- Zo
R
in
+ jX
in
+ Zo
The reflection coefficient r
1
, looking into the resonator, is given by
F _ ZI - Zo
1 - ZI + Zo
Rl + jX1 - Zo
Rl + jX
1
+ Zoo
Now that SIt = r
in
, therefore
silFI = FinFl
_ (Rin + jXin - Zo) (Rl + jXl - Zo)
- R
in
+ jX
in
+ Zo Rl + jX
1
+ Zo
On substituting (8.12) into (8.13)
'F = (-R1 - jX1 - Zo)(R1 + jX1 - Zo)
Sll 1 R X Z R X Z'
-1-Jl+ 0 I+Jl+ 0
Theorem 2
(8.13)
When the system is oscillating at port 1, it must simultaneously be
oscillating at port 2, i.e.
if and only if
Proof
From the theory of two-port networks, it may be written that
(8.14)
or
(8.15)
Similarly,
I S12S21 F l
S22 = S22 + 1 F
- Sll 1
_ S22(1 - SUFI) + S12S21 F l
- 1 - SUFI
L-______________ T_H_E_O_R_Y_O_F_O_S_C_IL_L_A_T_IO_N ______________
S22 - S2zSUr i + SlzS21r l
1 - SUrl
_ S22 - (SUS22 - S12S21)rl
- 1 - surl
On subsituting (8.15) into (8.16)
I _ S22 - {[sh - (SI2S2Ir 2)/(1 - S22r 2)]S22 - S12S21}rl
S22 - 1 - [sh - (S12S2Ir2)/(1 - S22r 2)]r
l
(8.16)
I _ szz(l - r lS1l ] + (slzS2I
r
2)/(1 - S22
r
2) (8.17)
Szz - [1 - sllrd + (S12S2Ir lr 2)/(1 - S22r 2) .
At the threshold of oscillation, it is required at port 1 that
hence (8.17) reduces to
Conversely, Sll or rin can be expressed in terms of sh and r
2
By putting
shr
2
= 1 into the expression for sil, we obtain the consequence that sitr
l
= 1. Hence, the necessity and sufficiency of
and
are proved.
Theorem 3
shr
l
= 1
shr
2
= 1
Under stable oscillating conditions, both Theorems 1 and 2 are valid, i.e.
shr
l
= 1 if and only if shr
2
= 1.
However, in order for oscillation to start, the condition required is
Irlshl > 1
Irll>I+I
Su
or (8.18)
Oscillations will start to build up until device non-linearities, or voltage
or current limitations cause it to reach a steady state. The oscillation
frequency, rb r
2
and the device s-parameters reach a stable state when
Proof
Suppose that unit power is flowing into port 1 of the two-port active
network shown in Fig. 8.6. The power reflected is given by Isil1
2
x 1 unit.
The reflected power travels towards the source termination and is reflected
IL-___________________ O_S_C_IL_L_A_TO __ RS __________________
-
-
Two-port Matching
Resonator
active network
I+- r+
network
r+
and
S load
-
Fig. 8.6 Two-port oscillator. Copyright of Motorola, Inc. Used by permission.
again by the source impedance Zl' Since the reflection coefficient of Zl is
r
1
, the power reflected back from the source termination is Is 1112 X I r
1
12
units.
This reflected power again travels towards port 1 of the active network.
This power should be greater than unity in order for oscillation to build up.
This condition can be expressed by
Isill
z
x Ird
z
> 1
or ISitrll > 1.
If this power is less than unity, the oscillation will eventually be damped
off. Normally, the resonator connected to port 1 is a passive device with a
value of I r11 slightly less than unity, so therefore in order for oscillation to
be sustained ISI11 of the active two-port device should be greater than
unity, such that Isitr
1
1 > 1.
8.4 OSCILLATOR DESIGN
Based on the theory of oscillation discussed in the previous section, the
design of an oscillator is reduced to the problem of finding the loads at port
1 and port 2 that will cause oscillation simultaneously at both ports at the
desired frequency using the requirements
and
sitr1 = 1
sizrz = 1.
To find the suitable terminations at port 1 and port 2, we first attempt to
determine the termination required at port 2 in order to cause oscillation
when port 1 is arbitrarily terminated. Assume that only passive terminations
are placed in both ports. Passive terminations in port 1 are represented
by I rtl < 1, i.e. loads located inside the area of I rtl = 1 circle in the
rrplane Smith chart. The binding circle I rtl = 1 can be mapped into
the SZ2 plane by
L-_________________ O_SC_I_LL_A_T_O_R_D_E_S_IG __ N ________________
(8.19)
S22 can further be mapped into a circle in the r 2 plane using the
relationship of r
2
= 1IS
22
. The mapping of the I ril = 1 circle into the
rz-plane is a circle described by
where
Ir2 -AI =b,
A - (S22 - LlStl)'
- Isd
2
- ILlI2
I S12
S
21 I
(centre of circle)
(radius of circle). (8.20)
However, the area inside the Iril = 1 circle, which represents all passive
source terminations, may be mapped either inside or outside the I r
2
- A I
= b circle on the rz-plane. Hence it is essential to determine which the
case is by locating the r
l
= 0 point on the rz-plane.
For the purposes of illustration, the area inside the I ril = 1 circle is
assumed to be mapped outside the I r
2
- A I = b circle, and is illustrated
in Fig. 8.7. The shaded region represents the intersection between I ril <
1 and I r21 < 1. If the chosen source termination r
l
is mapped into a point
within this region, the required load termination may be realized by a
passive network.
r 1 - plane
1
---;- mapping
522
/
-
/'
r 2 - plane
Fig. 8.7 Mapping of I r1 I = 1 circle into the rrplane.
Ir
2 - AI = b
( Ir11 = 1)
Intersection of
Ir11 < 1 and Ir2 1 < 1
LI ___________________ O_S_C_IL_L_A_T_O_RS __________________
Similarly, the I r21 = 1 circle, which represents all passive terminations
at port 2, can be mapped into a circle in the rt-plane using
and
I S12S21r2
Sll = Sll + 1 r
- S22 2
1
r 1 =,
Sll
This results in a circle I r
t
- C I = d in the rrplane with
C - (Sll - L1S!2)*
-ISllI2_1L112
d - I
S
12
S
2t1
-ll slll
2
- 1..1121
(centre of circle)
(radius of circle). (8.21)
It is also necessary to test whether the area inside or outside the circle
Ir
t
- CI = d represents Ir
2
1 < 1 by using the point r
2
= O. Figure 8.8
illustrates this mapping.
With the aid of Fig. 8.7 and Fig. 8.8, we may find out whether or not a
certain source termination crt) that we chose will map on to the shaded
region in the r
2
-plane. If not, this means that the load required to be
placed at port 2 for the particular source termination at port 1 that we
chose cannot be realized by a passive network, and a different source
termination has to be chosen until the mapping of this r
t
value in the r
2
-
plane lies inside the shaded area. The same argument applies to choosing a
if) - CI = d
( If21 = 1) /
Intersection of

I
I
If)l < 1 and If21 < 1
/-
-
.....
"
\
1 .
,mappmg
Sl1
on If21 = 1
f) - plane f2 - plane
Fig. 8.8 Mapping of I r21 = 1 circle into the r1-plane.
_________________ O_SC_I_LL_A_T_O_R_D_E_S_IG_N ________________
load r
2
to see whether the required source termination falls inside the
shaded area in the rl-plane or not.
In Fig. 8.9 it is assumed that the mapped areas in both the rr and
r
2
-planes which correspond to passive terminations are outside the
I r2 - A I = b and I r l - CI = d circles in the rr and rz-planes,
respectively. Suppose that a source termination r
l
is chosen and is de-
noted by point Al in the rrplane. Point Al is mapped by r
2
= 1Is
22
into
point A2 on the r
2
-plane. Point A2 must lie in the shaded region, other-
wise the required port-2 termination for the source r
l
cannot be realized
by a passive load. A load termination (r
2
) slightly different from that
fl - plane
,---"
/' "
I '\ If2 -AI=b
/
I \
t )
\
\
"
f2 - plane
If 1 - Ci = d
/-.........-
I '"
//-- ........
I "\ If2 -AI=b
I \
\ )
/
fl - plane
I
( \
I I
\
\
"-
.......
f2 - plane
Fig. 8.9 r
1
and r
2
required for simultaneous oscillation at both ports.
Ll ____________________ O_S_C_IL_L_A_T_O_R_S __________________
represented by A
z
should be chosen, and this termination is represented by
point A
z
on the rrplane. Point A
z
is then mapped by r
1
= lIs
11
back
into point A3 on the r
1
plane. By theorem 3, if I r11 > I lIs
11
I , i.e. if
point A3 is nearer to the centre of the chart than is point A], then
oscillation can start. If the load at port 2 is taken as point A
z
, then it will
simply map back to point Al and I r11 = I lIs
11
I , which is the static
condition for oscillation.
Choosing a load at port 2 different from point A2 is sometimes necessary
because if Al is a locus instead of a point (AI represents a tuning element,
e.g. a trimmer capacitor), then A2 is also a locus, and this locus of A
z
may
not be easily realized. If the chosen r
1
and r
2
can follow the entire pro-
cedure, then oscillation can occur and sustain itself for these terminations.
8.5 SUMMARY OF DESIGN PROCEDURES
Based on the previous discussions, a set of procedures can be drawn up for
the design of oscillators using s-parameters.
A transistor with sufficient gain and output-power capability for the
desired frequency range is selected. A configuration for the transistor (CE,
CB) is fixed and the amount of feedback, if required, to make the
transistor more unstable is chosen. The transistor (with feedback, if
necessary) will form a new active two-port network.
A resonator is placed at port 1. For example, the resonator can be a
tunable capacitor with a small amount of parasitic resistance and is
represented in the rrplane as a locus as shown in Fig. 8.10. This locus
represents the change of r
1
when the capacitor is tuned or when the
frequency is varied.
The resonator locus is mapped into the rrplane using the relationship
and
The locus of r
1
mapped by lIsh is plotted on the rz-plane. The rrplane
Smith chart is separated into two regions: one represents a passive source
with I r
1
I < 1 and the other an active source with I r
1
I > 1. The identity
of these two regions can be determined by mapping a test point from inside
the I r11 = 1 circle, usually r
1
= 0, into the rrplane.
If the mapped locus of Zl or r
1
in the rrplane falls in the shaded region
corresponding to I r
1
I < 1 and I rzl < 1, then the chosen Z1 is acceptable.
If the locus falls in the unshaded region, there is no passive load
termination that will cause oscillation with this chosen r l , and then either
Zz has to be changed or the feedback network has to be altered.
In the case where the mapped locus of Z1 in the rrplane is acceptable,
____________ S_U_M_MA __ R_Y __ O_F_D_E __ SIGN_P_R_O_C_E_D_U_R_E_S ____________
Mapping of Ir21 = 1
(source stability circle)
Resonator ZI
(e.g. a trimmer
capacitor or a
varactor diode)
Mapping of
Z2 over a
frequency
range 1',[2
Z2 = actual load
chosen at
operating
frequency 10
Fig. 8.10 Oscillator design procedures.

1
--;- mapping of ZI
522
Mapping of Ir,1 = 1
(load stability circle)
then the next task is to tailor-design a load termination r
2
such that when
r
2
is mapped back to the rl-plane by lIS!I, the oscillation start-up
condition of Irls!ll > 1 is satisfied, or in other words, the mapped value
of r
2
is closer to the centre of the rl-plane than is the chosen rl.
The ideal Z2 (or r
2
) should be an impedance function of frequency
which, when mapped into the rl-plane, shows a frequency characteristic
that has a minimum value of IlIs!11 at the intended oscillating frequency,
so that signal strength at this particular frequency can be built up much
faster than at other frequencies.
Example 8.1
The common-emitter s-parameters of a BJT, HXTR3102, measured at
1.2 GHz under the biasing condition of V CE = 15 V and Ic = 30 rnA are
SUm == O.5262L - 141.86 S21m == 3.812L85.56
Sl2m == O.089L33.15 S22m == O.555L - 47.36.
LI ___________________ O_S_C_IL_L_A_T_O_RS __________________
Using this transistor to design an oscillator at 1.2 GHz for a 50-ohm load.
Solution
The Rollet's stability factor of the transistor at 1.2 GHz is given by
1 - ISllml2 - IS22ml2 - ILlI2
K = ----'--'=:.:..:...,.--=--==::,'------'--'-
21 s12m
S
21ml '
where L1 = SllmS22m - S12mS21m' Hence
K = 0.727 < 1.
The device is potentially unstable at 1.2 GHz. However, K is not very
much smaller than unity, and this means that the choice of input and
output impedances that will make the device oscillate is limited. In order to
make the transistor more liable to oscillate at 1.2 GHz, a capacitive
feedback from emitter to ground is added. This will make K smaller. The
feedback is shown schematically in Fig. 8.11.
C is normally chosen to have a reactance of the same order of magnitude
as the input impedance of the active device. For a transistor such as
HXTR3102, there are two emitter pads in its package, hence C can be
conveniently realized by putting the emitter pads on a pair of open-circuit
microstrip stubs as shown in Fig. 8.11. Once the reactance of C is chosen
the required microstrip stubs can easily by calculated using techniques
described in Chapter 3.
I
(a)
(b)
Open-circuit
microstrip
implementation
ofC
Fig.8.11 Series capacitive feedback: (a) schematic and (b) microstrip realization
of the capacitor C.
L-___________ S_U_M_MA ___ RY __ O_F_D_E_S_IG_N __ PR_O_C_E_D_U_R_E_S ____
r 2 - plane
Fig. 8.12 Load plane realization.
Load stability
circle
Using (8.2) the z-matrix Zm of the device before adding feedback is
given by
where Ro = 50 Q or
ZUm = 22.94LI7.01 Z21m = 369.35L57.68
ZI2m = 8.62L5.27 Z22m = 93.I5L - 22.88.
Since the input impedance of the device is of the order of Zllm = 22.94 Q,
the impedance of the feedback capacitance is arbitrarily taken as -j18 Q.
The feedback network can be represented by the z-matrix Zf, given by
(
-jI8 -jI8)
Zf = -j18 -j18 .
The overall z-matrix Z, of the transistor with the series capacitive feedback
is thus given by
IL-___________________ O_S_C_IL_LA_T_O_R_S __________________
Z = Zm + Zf
or Z11 = 24.73L - 27.47 Z21 = 354.17L56.11
Z12 = 19.34L - 63.64 Z22 = 101.58L - 32.34.
The s-matrix corresponding to Z can be obtained using (8.3). The s-
parameters of the transistor with feedback are given by
S11 = 2.192.d21.8 S21 = 6.897L118.75
S12 = 0.377L - 1 S22 = 1.153L - 82.1.
The stability factor of the modified device, i.e. the transistor with feed-
back, is calculated to be K = -0.44 < l.
The load stability circle I r
2
- A i' = b can be found by using (8.20)
A = 2.341L - 9.18, b = 1.72.
The load stability circle is shown in Fig. 8.12 on the rz-plane. The arrows
on the load stability circle are pointing at the region where I rll < 1 and
Ir2 1 < l.
The resonator in the base-to-ground circuit is chosen to be a capacitor
with capacitance C
1
and it is assumed to have a small resistance of 2.5 Q.
The resonator circuit is shown in Fig. 8.13.
A locus of the resonator capacitor at 1.2 GHz for various values of C
1
corresponding to ZI = 2.5 - j100 Q to ZI = 2.5 - jO Q is plotted on the rr
plane as shown in Fig. 8.14. The locus of ZI for various values of C
1
is then
mapped into the r
2
-plane by 1IS
22
. This locus on the rz-plane represents
the load terminations required for their corresponding source terminations
ZI in order for the transistor to oscillate in the steady state.
f
s
r------,
f
f I
I I
I f
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I - f
L _____ ...1
Fig. 8.13 Resonator circuit of the oscillator.
c=== ___________ SU_M __ M_A_R_Y __ OFD_E_SI_G_N_P_R_O_C_E_D_U_R_E_S __________
21 for
various
C
1
fl - plane
Source stability
circle
Fig. 8.14 Source plane considerations.
The next task is to choose a load impedance Z2 close to the mapped Z,
locus on the Tz-plane such that when Z2 is mapped back to the T,-plane
by lIs!1, it satisfies the 'start oscillation' criterion of IT,I > IlIs!]I Z2
(normalized by 50 Q) is chosen to be 1 + j3.2 Q because it lies on the
R = 1 circle on the Tz-plane. Z2 is then mapped by lis!] as shown in
Fig. 8.14. The 'start oscillation' criterion is satisfied.
There are many ways to realize Z2 = 1 + j3.2 or Z2 = 50 + j160 Q. Note
that Z2 is what it would be best for the transistor output port to see, hence
for the sake of simplicity, an inductor L in series with the 50-ohm output
load is taken as the Z2 as shown in Fig. 8.15. The value of L is given by
2n x 1.2 x 1Q
9
L = 160
L = 21.2nH.
If a discrete inductor is not desirable, the output impedance Z2 can be
realized by a simple stub matching network, single or double. Design
Fig. 8.15 Output matching circuit.
C,
To base
supply
Output matching
network
r--------,
L
L ________ .-J
HXTR3102
(3 - 15 pF)

n)
open-circuit stubs
Fig. 8.16 Circuit for Example 8.1.
50n
50n
____________________ P_R_O_BL_E_M_S ____________________
techniques for stub matching networks were discussed in some detail in
Chapter 4.
The value of the resonator capacitance C
1
can be found in Fig. 8.14 by
noting that the mapped value of Z2 is near to the section of the locus of Zl
where the normalized reactance is about -0.3 to -0.4, hence the required
reactance of Zj is about -0.35 x 50Q = -17.5Q, or
1 = 175
2n x 1.2 x 10
9
x C
1
.
C
1
= 7.6pF.
Therefore a 3-15 pF trimmer capacitor can be used for C
1
. The overall
circuit is shown in Fig. 8.16.
PROBLEMS
1. A 2 x 2 s matrix Sm representing a transistor (BJT or FET) with one of
the terminals taken as common can be converted to a 2 x 2 y-matrix Y m'
Show that
Y m = (Yll Y1Z)
Y21 Y22
1 -1
= Ro (/0 - Sm) (/0 + Sm) ,
where 10 is a 2 x 2 identity matrix and Ro is the system impedance
(usually 50 Q) with reference to which Sm is defined.
2. A 3 x 3 y-matrix Y representing a transistor in terms of a three-port
network with an arbitrary common terminal usually taken as the circuit
ground can be obtained from the 2 x 2 y-matrix Y m as defined in
Problem 1. Show that
where
Y13 = -(Yll + Y12)
Y23 = -(Y21 + YZ2)
hI = -(Yll + Yzd
Y32 = -(Y1Z + Y2Z)
Y33 = (Yll + Y1Z + Y21 + yn).
3. Show that the conversion from the y-matrix Y to the s-matrix S, both
describing the same n-port network (n = 2,3, ... ), is given by
LI ____________________ O_S_C_IL_L_A_T_O_RS __________________
Fig. P.S.l
I
52 x 2
r---------,
I
I I
I I
I .
I _ I
L ____ -___ -1
3 x 3
S
3
Fig. P.S.2 Parallel feedback for P.8.S.
C
1
- -
- -
2
Ground
-
.....
.....
--
II
.,
ZOI (TI)
T
-
-
2
Ground

-
jX
.....
-
Y
m
from 5
m
.....
Output
500.
load
-
-
Fig. P.S.3 Common-base oscillation for P.8.6. Note: Tl and T2 are microstrip
lines of characteristic impedance ZOI and Z02, respectively.
L-_________________ F_U_R_T_H_ER __ R_EA_D_I_N_G ________________
S = (Go/
o
+ y)-I. (Go/
o
- Y),
where 10 is an n x n identity matrix and Go = lIRo is the system
admittance with reference to which S is defined.
4. A transistor is described by a 3 x 3 matrix S. Show that if port 3 is
terminated by a load of reflection coefficient r
3
, the resulting 2 x 2
s-matrix S with respect to ground is given by (refer to Fig. P8.1)
5. The common-emitter s-parameters of Motorola BJT MRF901 at
500 MHz under the biasing condition of V CE = 10 V and Ic = 15 rnA are
given by
Slim = O.50L - 166 S12m = O.05L57
S21m = 6.81L93
If the feedback is to be added from collector to base as shown in Fig.
P .8.2 in order to make the transistor more liable to oscillate, derive the
necessary matrix formulae and write a computer program to evaluate
the stability factor K and to plot the load stability circle as a function of
the feedback reactance X from X = -100 Q to X = 100 Q in steps of
lOQ.
6. The s-parameters of a common-base transistor at 2 GHz under a certain
biasing condition are given by
Slim = O.94L174 SI2m = O.013L98
Complete the oscillator design at 2.0 GHz by calculating the values of
the circuit elements, C, 110 Zo1o 12 and Z02 as shown in Fig. P.8.3.
7. Derive an approximate formula for estimating the output power of an
oscillator based on a class-A biased device. State the assumptions made
in your derivation.
8. Using the Motorola r.f. transistor MRF901 (see p. 160) design an oscil-
lator at 912.5 MHz (actually tunable over 905-920 MHz) for use in the
mobile telephone receive-end of the CSL-T ACS system of Hong Kong
(receive range 835-850 MHz).
The output power of the oscillator should be no larger than 23 dBm
and no less than 20dBm. Choose your bias accordingly.
IL-___________________ O_S_C_IL_L_A_TO __ RS __________________
Table I
VeE Ie f
S" S'I SI'
Szz
(Volts) (mA) (MHz)
Is,,1
Lq,
IS'II
Lq,
Isul
Lq,
Iszzl
Lq,
5.0 5.0 100 0.71 -38 11.30 153 0.03 68 0.92 -17
200 0.62 -75 9.48 133 0.05 55 0.76 -29
500 0.54 -141 5.40 100 0.07 43 0.48 -44
1000 0.53 178 2.93 76 0.09 48 0.40 -56
2000 0.59 130 1.51 48 0.16 62 0.35 -85
10 100 0.57 -58 16.95 145 0.03 63 0.85 -23
200 0.51 -103 12.61 123 0.04 53 0.64 -35
500 0.52 -161 6.24 93 0.06 50 0.38 -45
1000 0.52 166 3.24 73 0.09 61 0.33 -54
2000 0.59 125 1.66 47 0.17 67 0.29 -84
15 100 0.48 -75 20.08 139 0.02 61 0.80 -27
200 0.47 -121 13.89 117 0.04 53 0.57 -38
500 0.53 -170 6.44 91 0.05 56 0.34 -44
1000 0.53 162 3.33 72 0.09 66 0.31 -52
2000 0.60 123 1.70 46 0.18 68 0.28 -82
20 100 0.44 -88 21.62 136 0.02 60 0.76 -28
200 0.47 -132 14.33 114 0.03 54 0.53 -38
500 0.53 -175 6.45 89 0.05 60 0.32 -41
1000 0.53 159 3.31 70 0.09 68 0.31 -50
2000 0.61 122 1.69 45 0.18 70 0.28 -80
30 100 0.43 -112 21.45 130 0.02 58 0.72 -28
200 0.50 -148 13.38 109 0.03 57 0.51 -33
500 0.57 178 5.82 86 0.05 65 0.35 -34
1000 0.57 156 2.99 68 0.08 73 0.35 -46
2000 0.65 121 1.50 42 0.18 74 0.33 -78
Table II
VeE Ie
f
S"
SZl Su Szz
(Volts) (mA) (MHz)
Is,,1
Lq,
ISZlI
Lq,
Isul
Lq,
ISzzl
Lq,
10 5.0 100 0.73 -35 11.32 154 0.03 69 0.93 -14
200 0.63 -69 9.69 135 0.05 57 0.79 -25
500 0.53 -135 5.65 101 0.07 43 0.54 -38
1000 0.51 -177 3.11 77 0.08 50 0.47 -48
2000 0.57 132 1.58 48 0.14 66 0.41 -75
10 100 0.59 -52 17.06 147 0.02 64 0.87 -19
200 0.52 -95 13.06 125 0.04 54 0.69 -30
500 0.49 -156 6.58 95 0.05 51 0.45 -37
1000 0.50 170 3.44 74 0.08 62 0.41 -45
2000 0.57 126 1.75 47 0.16 70 0.36 -72
15 100 0.51 -66 20.36 141 0.02 63 0.83 -22
200 0.47 -112 14.48 119 0.03 54 0.63 -31
500 0.50 -166 6.81 92 0.05 57 0.41 -35
1000 0.50 164 3.54 72 0.08 67 0.39 -43
2000 0.58 124 1.78 46 0.16 72 0.35 -70
20 100 0.47 -78 22.08 138 0.02 61 0.80 -23
200 0.46 -123 15.07 116 0.03 55 0.60 -30
500 0.50 -171 6.84 90 0.05 60 0.40 -32
1000 0.51 162 3.51 71 0.08 69 0.39 -41
2000 0.59 123 1.77 45 0.17 73 0.35 -68
30 100 0.44 -98 22.70 133 0.02 59 0.76 -23
200 0.47 -139 14.47 111 0.03 55 0.57 -27
500 0.53 -177 6.33 87 0.04 65 0.43 -28
1000 0.54 158 3.26 69 0.07 74 0.43 -39
2000 0.62 122 1.61 42 0.16 77 0.39 -68
Motorola r.f. transIstor MRF901.
L-_________________ F_U_R_T_H_ER __ R_EA_D_I_N_G ________________
FURTHER READING
Abe, H., et al. (1978) A highly stabilized low-noise GaAs FET integrated
oscillator with a dielectric resonator in the C-band, IEEE Transaction on
MIT, vol. MIT-20, March.
Alley, G.D. and Wang, H. (1979) An ultra-low noise microwave syn-
thesizer, IEEE Trans. MIT, vol. MIT-27, No. 12, December.
Basawapatna, G.R. and Stancliff, R.B. (1979) A unified approach to the
design of wide-band microwave solid-state oscillators, IEEE transaction
on MIT, vol. MIT-27, no. 5, May.
Ha, T.T. (1981) Solid State Microwave Amplifier Design, Wiley.
Ishihara, O. et al., (1980) A highly stabilized GaAs FET oscillator using a
dielectric resonator feedback circuit in 9-14 GHz, IEEE Trans. MIT,
vol. MIT-28, No.8, August.
Johnson, K.M. (1979) Large signal GaAs MESFET oscillator design,
IEEE Trans. MIT, vol. MIT-27, No.3, March.
Kurokawa, K. (1976) Microwave solid state oscillator circuits in Microwave
Devices (ed. M.J. Howes and D.V. Morgan), Wiley.
Murphy AC. and Murphy P.J. (1988) Computer program aids dielectric
resonator feedback oscillator design. Microwave Journal, September.
Pengelly R.S. (1984) Microwave Field-effect Transistors - Theory, Design
and Applications, Wiley.
Vendelin G.D. (1982) Design of Amplifiers and Oscillators by the S-
Parameter Method, Wiley.
9 The Spectrum Analyser and
its Applications
9.1 INTRODUCTION
A spectrum analyser is basically a test instrument for displaying signals in
the frequency domain, normally over a wide range of frequencies. It is
capable of displaying the magnitude spectrum of signals, that is, the magni-
tude versus frequency characteristics of signals, in a similar way that Fourier
series or Fourier transforms 'display' the Fourier coefficients or the Fourier
integral as a function of frequency.
Spectrum analysers are perhaps the most popular pieces of equipment in
r.f. engineering because of their wide range of application in this area. The
primary area of applications is in the analysis of signals from a source such
as the output of an oscillator, the output of a modulator and the input to a
receiver. With a reasonable degree of accuracy they can also be used to
perform noise measurements on signals such as the carrier-to-noise ratio
of a received signal and the noise figure of a two-port circuit such as
an amplifier. Together with a matched tracking generator, a spectrum
analyser is capable of measuring the frequency response and VSWR of
two-port networks such as amplifiers and filters.
A modern spectrum analyser normally consists of a superheterodyne
receiver which captures an input signal and converts it to an intermediate
frequency by means of an up or down frequency converter. The front end
of a basic spectrum analyser is shown in Fig. 9.1.
Suppose that the signal to be analysed by the spectrum analyser can be
decomposed by Fourier series into four frequency components as shown in
Fig. 9.2. This composite signal consisting of four sinusoidal signals of
various amplitudes is fed to the input of the spectrum analyser and the
spectrum analyser should be able to display on its CRT a plot very similar
to that shown in Fig. 9.2.
The intermediate frequency (IF) of the filter shown in Fig. 9.1 is set
outside the measuring frequency range, so that input signals cannot pass
directly through the IF filter without being transformed into an IF signal.
Most spectrum analysers have their IF set at a frequency higher than the
measuring frequency range.
__________________ IN_T_R_O_D_UC_T_I_O_N __________________
Mixer
up or down
converter
Input
signal
Local signal
IF bandpass
filter
IF signal
to detection
and display
L....-__ ---l circuitry
Fig. 9.1 Front end of a spectrum analyser.
Amplitude
Frequency
Fig. 9.2 Spectrum of a test signal.
The local signal in Fig. 9.1 comes from a swept oscillator which when
sweeping through a certain range will convert each frequency in the
intended measuring range to a fixed IF according to
mixer output frequency = fIF = fLO fs, (9.1)
where fIF is the intermediate frequency, fLo is the local oscillator
frequency, and fs is the input signal frequency. For example, a certain
spectrum analyser has a measuring range from 0 Hz (theoretically only) to
1.7 GHz. The intermediate frequency fIF is chosen to be 2.3 GHz. In order
to cover the whole measuring range from 0 to 1.7 GHz, the local oscillator
(LO) must also be sweeping over a range of 1.7GHz. There are two
possible choice for the LO sweep range, namely 0.6 to 2.3 GHz and 2.3 to
4.0 GHz as shown as band 1 and band 2, respectively, in Fig. 9.3.
Ifthe LO is sweeping through band 1 (0.6-2.3 GHz) , only the fLO + fs
will be translated to anfIF = 2.3 GHz, but band 1 coincides in part with the
IL ________________ TH_E __ SP_E_C_T_R_U_M_A_N_A_L_Y_S_E_R ______________

Ib't Ib
=======B=a=n=d=1=======IIIr-----B-an-d-2-----.
0.6 GHz
2.3 GHz 4.0 GHz
10
Input measuring range

o
1.7 GHz
Fig. 9.3 Relationship between input and local oscillator frequencies.
input range, hence in order to provide better isolation between the mixer
ports and to avoid harmonics of the input from hitting the IF port, band 2
(2.3-4.0 GHz) is chosen to be the LO sweep range, i.e.
hF = fLO - fs
(9.2)
Thus the output of the IF filter in response to the composite input signal as
shown in Fig. 9.2 is non-zero when the LO sweep is at 2.3 GHz + Ii>
2.3 GHz + Iz, 2.3 GHz + /J and 2.3 GHz + h The magnitudes of the IF
filter output at these instances are Ai> A
2
, A3 and A
4
, respectively.
9.2 OPERATING PRINCIPLE OF A SPECTRUM ANALYSER
The block diagram of a practical spectrum analyser covering a measuring
range of 0-1. 7 GHz is shown in Fig. 9.4. As mentioned in the last section,
the intermediate frequency is chosen to be 2.3 GHz. The high value for IIFI
minimizes image interferences by shifting the image frequencies well above
the IF passband. The second intermediate frequency !IF, is set at a
relatively low value of 70 MHz. This implies that the second local oscillator
frequency lLO, is fixed at 2.23 GHz. The third mixer receives a signal
frequency of 70 MHz and a third LO frequency (fLO) of 68.5 MHz in order
to produce a very low third intermediate frequency I
IF
3 of 1.5 MHz. A low
!I
F
3 is desirable because narrow (absolute) IF bandwidth of the filter can be
more easily achieved if the centre frequency is low and the detector can be
more sensitive and cheaper at a lower frequency.
1. The horizontal axis of the CRT is swept by a saw-tooth signal. In Fig.
9.5: A to B is the sweep time; B to C is the return time, which does not
appear on the CRT because of blanking; and C to A' is the time during
which the sweep is stopped and the next sweep begins at A'.
2. The output of the saw-tooth generator is also fed to the first local
oscillator which is often a YIG-tuned oscillator. This oscillator is a
(
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THE SPECTRUM ANALYSER

L-____________________________________________________
wide band voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO) and sweeps in the fre-
quency range from 2.3 to 4.0 GHz.
For example, let us consider the sweep which is set over the entire
range of 0 to 1.7 GHz. The frequency of the local oscillator at the left
edge A of the CRT (Fig. 9.5) becomes 2.3 GHz, and, at the right edge
B, 4.0GHz, and the frequencies between these edges are linearly swept
in proportion to the inclination of A ---' B.
3. The input signal and the first LO signal are converted by the mixer to a
frequency of fLO - fs. Only when this difference in frequency is equal
to 2.3 GHz (fIF) would the output of the mixer be picked up by the first
IF filter of centre frequency equal to 2.3 GHz and fed to the second
mixer and the subsequent circuits.
For example, if the input signal frequency fs is 850 MHz and the first
LO begins to sweep from 2.3 GHz: at the beginning of the sweep the
mixer output frequency is 2.3 GHz and no signal can get through the
2.3 GHz IF filter; only when fLO, is at 2.3 GHz + 850 MHz would a
signal pass through the first IF filter. In other words, when the LO
sweep which began at 2.3 GHz reaches 3.15 GHz, the output of the
mixer becomes 2.3 GHz and passes the 2.3 GHz band-pass filter.
As pointed out in (2), the local oscillator is linearly swept from 2.3 to
4.0 GHz, so that the mid-point of the CRT horizontal axis corresponds
to 3.15 GHz.
4. We have explained that the first local oscillator frequency is varied from
2.3 to 4 GHz and the signal is picked up when the mixer output becomes
2.3 GHz. However, a problem arises when this local frequency itself
becomes 2.3 GHz. The local signal output is at a considerably higher
power level than the input signal so as to enable the mixer output to
have a response in proportion to the input power level. Consequently,
part of this local signal will pass directly to the 2.3 GHz band-pass filter
as a leakage of the first mixer even when no signal of 'zero frequency' is
present at the input. Hence in a spectrum analyser display which covers
B B'

A CN
C'
Scan signal
Fig. 9.5 Scanning the horizontal axis.
A' A B

CRT beam
horizontal
movement
______ O_P_E_R_A_T_IN_G_A_S_P_EC_T_R_U_M_A_N_A_L_YS_E_R _____
zero hertz, there is always a fairly substantial spectral component at the
origin.
5. The signal converted to 2.3 GHz is mixed with the 2.23 GHz signal of
the second local oscillator to become a 70 MHz signal, and it is further
mixed with the 68.5 MHz signal of the third local oscillator to become
the final IF signal of 1.5 MHz.
6. The third IF signal is detected by a peak detector after it has been
passed through the third IF filter of bandwidth selectable from the front
panel. The last IF bandwidth of a spectrum analyser is normally
selectable over the range from 100 Hz to 300 kHz in steps. The filtered
third IF signal is then amplified by a logarithmic or linear (selectable)
amplifier before being fed to the vertical-axis input of the CRT.
Figure 9.6 shows the spectrum analyser display of an input sinusoidal
signal of Is = 850 MHz when the first local oscillator sweep range is set
from 2.3 GHz to 4.0 GHz which is equivalent to setting an input measuring
range of 0-1.70GHz.
Figure 9.7 shows the graphical representation of the spectrum analyser
display when the control settings are varied. The diagram is self explana-
tory and is not further elaborated here.
Input
frequency 0

I
I

LO
frequency
2.3 GHz

I
lNvJ
'Wvvi
850 MHz
3.15 GHz
Fig. 9.6 An example of full scanning.
VNw
1.7 GHz
4 GHz
B
A
/
/
THE SPECTRUM ANALYSER
------------ -----------
/
/
/
/
/
/
/
\
\
\
\
\
\
\
\
\
Setting of control
Freq. span
(wide)
----1
- Centre
T freq.
Sample display with
wide span
(waveform A)
Sample display with
narrow span
(waveform B)
Fig. 9.7 Frequency span and centre frequency controls.
9.3 CHARACTERISTICS OF A SPECTRUM ANALYSER
HH_I
Freq. span
(narrow)
A spectrum analyser is characterized by a number of important parameters,
an understanding of which is essential for proper use of the equipment.
These parameters are discussed in this section.
9.3.1 Frequency range
The highest frequency that a spectrum analyser can measure is limited by
the range of the sweep of the first local oscillator (a yeO). For example,
the spectrum analyser used as an illustration in the last section has a yeO
tuning range of 2.3 to 4.0 GHz; the upper frequency limit for the input
signal is therefore equal to 4.0 GHz-fIF, = 4.0 GHz-2.3 GHz = 1.7 GHz.
The lower frequency limit is determined by the sideband noise of the local
oscillator leakage. When the local oscillation frequency fLO, = 2.3 GHz,
this LO signal will leak through the mixer and be picked up by the first IF
stage, which will eventually appear on the display as a 'signal' at zero
________ C_H_A_R_A_C_TE_R_I_ST_I_C_S_O_F_A_S_P_E_C_T_R_UM __ A_N_A_L_Y_S_ER ________
frequency. The noise sideband is defined as the undesirable response
caused by noise generated inside the spectrum analyser (mainly due to the
local oscillators) and it appears on the display in the vicinity of a desirable
response. The LO leakage and its associated sideband noise are shown in
Fig. 9.8.
The lower frequency limit depends on what sensitivity is required. With
reference to Fig. 9.8, if the required sensitivity is -90dBm, the limit is
about 7 kHz, but if the required sensitivity is -100 dBm, the lower
frequency limit must be greater than (roughly) 14 kHz.
9.3.2 Resolution
The frequency resolution of the spectrum analyser is its ability to separate
signals closely spaced in frequency. The frequency resolution is determined
by the bandwidth and shape factor of the last IF filter and by the sideband
noise of the spectrum analyser.
The IF bandwidth (last filter before detection) is normally specified in
terms of its 3-dB bandwidth. A narrower IF bandwidth provides better
resolution but requires more poles to implement the filter, hence a
/ \
/


I
I I
A A j AA Jf ! A A.l
I
I I
'Vl'



o 10 kHz
20 kHz
30 kHz
Fig. 9.8 LO leakage and lower limit of measurable frequency.
-20 dBm
10 dB/div
IFBW:
300 Hz
5 kHzldiv
IL-______________ T_H_E __ SP_E_C_T_R_U_M_A_N_A_L_Y_S_ER ______________
narrower IF filter has a longer propagation delay and thus imposes a limit
on the sweep rate. For example, in order to measure an AM or FM signal
of a modulating frequency of 1 kHz, the IF bandwidth has to be at most
300 Hz, preferably 100 Hz.
In measuring closely spaced frequency components, the characteristic of
the filter shape (skirt) is important. The filter skirt is normally characterized
by the ratio of LJh
dB
/LJf60dB (the 3-dB to 60-dB bandwidth), which is
known as the 'IF shape factor'. The shape factor for most commercially
available spectrum analysers ranges from 1:15 to 1:5, the larger the ratio
the better, i.e. 1:5 is better than 1:15. Figure 9.9(a) shows the bandpass
characteristic of an IF filter of shape factor approximately equal to 1:7.
Figure 9. 9(b) shows the bandpass characteristic of another IF filter of
shape factor approximately equal to 1: 15. A small signal of power 50 dB
below that of a stronger signal and at a frequency 600 kHz from it will not
be detected by the spectrum analyser of an IF shape factor of 1: 15 as
illustrated in Fig. 9.9(b). However, if the same signals are input into a
spectrum analyser whose IF shape factor is 1:7 such as the one shown in
Fig. 9.9(a), the smaller signal can be detected.
In order to make an IF filter with a sharper roll-off characteristic, the
number of poles in the filter has to be increased, and this will increase the
response time of the filter. Thus the response-time requirement imposes a
limit on how sharp an IF filter can be.
9.3.3 Stability
It is important that a spectrum analyser be more frequency stable than the
signals it measures. The stability of the srvctrum analyser depends on the
frequency stability of its local oscillators. Stability is usually categorized in
terms of short-term or long-term properties.
Residual FM is a measure of the short-term stability which is similar to
having low-frequency signals frequency modulating the local oscillator and
hence the displayed signals. Residual FM is usually specified in terms of the
peak-to-peak deviation in hertz. Residual FM is illustrated in Fig. 9.1O(a).
Short-term stability is also characterized by its sideband noise, usually
specified in terms of: 'X dB below the carrier when measured with an IF
resolution (bandwidth) of B Hz at a frequency offset of YHz from the
carrier'. The sideband noise specification is an indication of the spectral
purity of the local oscillators of the spectrum analyser. The sideband noise
of a spectrum analyser is illustrated in Fig. 9.1O(b).
Long-term stability is characterized by the frequency drift of the local
oscillators of the analyser. Frequency drift is usually specified by the drift
within a certain duration, i.e. in hertz per minute or hertz per hour.
L-_______ C_H_A_RA __ C_T_E_RI_S_TI_C_S_O_F_A __ S_PE_C_T_R_U_M __ A_NA_L_Y_S_E_R ________
tJ.Fi 3 dB)
-ll-
/ \
II \
/
!
/
V tJ.F(60 dB)
/
/"
-1000 kHz
(a)
I \
/
\
I
/
/
/
f...--"
-1000 kHz
(b)
t3JB
t
\
\
,
\
"X l\
/
0
-10
-20
-3JL
-40
-50
-60
-70
tJ.
Ref.
L
o
G
dB
/
IFBW
Sweep rate
\
'"
/
;1
"
\

/
Undetected

+1000 kHz
=100 kHz
=200 kHz/div
0
-10
-20
-30
-40
-50
r'-
-60
-70
I,
tJ.
Ref.
L
o
G
dB
+1000 kHz
IF BW = 100 kHz
Sweep rate =200 kHz/div
Fig.9.9 Filter shape: (a) 1:7 IF filter and (b) sideband noise.
t---

,
0
--
-10
1--
-20
1_
30
.:'-"-.-
1_
40
I

r
60
I
-70
--'-"---
,.I. ,.I
Ref.
L
o
G
dB
", .'" "" 'If'
'l1' '11'
I''fl' ''1'
['1",", yr"If'
i"" '''rr'VIY'
99.5 MHz
IldliL lil,ll
IlIfJflrfHlII
99 MHz
I
J
IAIIH11I
In"T
100 MHz
(a)
(
"'\.
/
\
/
\
1\

YHz
away
(b)
100.5 MHz
0
-10
-20
--
-30
--
-40
XdB
down-e
!
---''-
1-70
lilu
\Til IIIlfII III \111
101MH z
Ref.
L
o
G
dB
Fig, 9,10 Stability of a spectrum analyser: (a) residual FM, and (b) sideband
noise.
L-_______________ T_RA __ C_K_I_N_G_G_E_N_E_RA __ TO __ R ______________
9.3.4 Dynamic range
The dynamic range of a spectrum analyser is determined by the noise level
of the analyser and the linearity and input power rating of its front-end
amplifier.
For most spectrum analysers the input power rating is limited to
+13dBm (to 30dBm exceptionally), above which damage to the equip-
ment may occur. At high input power levels, say above OdBm, the system
is not linear due to saturation of its input amplifier. In this case, an input
(r.f.) attenuator may have to be used.
The lower input power limit is governed by the system noise level. A
signal to be measured must have a power higher than the average noise
power of the system in order for it to be displayed. The average noise level,
known as the noise floor, is roughly equal to
(kTB x amplification factor + noise added by the analyser),
where k is the Boltzmann constant, T is the system's absolute temperature
and B is the IF bandwidth. kT is equal to -174dBm per hertz at room
temperature. A typical value for the noise floor is -120 dBm to -130 dBm
for 1 kHz IF bandwidth.
9.4 TRACKING GENERATOR
A tracking generator (see Fig. 9.11) is a swept oscillator running at the
observation frequency of its matched spectrum analyser. The tracking-
IF amplifier
Is
VCO
Ivco
CRTn
T SPECTRUM
ANALYSER
TRACKING
GENERATOR
Fig. 9.11 A spectrum analyser with its matched tracking generator.
LI ________________ TH_E __ SP_E_C_T_R_U_M_A_N_A_L_Y_S_E_R ______________
generator output signal is generated by mixing the swept oscillator signal
of the spectrum analyser and a fixed frequency oscillator signal at the
spectrum analyser IF frequency.
The tracking generator has a stable and fixed local oscillator of
frequency ifF' ifF is chosen to be equal to the IF frequency IIF of the
spectrum analyser, so that
and
Is = Ivco - !IF
Is = Ivco - fiFo
(9.3)
(9.4)
Hence, the tracking generator output frequency (fs) precisely tracks the
tuning frequency (fs) of the spectrum analyser since both are effectively
tuned by the same VCO. This precision tracking exists in all analyser scan
modes. Thus, in full scan, the tracking generator output is a start-stop
swept oscillator, in 'per division' scan the output is a LJF swept oscillator
and in 'zero' scan the output is simply a continuous sinusoidal (CW) signal.
9.5 APPLICATIONS OF SPECTRUM ANAL YSERS
In this section a few examples showing how spectrum analysers can be used
in some basic applications will be briefly illustrated.
9.5.1 Amplitude modulation
A tone-modulated AM signal can be written in the form
IAM(t) = Ae(1 + mcoswmt)coswet
or IAM(t) = Ae cos wet + m:e cos(We + Wm)t + m;c cos (We - Wm)t, (9.5)
where m is the AM modulation index, and We and Wm are the carrier and
the modulating tone (angular) frequencies, respectively.
The ratio of the carrier power to the power of one sideband is
or 41m
2
. Figure 9.12 shows the time-domain (CRO display) and
frequency-domain views of a 2 % AM. From the time-domain display on the
CRO, it is virtually impossible to measure the modulation index. On the
other hand, the frequency-domain display on a spectrum analyser shows
clearly that the carrier power is 40 dB above that of its sideband power,
hence
or
4
40 = 1OloglO--2
m
m = 0.02.
APPLICATIONS OF SPECTRUM ANALYSERS
CROdisplay
..
2% AM time domain
Fig. 9.12 Amplitude modulation.
9.5.2 Frequency modulation
Spectrum analyser
display

tl.al I.
""
2% AM frequency
domain
I 0
I
-10

I
-30

I
-50

I

I
J@l
L
o
G
dB
Tone-modulated PM and FM have the same spectral distribution. A tone-
modulated FM or PM is represented by
(9.6)
n=-oo
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2
o
-0.2
2 3
456
7 8
9 10 11 12
Fig. 9.13 Plot of a Bessel function of the first kind In(J3).
LI _______________ T_H_E __ SP_E_C_T_R_U_M_A_N_A_L_Y_S_E_R ______________
where J n(f3) is the ordinary Bessel function of the first kind and of the nth
order, and f3 is the modulation index. The plot of I
n
(f3) as a function of f3
with n as a parameter is shown in Fig. 9.13.
For distortion-free detection of the modulated signals, all sidebands
must be transmitted. This implies a transmission bandwidth of infinity. In
practice, only the significant sidebands are transmitted, so that the trans-
mission bandwidth is finite. By the word 'significant' it is usually meant all
those sidebands which have a voltage of at least 1% (-40 dB) of the
voltage of the unmodulated carrier. Measurement of FM (or PM) band-
width with a spectrum analyser is done by simply counting the significant
sidebands. Table 9.1 shows the value of f3 where J
o
(f3) (the carrier term)
vanishes.
Table 9.1 Zeros of carrier amplitude
Order of carrier zero Modulation index (fJ)
1
2
3
4
5
6
2.40
5.52
8.65
11.79
14.93
18.07
n(n > 6) 18.07 + .n(n - 6)
Table 9.1 can be used in conjunction with the spectrum analyser to find
the important parameters of an FM or PM signal, namely the FM peak
frequency deviation L1f(Hz) and the FM modulator sensitivity mf(Hz V-I),
the PM peak phase deviation f3 (rad) and the PM modulator sensitivity
mp(rad V-I). These parameters are related by
fJ = mfAm for FM
fm
fJ = mpAm for PM,
where Am andfm are the amplitude and frequency of the modulating tone.
When f3 is increased from zero by increasing the modulating voltage, the
magnitude of the carrier of the FM or PM signal displayed on the spectrum
analyser will vanish at f3 = 2.40, and then at f3 = 5.52, etc. At the points
where the carrier vanishes, the value of f3 can be read from Table 9.1, fm
can be read from the spectrum analyser display, and Am can be measured
at the modulator input, hence the parameters L1f, mf and mp can be found.
L-_________ A_P_P_L_IC_A_T_IO_N_S __ O_F_S_PE_C_T_R_U_M __ A_N_A_LY_S_E_R_S _________
9.5.3 Incidental FM (AM plus FM)
Although AM and angular modulation are different modulation methods,
they have one property in common: they always produce a spectrum with
symmetrical sideband amplitudes, although the odd-order sidebands in FM
and PM do differ in sign.
Figure 9.14 shows a modulated carrier with asymmetrical amplitude
sidebands. The only way that we can have one sideband larger than the
corresponding one on the other side of the carrier is for both AM and FM
or phase modulation to exist simultaneously and at the same modulating
frequency. The reason is that the odd-order sidebands in FM and PM differ
in sign. Since the sideband components of both modulation types add
together vectorally, the resultant amplitude of one sideband is reduced,
whereas the amplitude of the other is increased. The spectrum analyser
does not retain any phase information and thus displays the absolute
magnitude of the resultant.
When a relatively small amount of FM exists simultaneously with AM,
the modulation index of the AM component can be calculated with
acceptable accuracy by taking the average amplitude of the first sideband
pair. The amount of incidental FM can also be calculated from the
magnitudes of the first sideband pair of the display (Problem 3).
Figure 9.14 shows a carrier with its asymmetrical sidebands. The first
pair of sidebands are -16 dBc and -12 dBc (dB below carrierlevel). It can
be shown that the amplitude modulation index m is 0.42.
AIl}.h 1M\,
IlAAI'
,MA
iyMi
"'-
h
\Hea,
.,\
1" "f
'I' "1
Fig. 9.14 42% AM with incidental FM.
0
-10
-- -
-20

-40
-50
-60
-70
l.oIA .. ,
'r
"Y''''
d
Ref.
L
o
G
dB
LI ________________ TH_E __ SP_E_C_T_R_U_M_A_N_A_L_Y_S_E_R ______________
9.5.4 Frequency measurement of small spectral components
A composite signal (e.g. a modulated carrier) has many spectral
components. If a frequency counter is used to measure this signal, it will
normally capture the spectral component with the largest magnitude and
leave the other components undetected. However, the same signal can
easily be decomposed into its constituent spectral components and
displayed on a spectrum analyser. If the frequency of any of these
components, of large amplitude or not, is to be accurately measured, the
arrangement shown in Fig. 9.15 can be used.
The frequency of any signal or spectral component displayed on a
spectrum analyser can be measured simply by stopping the automatic scan
and manually scanning the trace. The trace can manually be stopped at any
signal displayed and a CW signal of the same frequency will be generated
by the tracking generator. The amplitude of the tracking generator output
is adjustable and is independent of the original signal amplitude. The
tracking generator output is then of sufficient amplitude and spectral purity
for the frequency counter to determine accurately the frequency of the
signal.
9.5.5 Frequency response of devices
The insertion loss or transmission response and the return loss of a device
(DUT) can be measured by using a spectrum analyser with either its own
tracking generator or an independent swept generator with the sweep
controlled by the spectrum analyser, or vice versa.
The insertion-loss or transmission-response measurement is set up as
shown in Fig. 9.16. A return-loss measurement set-up is shown in Fig. 9.17.
The transmission measurement of a DUT as shown in Fig. 9.16 is very
straightforward. Before the DUT is inserted, a 'through' connection is
lJl
Frequency
counter
"..
....
Spectrum Tracking "..
analyser
)
generator
r.f.outpu
Input
signal
Fig. 9.15 Frequency measurement of spectral components.
L-_________ A_P_P_L_IC_A_T_IO __ N_S_O_F_S_P_EC_T_R_U_M __ A_N_A_LY_S_E_R_S ________
Tracking
generator
r.f. output
Calibration
Transmission response
Short circuit
for calibration
Spectrum Input
analyser 0---+---------.---------'
Fig. 9.16 Transmission measurement.
made to establish a reference, and a (theoretically) straight horizontal
trace appears on the analyser, labelled as 'calibration' in Fig. 9.16. The
calibration trace is stored and compared with the trace when the DUT is
connected to eliminate the uneven frequency response of the tracking
generator and the cables.
The return-loss measurement as shown in Fig. 9.17 employs a directional
coupler where the signal reflected from the DUT is picked up by the
sampling arm and is displayed by the analyser. A short circuit is used for
calibration in order to provide total reflection or 'zero dB' return loss.
9.5.6 Random- (thermal-) noise measurements
A spectrum analyser can be used to measure noise as well as signal, or the
noise that comes with signals, provided the noise power to be measured is
Tracking 0-+--... -----.
generator
Calibration
Return loss
Directional
coupler
L..----r<-,---J l
Sampling I
arm I Return loss
I
I reference plane
I
b
Short circuit
for calibration
I
I
Spectrum Input
analyser o-...,----..,-----.J
Fig. 9.17 Return loss measurement.
Matched
termination
LI __ ANALYSER
]
higher than the noise floor of the analyser at a particular IF bandwidth
setting.
Thermal-noise power is directly proportional to the measurement (last
IF filter) bandwidth. The noise-power bandwidth of a spectrum analyser is
defined as the ideal rectangular filter bandwidth with the same power
response as the actual IF filter of the analyser. This is illustrated in Fig.
9.18.
For a spectrum analyser (SA) with a shape factor of 1:15, the noise-
power bandwidth BW n is approximately equal to 1.2 times that of the 3-dB
bandwidth (BW
3dB
). BW
3dB
is adjustable on the SA front panel. For SAs
with a better shape factor, say, 1:5, BW
n
< 1.2 X BW
3dB
.
Figure 9 .19( a) shows a display of thermal noise when the IF bandwidth is
set at a relatively high value of 100 kHz. It is seen that the noise display
occupies many vertical divisions (lOdB/div), hence it is difficult to deter-
mine the exact noise level of the input (noise). However, all spectrum
analysers are equipped with a video filter of adjustable bandwidth. The
video filter is a post -detection lowpass filter used before feeding the
detected signal to the CRT display. It tends to give on the display an
average value of the noise 'signal'. When used for thermal-noise measure-
ments, the video bandwidth is normally set below 100 times that of the IF
bandwidth (BW3db). Figure 9.19(b) shows the same noise input when the
video filter is switched on with a 10 Hz bandwidth.
The detector used in a spectrum analyser is usually a peak detector, it
does not respond well to random noise and hence it does not give the true
r.m.s value of the noise power. The detector together with the logarithmic
display of the analyser tends to give a lower reading than the r.m.s. noise
power, and the combined effect is such that approximately 2.5 dB has to be
added to the average value displayed with the video filter switched on.
Power
Noise power
bandwidth
BW
n
Equal area
under those curves
Ideal rectangular
filter response
Spectrum analyser
IF filter response
Frequency
Fig.9.18 Definition of noise power bandwidth BWn-
(a)
(b)
APP_L_IC_A_T_I_O_N_S_O_F_S_P_E_C_TR_U_M_A_N_A_L_YS_E_R_S ____ ----.JI
IIJ'I
IAj
IABI

ijijl
I 'I
I
III
A verage noise
power
AU
IVI
'"
1 0
1_
10
1-20

I
-40
fl .
-50
11101
1-60
ml
-70
6
Ref.
L
o
G
dB
IFBW = 100 kHz
Video filter OFF
0
-10
-20
-30
-40
-50
-60
-70
6
Ref.
L
o
G
dB
IF BW = 100 kHz
Video filter ON
Fig. 9.19 Thermal noise measurement.
As an example, suppose that the average noise level (with video
filtering) is measured at - 35 dBm in a 10 kHz (IF) bandwidth. The noise in
dBm per hertz is desired. 2.5 dB is added to the measured value to account
for the detector and log display effect, and the correct noise power over the
10 kHz IF bandwidth is thus -32.5 dBm. The thermal-noise bandwidth
BW
n
= 1.2 X BW
3dB
, or
BW
n
= 1.2 x 10kHz = 12kHz.
LI _______________ T_H_E __ SP_E_C_T_R_U_M_A_N_A_L_Y_S_ER ____________
The noise power per hetz is thus given by
PROBLEMS
12kHz
N = -32.5dBm - 101oglO 1Hz
= -32.5dBm - 40.8dB
= -73.3dBm HZ-I.
1. The average noise floor of a spectrum analyser, as seen on the display is
-110 dBm when the video filter is switched on and the IF bandwidth is
set at 1 kHz. The thermal-noise bandwidth factor is 1.1. Determine the
noise figure of the spectrum analyser. Calculate also its sensitivity when
the IF bandwidth is switched to 3 MHz
Ans.: 36dB, -75dBm
Note: The noise figure is defined as the ratio of the signal-to-noise at the
system input to that at the system output.
2. The noise floor of a spectrum analyser at 1 kHz IF bandwidth is
-llOdBm. In order to achieve the stated (by manufacturer) dynamic
range of 70 dB at an input level of -30dBm, what is the maximum IF
bandwidth setting allowed? What are the implications of the stated
dynamic range on the performance of the spectrum analyser in terms of
its residual spurious components and higher harmonics?
Ans.: 10kHz, -100dBm
3. An AM modulator also produces a small amount of FM. The display of
the modulator output on a spectrum analyser shows that the first
sideband above the carrier is at -12 dBc and that the first sideband
below the carrier is at -16 dBc. Calculate the AM modulation index
and the FM modulation index.
Ans.: 0.42, 0.09
4. Most spectrum analysers have a built-in comb generator which produces
all the harmonics of a fundamental oscillator (e.g. fundamental at
100 MHz and harmonics at 200 MHz, 300 MHz, ... ) for the purpose of
frequency calibration. Explain how the comb generator can be ultilized
to measure the frequency of a signal with a degree of accuracy better
than that of the tuning display.
A comb generator of a fundamental frequency of 100 MHz is built in
to a certain spectrum analyser. The stability of the comb fundamental
oscillator is 1 in 10
8
. If the spectrum analyser is used to measure the
frequency of a signal at about 1.5 GHz using the comb-generator
method, determine the uncertainty of the most accurate measurement,
given that the analyser display has 2048 horizontal points.
5. The carrier level of a composite TV signal (6 MHz transmission
bandwidth) is read from the spectrum analyser as -25 dBm with the
____________________ P_R_O_BL_E_M_S _____________________
video filter switched off. The noise floor of the display with the video
filter switched on is read as -95 dBm at an IF bandwidth of 10 kHz.
Calculate the carrier-to-noise ratio of the TV signal.
Ans.: 40.5dB
6. A log-periodic antenna is intended to be used over a range from 30 MHz
to 1000 MHz. The antenna has an N-type female connector. Propose a
measurement scheme ultilizing a spectrum analyser with its tracking
generator to measure the VSWR of the antenna with respect to the
plane of the connector over the frequency range of interest.
7. The total harmonic distortion, THD(%), of a signal is defined as
THD(%) = 100 x + ... +
where AI is the fundamental amplitude (volts), and Aj is the jth
harmonic amplitude (volts); j = 2,3, ....
The spectrum analyser display of a certain signal is shown in Fig.
P.9.1. Determine the THD(%) of the signal.
Ans.: 1.28%
8. In performing antenna measurements, electric field strength is usually
expressed in terms of dB!! V m -I (dB with respect to 1 microvolt per
metre). Derive an expression to convert dBm readings from a spectrum
analyser to dB!! V for 50-ohm and 75-ohm systems.
9. The antenna factor (K) of an antenna is related to the field strength (E)
and its receiving voltage (V
r
) by E = KV
r
. The receiving area of an
V II
1/
V
'1 HI

II


0.2 GHz
Fig. P.9.1 Display for Problem 7.
0
-10
-20
-30
-40
-50
-60
AH
-70

Ref.
L
o
G
dB
2.2 GHz
LI ________________ TH_E __ SP_E_C_T_R_U_M_A_N_A_L_Y_S_E_R ______________
antenna is defined as AT = GA 2/( 4.n), where G is the antenna gain (power
ratio) and A is the wavelength in metres. Derive an expression to relate
the electric field strength and the voltage measured by a spectrum
analyser (V
r
) in terms of the antenna gain and the frequency of the
received signal.
Ans.: K = 2010gf - 10 log G - 29.8dB/m (fin MHz)
FURTHER READING
Ai/tech 757 spectrum analyser product note, Eaton Corp.
Benedict, B. (1983) Fundamentals of Spectrum Analysers, Tektronix.
Hewlett Packard Application Note 150, 150-1, 150-2, 150-7, 150-8, 150-9,
150-10 and 150-11.
Noise measurements using the spectrum analyser, Tektronix, Inc., 1975.
Spectrum analyser - MS62 series, Anritsu Application Note NO. 4-E,
1978-9.
Microwave Frequency
Counting
10.1 BASICS OF DIGITAL FREQUENCY COUNTERS
A modern frequency counter is basically a digital instrument capable of
converting an input sinusoidal signal or pulse train into digital pulses and
counting the number of pulses within a specified duration of time. The
counted data is then converted into a frequency reading to be displayed
digitally. Being a digital instrument, the frequency range that a frequency
counter can measure is limited by the speed of its logic circuitry. A state-
of-the-art counter with emitter-coupled-logic (EeL) components can count
directly up to around 1 GHz.
Even a 1 GHz counting capability is hardly adequate for applications in
circuits and systems in the upper UHF and microwave frequency range.
For applications up to about 21 GHz, there are basically two techniques,
the heterodyne conversion and the transfer oscillator technique, available
to extend the range of a low-frequency digital counter.
In this chapter we will initially look at the basic operating principles of
typical low-frequency counting and will then go into the two conversion
techniques used to extend the counter to the microwave range. A basic
low-frequency counter capable of counting up to, say, 200 MHz is shown
schematically in Fig. 10.1. The input amplifier has a limiter incorported in
it in order to protect the subsequent stage from being overloaded. The
Schmitt trigger converts the input signal into rectangular pulses of the same
repetition frequency. The pulses are then counted by a decade counting
assembly and displayed. The number of pulses allowed to be counted
depends on the time for which the main gate is opened by the time-base
circuitry. The ratio of the number of pulses counted to the known main-
gate-oN time is the frequency of the input signal.
10.2 MICROWAVE FREQUENCY COUNTING
In extending a basic frequency counter to above 21 GHz, it is required to
translate the frequency to be measured into a lower frequency within the
bandwidth of the counter. Two commonly used techniques are heterodyne
conversion and transfer oscillator.
10
MICROWAVE FREQUENCY COUNTING
Input signal conditioning
r------------,
I I
I
Schmitt
I trigger I
L __________ -.l
Time base
oscillator
Fig. 10.1 Basic frequency counter.
10.2.1 Heterodyne conversion
Main gate
flip flop
Decade divider
Decade
<;ounter
Gate time
control
Figure 10.2 shows the schematic of a heterodyne converter which extends
the measuring range of a counter from 0-200 MHz to 200 MHz-12.4 GHz.
The clock signal of 10 MHz from the counter is applied to the converter
and is multiplied by 20 to 200 MHz. This signal is then amplified to a
sufficient power level to drive a harmonic generator. This harmonic
generator is usually made of a step-recovery diode and it generates a comb
of frequencies at 200MHz intervals from 200MHz up to, say, 12.4GHz
with approximately 60 discrete frequency components. This 'picket fence'
of comb-frequency components is then applied to the tunable filter where
only one of these frequency components (a harmonic of 200MHz) is
selected to mix with the input signal to be measured at the mixer, which is
an untuned wideband device. When an d. signal of the range of 200 MHz
to 12.4 GHz is applied to the he-terodyne converter, the tunable filter
(usually a tunable cavity) is tuned from low to high frequencies until a
signal representing the difference in frequency between the r .f. input and
the filter output appearing at the mixer output falls within the passband of
the lowpass amplifier (1-220 MHz in this example). A detector circuit is
built in at the lowpass video amplifier to give an indication if a measurable
signal is emerging from the amplifier. When an indicating signal emerges
the filter tuning is stopped and the output of the video amplifier is fed to
the counter and its frequency Is is read from the counter. From the filter
MICROWAVE FREQUENCY COUNTING
I [i87]

Lf.
Low-pass
To counter
input /'=fx-fn
amplifier
input
fx 'video amp.'
/, = fx - fa
fn=nXfo
From counter
200 MHz
clock

+ ++ ++
---'f
Harmonics
fa = 200 MHz
'comb'
generator
Fig. 10.2 Block diagram of a heterodyne counter.
tuning the order of the harmonic (n) is known, hence the input frequency ix
can be found according to:
Ix = I, (from counter reading) + n x 200 MHz.
For example, if the frequency of an r.f. signal (fx) to be measured is
4.45 GHz, a measurable signal is emerges at the output of the video
amplifier when the filter is tuned to the twenty-second harmonic (n) of
200 MHz. is is read by the counter to be 50 MHz, and hence the 'measured'
ix is given by
Ix = 50MHz + 22 x 200MHz
= 4.45 GHz.
It is noted that the harmonic-selecting filter is tuned from low to high
frequencies, so that when a measurable is first occurs the frequency in is
always lower than ix, therefore the frequency to be measured is always
equal to the counter-read frequency plus the frequency of the harmonic
chosen.
A disadvantage of this method is that one must always add the counter's
digital readout to the harmonic reading of the converter. In order to
overcome this disadvantage the manually tuned heterodyne converter is
automated by replacing its tunable cavity filter by an electronically tuned
yttrium-iron-garnet (YIG) filter. While the technical performance is
equivalent to that of the manually tuned converters, the operation could be
made fully automatic and provides a direct digital readout. Figure 10.3
shows the coupling structure of a single-stage YIG bandpass filter.
Yttrium iron garnet (YIG) in the form of single crystals has become an
important material in magnetically tunable devices such as filters and
circulators. A highly polished YIG sphere or disc has a high Q-value and
is electrically equivalent to a metallic cavity. However, the resonant
frequency of a YIG sphere or YIG disc can be determined by an externally
FREQUENCY COUNTING --J
l, ____ ._" ________ _. _______________ . __ , _ __
Coupling
loops
Input
Fig. 10.3 YIG bandpass filter.
s
YIG sphere

Output
applied static magnetic field, and is independent of the size of the YIG
sample. Hence, a YIG sphere or disc can function as a tunable cavity by
varying the applied voltage which generates the static magnetic field.
The tuning characteristic for YIG spheres is given by the simple
relationship of fr = yH, where fr is the resonant frequency in megahertz, H
is the applied magnetic field in oersted and y is the gyromagnetic ratio in
megahertz per oersted. Pure YIG has a gyromagnetic ratio of y = 2.8
megatertz per oersted.
A YIG sphere can typically be tuned over a range of more than a decade
of frequency. A simple YIG bandpass filter is shown in Fig. 10.3. The input
and output loops without the insertion of the YIG sphere are decoupled
due their orthogonal orientation. However, with the YIG sphere installed
as shown, coupling between the loops will be greatly enhanced at the
resonant frequency of the YIG sphere, thus making the structure shown in
Fig. 10.3 function as a bandpass filter.
With the aid of a YIG filter, an automatic version of the heterodyne
converter can be constructed as shown schematically in Fig. 10.4. The
manually tunable cavity filter is replaced by the electrically (magnetically)
tuned YIG filter in the automatic version of the heterodyne converter. The
passband frequency of the YIG filter is determined by an initially free-
running ramp signal from the control circuitry. When a measurable output
from the video lowpass amplifier is detected, the control circuitry will stop
the ramp signal at the voltage of that particular instant. Knowing the YIG
control voltage, and with an advance knowledge of the resonant frequency
versus tuning voltage characteristic of the YIG filter, the harmonic number
of the comb frequency chosen can be calculated.
___________ M_I_C_RO_W __ A_V_E_F_R_E_Q_U_E_N_C_Y_C_O_U_N_T_IN_G __________
r.f. input
Ix
nlo
Is = Ix - nlo
Video amplifier
(1-220 MHz)
YIG control
circuitry
r--_L-----.:fo (200 MHzr-) ___ ----,
x20
multiplier
Fig. 10.4 Automatic heterodyne counter.
10.2.2 Transfer oscillator
To counter
input
Detector
Harmonic
number to
counter
10 MHz clock
from counter
A basic building block of a transfer oscillator is shown in Fig. 10.5.
Similar in principle to the heterodyne converter, the transfer oscillator,
normally abbreviated as TO, has the input (unknown) signal mixed with an
internally generated signal. The main difference between the two methods
is that while for the heterodyne converter the internal signal is a standard
signal of known frequency and the mixer product is measured by the digital
counter, the internal signal in the TO is of variable frequency and it is this
internally generated signal that is being measured by the counter.
d. input
Vi(t) ----..-I
Sampler
V,(t)
...------- To counter
veo
Fig. 10.5 Principle of a transfer oscillator.
Zero
beat

The sinusoidal signal generated by the veo is turned into a sampling
train, which can be expressed mathematically as
Vo(t) = 2: o(t - mT), (10.1)
m=-'JC
where T = 2nlw and w is the frequency of the veo (much lower than
the r.f. frequency to be measured).
The pulse train is then used to sample or to mix with the r.f. input signal.
The r .f. signal may be written as
(10.2)
where Wx is the unknown frequency to be measured and rp is the phase
between Vj(t) and the sinusoid generated by the yeo. The sampled output
vs(t) is then equal to
""
vs(t) = Vj(t)* = cos(wxt + fjJ) 2: o(t - mT)
m=-oo
Vs(t) = Vj(t)* = 2: cos(wxmT + fjJ)o(t - mT). (10.3)
m=-oo
If the veo frequency w is a sub-multiple of w
x
, i.e.
w = Wx
N'
where N is a large integer (say in the order of 100), then
""
vs(t) = 2: cos(2mNn + fjJ)o(t - mT)
m=-oo
Vs(t) = cos fjJ 2: o(t - mT).
m=-oo
(lOA)
(10.5)
That is to say, if the veo frequency is a sub-multiple of the frequency to
be measured, the sampler output is a constant-amplitude pulse train of
magnitude cos rp. If rp is n/2, the output would be zero; this is known as the
zero beat. Or if a holding device (e.g. a shunt capacitor) is connected to the
sampler output the result will be a d.c. (zero-frequency) voltage when
Wx = Nw. For Wx =1= Nw, the sampler output, even with a holding device,
will give an output which varies with time.
When zero beat occurs, the veo frequency can be measured by the
counter, and the r.f. input frequency Ix can be found by multiplying the
counter frequency Ivco by N. Hence Ix is found if N is known. To find Nit
is noted that the input frequency Ix and the veo frequency 11 are related
by Ix = Nil at zero beat. If the veo frequency is increased so that the next
higher frequency fz causes another zero beat to occur, thenl
x
= (N - l)fz;
this imples that
L-__________ M __ IC_R_O_W_A_V_E_F_R_E_Q_U_E_N_Cy __ C_O_U_N_TI_N_G __________
or
Nfl = (N - l)fz

fz - It"
(10.6)
Therefore N, and hence lx, is determined by counting two consecutive
zero-beat frequencies.
The basic idea of a transfer oscillator type of frequency counter can be
made use of in the implementation of an automated version of the TO
frequency counter as shown in Fig. 10.6. The input signal of frequency Ix
(to be measured) is divided by the splitter. On the upper signal path the
input signal of frequency Ix is beated with a harmonic of the veo of
frequency II by the sampler (mixer 1), and the sampler output is fed into a
bandpass 'video' amplifier tuned at, say, 20 MHz. The output of mixer 1
has the frequency of nil - fx. No signal at the video amplifier output is
registered and the veo keeps on sweeping until
nfl - fx = fIF! (20MHz). (to.7)
JrFI is maintained accurately at 20 MHz with the aid of a reference
frequency IIFref of 20 MHz from the counter and a phase detector which
provides the frequency locking.
The veo frequency It can then be measured by the counter. The locked
1m = 20 MHz
'Video'IF!
amplifier
(20 MHz)
To counter
Frequency
translation
10 (20 KHz)
Sweep
generator
'sawtooth'
From counter
Fig. 10.6 Automatic TO counter.
IIF .(20 MHz)
" From
counter
MICROWAVE FREQUENCY COUNTING

VCO frequency It is also frequency translated to h by another reference
signal of frequency fo, say, of 20 kHz such that
h = 11 + 10.
(10.8)
h is then sampled with fx in mixer 2 and passed through the lowpass IF
amplifier to provide a signal of frequency fIF2' so that
fIF2 = nh - Ix
= n(fl + 10) - (nIl - 20 MHz)
= nlo + 20 MHz.
By further mixing this IF amplifier output signal with the fIFref = 20 MHz
signal from the counter and rejecting the higher-frequency components at
mixer 3, the output frequency is nfo. Since fo is a reference frequency of
20kHz sent by the counter, by counting nfo n is known. Thusfx is virtually
determined according to fx = nfl'
10.3 PERFORMANCE OF DOWN-CONVERTED FREQUENCY COUNTERS
There are a number of parameters commonly used to describe the perform-
ance of microwave frequency counters where down-conversion techniques
are employed. These parameters are now briefly described.
(a) Frequency range
The upper frequency limit for both the heterodyne-conversion (HC) and
the transfer-oscillator (TO) counter is about 21 GHz. This is basically
limited by the frequency response of the front-end amplifier and mixer.
Higher-frequency counting is possible with additional down-converting
mixing of the input signal before it is applied to the microwave counter.
This will substantially lower the sensitivity and the measurement speed of
the whole operation.
(b) Measurennentspeed
Measurement speed is normally specified in terms of the acquisition time
of a counter reading. An HC or TO counter has a typical acquisition time
of 100 to 300ms.
(c) Sensitivity
The sensitivity of a counter is the smallest signal level that can accurately
be counted. Since both the He and TO counters have a wideband front-
end mixer, the sensitivity is typically limited to about - 35 dBm.
L-_________ D_O_W_N_-C_O_NV __ E_R_T_E_D_F_R_E_Q_U_E_N_C_y_C_O_U_N_T_E_R_S ________
(d) Signal-to-noise ratio
The signal-to-noise ratio of a frequency counter is the minimum difference
(in dB) allowable between the power of the carrier whose frequency is to
be measured to the level of the noise floor. A typical value for both the He
and TO counters is 20 dB.
(e) Amplitude discrimination
When more than one spectral component is present at the input of a
frequency counter, the counter will correctly count the spectral compo-
nent of the highest amplitude if the amplitude difference between this
component and its nearest (in frequency) component exceeds a certain
value, and this value in dB is the amplitude discrimination of the counter.
However, the amplitude discrimination of a microwave counter is not a
constant, but is an increasing function of the frequency separation between
the spectral components concerned. For example, a typical He or TO
counter has a amplitude discrimination of 2 dB when the separation is
20 GHz and 10 dB when the separation is 20 MHz.
(f) FM tolerance
When a signal to be measured is frequency modulated or contains a fair
amount of incidental FM, the amount of FM in terms of the peak-to-peak
frequency deviation that a counter can tolerate without giving erroneous
readings is called the 'FM tolerance'. Typical He counters can normally
tolerate up to 50 MHz peak-to-peak whereas TO counters can normally
tolerate up to 10 MHz peak-to-peak.
(g) AM tolerance
Very rarely would a microwave carrier or r.f. signal be amplitude
modulated in practical applications, but most frequency-modulated r.f.
signals have a certain amount of incidental AM due to the system non-
linearities and power-supply fluctuations. The size of AM modulation index
that a counter can tolerate without giving erroneous readings is called the
AM tolerance. A typical value for both types of counter is about 90%.
PROBLEMS
1. With reference to the block diagram of the automatic TO counter as
shown in Fig. 10.5, design the system by specifying the following:
1. The range of veo frequency ([1),
2. The input and output frequency relationship of mixer 2,
3. The frequency and bandwidth of the IF2 amplifier;
1L-___________ M_I_C_RO_W __ A_V_E_F_R_E_Q_U_E_N_Cy __ C_O_U_N_T_IN_G __________
given that:
1. The low-frequency counter has a counting range of 0 to 200 MHz,
2. The required counting range (fx) is 220 to 1000 MHz,
3. The low-frequency counter provides the TO counter with two
sinusoidal reference signals at 20 MHz and 20 kHz.
2. A heterodyne frequency-counting system is shown in Fig. P.lO.1. If
the low-frequency counter has an accuracy of 40 Hz at 100 MHz and
the crystal oscillator has a time base error of 4 x 10-
7
, calculate the
measurement error (%) when the system is used to measure a 5.1 GHz
signal.
3. If the accuracy of 10-
7
is required of a digital counter with a crystal
oscillator having an aging rate of 3 x 10-
9
per day, how often should
this crystal oscillator be calibrated?
Ans.: 1 month
4. The timebase accuracy of a lO-digit counter is 10-
9
and the display
accuracy is 1 digit. If the counter is used to measure a 400 Hz signal
with a time base setting of 10 seconds, what is the measurement
accuracy?
Ans.: 2.5 x 10-
4
5. If the counter in Problem 4 with the same time base setting is used to
measure a 400 MHz signal, what is the measurement accuracy?
Ans.: 1.025 x 10-8
6. An automatic heterodyne-conversion counter has an AUTO mode with
selectable preset value for the YIG filter. The YIG filter is then swept
upwards from this preset value. The comb-frequency distance of the
system is 200 MHz. Two frequencies of 1.92GHz and 9.05GHz are
applied to the input of this counter when the YIG preset is set at
2.00 GHz. What should be the counter reading?
7. In the process of determining the harmonic number of an input of
frequency Ix using a manual TO counter, the two beat frequencies were
(5.1GHz)
Ix
Fig. P.IO.I
Mixer
10
x 500
10 MHz
crystal
oscillator
To low-frequency
counter
L-_________________ F_U_R_T_H_ER __ R_EA_D_I_N_G ________________
found to be 168 MHz and 174 MHz. Determine the harmonic number
andfx.
Ans.: 29, 4.872GHz
8. A 10 MHz crystal oscillator is to be calibrated to an accuracy of 10-
7
with the aid of a nine-digit 500 MHz counter. What is the gate time
(measuring time) required in order to achieve this accuracy?
Ans.: >1 second
FURTHER READING
Automatic Frequency Measurement of Millimeter Waves, EIP Application
Note 20I.
Bouwens, A.I., Digital Instrument Course, Part 2 Digital Counters and
Timers, N. V. Philips' Gleoilampenfabrieken.
Fundamentals of Microwave Frequency Counters, Hewlett Packard Appli-
cation Note 200-I.
Source Locking the EIP microwave source, EIP Application Note 902.
G 1L....-__ N_O_iS_e_M_e_a_S_u_r_e_m_e_n_t_-----'
11.1 NOISE AND NOISE FIGURE
Noise is a phenomenon inherent to any electronic system. It is of particular
concern especially in electronic communications where small signals are
received in the midst of noise. In any electronic system there are noises
generated within and outside the system. In most modern electronic
systems the noise generated within the system itself contributes a
significant proportion of the total noise, and in most cases, the internally
generated noise is virtually the total noise.
For the sake of the noise characterization of devices and systems, only
the combined effect of all internally generated noise will be considered.
This combined noise effect is often referred to as the thermal noise of the
system. In this chapter the measurments of thermal noise of systems and
the required instrumentation will be discussed.
Any impedance expressed in the form of
Zs = R + jX (11.1)
can be considered as a noise source when it is connected to a load ZL =
RL + jX
L
if Zs is at a temperature T
s
, where Ts > 0 (kelvin). If ZL = Zs,
the amount of noise power generated by Zs, which is available to ZL, is
equal to kTsB, where k is the Boltzmann's constant, equals to 1.380 x
10-
23
J K-
1
and B is the bandwidth in hertz of the path connecting Zs and
ZL (e.g. a doubly conjugate matched bandpass filter). This noise power
is known as the available noise power of the impedance Zs. For a noise
source at room temperature (290 K or 17 0c), the available noise power is
-174dBm per hertz of the system bandwidth.
A concept created to provide a standardized means of characterizing the
internally generated noise of a system is known as the noise figure. The
noise figure F of a system is defined as
F- S/Nil
- So/No Ts=To (290 K)
(11.2)
with FdB = 1OioglOF (in dB), (11.3)
_______________ N_O_IS_E_A_N_D __ N_O_IS_E_F_IG_U_R_E ______________
where SJNi and So/No are the signal-to-noise ratios of a system at the input
and output, respectively. In defining the noise figure, a standard tempera-
ture of To = 290 K was adopted, originally by the IRE (forerunner of the
IEEE), and this standard is widely accepted.
Figure 11.1 shows the display of the input and output signals (plus noise)
of an amplifier on a spectrum analyser. The input signal-to-noise ratio is
seen from Fig. 1l.I(a) to be 40dB. In Fig. 11.1(b) it is seen that the input
signal is amplified by 20 dB, or the system (amplifier) gain is 20 dB. While
03
:-

...
'l.l E
:::o:l

:;
0-
..s
-20
-120L-____________ ____________
2.6 2.65 2.7
-20
-40
-60
-80
-100
-12
2.6
Frequency (GHz)
(a)
2.65
Frequency (GHz)
(b)
2.7
Fig. 11.1 Typical signal and noise level plotted against frequency.
_________ N_O_IS_E_M_E_A_SUREM._E_N_T __ .. __
the signal is amplified by 20 dB, the noise level is increased by 30 dB. The
system amplifies equally both the signal and the noise available at its input,
and the output noise level is expected to be -80dBm. The fact that the
output noise level is -70 dBm instead of -80 dBm shows that the system
(amplifier) not only amplifies the noise available at its input, but it also
adds to the output some internally generated noise. The amount of noise
added by the system itself, usually denoted by No (watt), is thus equal to
9 x 10-
11
watt or -70.46dBm. The noise figure of the system (amplifier)
is thus equal to 10 dB according to (11.2) and (11.3), assuming all events
took place at 290 K.
The noise figure of a system can also be written as
F - S;lN; I
So/No at 290 K (To)
S;/N;
(11.4 )
where G
a
is the gain of the system (in ratio) and Na is the noise added by
the system itself, or
F = Na + kToBGa
kToBG
a
'
(11.5)
where Nj = kToB is the available input noise power. The magnitude of kTo
(or power spectral density of the available input noise) is equal to 4.00 x
10-
21
watt per hertz of system bandwidth (B) or -174 dBm per hertz.
The noise figure of the system is the degradation in the SIN ratio as a
signal passes through the system. The system noise figure is independent of
the signal level as long as the system is levelled (constant gain).
11.2 EFFECTIVE INPUT NOISE TEMPERATURE
The noise added by a system is sometimes described by the effective input
noise temperature Te. For low-noise systems such as the front-end
amplifier of a satellite receiver, that is when Na is small, Te is a more
sensitive indicator than is the noise figure because the 290 K standard
temperature necessary for the definition of the noise figure is not a good
reference for low-noise systems, and Te has no need for such a reference.
Te is the temperature of a fictitious additional source resistance at the
system input that produces the same noise power at the system output as
does the system to be characterized assuming that the system itself is
noiseless. Te is defined by the equation
(11.6)
The noise figure (F) and the noise temperature (Tc) of a system are related
by
__________ __ __ __________
F = SJN
j
= Sj(Na + kToGaB)
So/No GaSj(kToB)
or
F = Na + kToGaB = kGaB(Te + To)
kToGaB kGaBTo
F = Te + To
To
(11.7)
The relationship between Te and F is shown schematically in Fig. 11.2.
Figure 11.3 shows the typical noise figure and noise temperature values
for bipolar transistors, FETs, low-noise HEMTs and broadband amplifiers.
Data shown in Fig. 11.3 are typical state-of-art values at the time of
writing. This diagram is intended to give a rough idea of the relative noise
performance of various devices.
Z,at Te
o
Na = 0
Ga,B
Temperature of source impedance
Fig. 11.2 Definition of effective input noise temperature.
@Ji
NOISE MEASUREMENT

8
7
6
$'
"0
5
'-'
<1)
...
::I
4
01)
<I::

3
0
:z:
2
1
0
4 8 16
Frequency (GHz)
Fig. 11.3 Typical values of noise figure and noise temperature.
11.3 MEASUREMENT OF NOISE
20
1500
1000
700
500 g
400

300
200
100
Noise figures and noise temperatures are usually measured by injecting
noise power from a noise source over a broad band covering the entire
bandwidth of the system to be measured at two temperatures, Tc (cold)
and Th (hot). The output noise power corresponding to Tc and T
h
,
respectively, are Nt and N
2
. If Nt and N2 can be measured accurately by a
power-detecting device, then the noise power Na added by the system to be
measured (DUT) can be found by extrapolation as shown in Fig. 11.4.
Noise ouput
power
N.
'-0 __ .L...-__ ---'L.-_ ___. Ts (Source impedance temperature)
To Th
Fig. 11.4 Measurement of noise.
L-______________ M_E_A_S_U_R_EM __ E_NT __ O_F_N_O_IS_E ______________
The noise power output Nl (at Tc) and N2 are related to the effective
noise temperature Te of the system by
NJ = kGaB(Tc + Te)
N2 = kGaB(Th + Te)
(11.8)
(11.9)
The ratio of N2 to Nl is defined as the Y-factor of the DUT (device under
test), i.e.
(11.10)
Te can be related to Y by
T = Th - YTc
e Y _ 1 '
(11.11)
since
F = Te + To
To '
therefore
F = (ThlTo - 1) - (TJTo - 1).
Y-l
(11.12)
So it is seen that by measuring Nl and N2 at Tc and at T
h
, Te and F can
be found. This is, the basis for almost all noise measurements. However, it
is unfortunate that all measuring equipment used to measure the noise
power Nl and N2 will generate its own internal noise, hence the values of
noise power shown by these equipment are not the noise power of the
DUT, but are the sum of the DUT noise and the noise generated by the
measuring equipment.
Before we go to the details of the measurement methods, it is appro-
priate to look at the effect of noise propagation in a system containing
more than one stage, in order to isolate the DUT noise and the noise of the
measuring equipment. Figure 11.5 shows the noise power at various points
of a two-stage system.
It can be shown that the overall noise figure of a system of n stages is
given by
F2 - 1 Fn - 1
F tolal = FI + -G
1
+ ... + G G G
1 2 n-l
For a two-stage system Flolal = F12 reduces to
F2 - 1
F12 = FI + ----c;-.
(11.13)
(11.14)
It can be seen in the last two equations that for a system processing very
weak signals, Flolal must be small in order to allow a high enough SIN ratio
(called the system margin) at the system output for the output signal to be
detected. It is also observed that Flolal is mainly contributed by F
l
, the
_________________ N_O_I_SE __ M_E_A_SU_R_E_M_E_N_T ________________
Input
noise
kToB
r-----r--
First
Nat
_-t-----+
kToBGt
...-
...-"'-
---
Fig. 11.5 Noise in a two-stage system.
Second
Na2
N
at
G
2
kT
o
BG
t
G
2
f
r
Total
noise Total
added noise
i
power
out ut
Noise input
x
system gain
noise figure of the first stage (front end) of the system, provided the gain
G
I
in this stage is high. Hence it is necessary to have a low-noise and high-
gain device as the first stage of a system processing weak signals.
The last two equations can also be applied to noise measurements. The
system to be measured (DUT) can be considered as the first stage and the
measuring equipment can be considered as the second stage of a two-stage
system. The noise figures and the noise temperatures for these two stages
are (Flo Tel) and (F2' T
e2
), respectively. The noise figure measured is not
FI but F
12
, therefore in order to find Flo a knowledge of the noise figure of
the equipment F2 and the gain G
I
of the DUT is necessary.
A calibration procedure where the noise source is fed directly into the
measuring equipment is performed and the result is shown in Fig. 11.6(b).
The noise added by the measuring system itself can be deduced from
the calibration as shown in Fig. 11.6(b), from which the system noise figure
F2 can be found.
From the results of the DUT measurement and the system calibration as
shown in Fig. 1l.6(a) and Fig. 11.6(b), it is seen that the gain G
I
of the
DUT is equal to the ratio of the slopes in these plots, i.e.
_ (N2 - Nl)/(Th - Tc)
G
l
- (N
z
- Ni)/(Ti, -
(11.15)
By measuring at the same 'cold' and 'hot' temperatures (11.15) reduces to
N2 - Nl
G
l
=N' N'
2 - 1
(11.16)
Since both F2 and G
1
are found, the required noise figure Fl for the DUT is
_______________ M_E_A_S_U_R_EM __ EN_T __ O_F_N_O_I_SE ______________
(a)
Output noise power
N2 ----------
N;
N;

N -N
slope = kGpj3 = _,_ I
T-T
h c
(b)
Input noise power


Th
- N'
slope = kGj3 = _,_-___ ,1
Th - Tc
Fig. 11.6 Gain measurement; (a) DUT measurement (DUT noise + measuring
system noise); (b) calibration (measuring system noise).

,-------- -----
L _ ______ NOISE MEASUREMENT
obtained. The method just described for measuring the noise figure forms
the basis for all system noise characterization.
11.4 NOISE SOURCE
The measurement of two points along a straight line described in the last
section requires two different temperatures for the source impedance
connected to the input of the DUT. The devices used to achieve this effect
(not necessarily at two physical temperatures) of two source temperatures
include temperature-limited vacuum diodes (thermionic diodes), physically
heated and cooled terminations (commonly used in standards laboratories),
and avalanche diodes (see Fig. 11. 7).
The avalanche diode (also known as the solid-state noise source) has
gained more popularity in recent years and is useful for most noise-
measuring purposes because it is broadband and can conveniently be
switched between Tc and Th under electronic control. When a sufficiently
large positive bias is applied, the avalanche diode is reverse biased.
Avalanche action occurs where a large d.c. plus random current of all
frequencies flows through the diode. The d.c. current is returned to the
bias supply whereas the high-frequency components are prevented from
doing the same by the choke (inductor) and are forced to develop their
'noise' voltage in the matching resistors. Hence, looking from the output
port into the device one sees a source impedance (say, 50 Q) with plenty of
noise power available to a load if connected to the output port. Therefore,
depending on the noise power available, the equivalent source impedance
seems to have been heated up to a certain temperature T
h
.
When a negative bias is applied, the diode is in normal conducting mode
with no random high-frequency components (noise) generated, and the
diode end of R
J
is almost at ground potential. Therefore, looking from the
output port into the device one sees a source impedance of R3 in series with
Bias
input
Matching pad
,------------1
L ___________ ..J
Fig. 11.7 Avalanche noise source.
Noise
output
L-_____________ N_O_I_S_E-_F_IG_U_R_E_M __ EA_S_U_R_E_M_E_N_T ________
a parallel combination of Rl and R
2
, which should also be 50 Q (say). Since
no 'noise' of substantial quantity is available, the equivalent source im-
pedance seems to be maintained at a certain low temperature Te.
The 'hot' temperature Th of a noise source is normally described by its
excess noise ratio (ENR) in decibels, defined as
or
ENR(dB) = lOloglO (Th ;0
290
)
Th = 290 [lOENR(dB)/10 + 1].
(11.17)
(11.18)
A noise source usually comes with a calibration report of Th or ENR (dB)
versus frequency within its band of operating frequencies. Te is the actual
temperature of the source's output matching pad, usually at room
temperature.
11.5 NOISE-FIGURE MEASUREMENT (SINGLE FREQUENCY)
The noise figure of a OUT is measured by measuring the ratio of the OUT
noise power N2 and Nl (the Y-factor), at two known temperatures Th and
Te, respectively. Assuming that Nl and N2 have been corrected by the
calibration procedures to take away the noise contribution of the
measuring system, noise-figure measurement at a single frequency can be
performed using a simple system consisting of a filter tuned to the
frequency of interest and a detector that has a true Lm.s. response (e.g. a
power meter) as shown in Fig. 11.8.
The most serious limitation of the measuring system shown in Fig. 11.8 is
that measurements are restricted to a single frequency determined by the
centre frequency of the bandpass filter and the frequency resolution of the
measurements is restricted by the bandwidth and shape factor of the filter.
Solid-state
noise
source
Noise source
Bias voltage
Fig. 11.8 Single-frequency noise figure measurement.
Power
meter
N2 (noise source ON)
NJ (noise source OFF)
LI _________________ N_O_I_SE __ M_E_A_SU_R_E_M_E_N_T ________________
11.6 WIDEBAND NOISE-FIGURE MEASUREMENT
An obvious improvement to the single-frequency measurement arrange-
ment shown in Fig. 11.8 is to use a heterodyne front end to permit
measurements at any frequency within a frequency range determined by
the range of the local oscillator. The arrangement is shown in Fig. 11.9. For
example, if the measuring range is to be 0-1.5 GHz, the low-pass filter will
have a cutoff at 1.5 GHz and the bandpass IF filter will be tuned to an IF
frequency (e.g. 2GHz) in order to avoid r.f. to IF feedthrough. The local
oscillator should then be made tunable over the range from 2.0 to 3.5 GHz
in order to the measurement frequency fM from 0-1.5 GHz to the
IF frequency of .0 GHz according to fM = fLO - fIF'
The arrangement shown in Fig. 11.9 can be automated by injecting a
sawtooth (in steps) to sweep the local oscillator (in steps) through its tuning
range. At each step a synchronous pulse is sent to drive the noise source so
that the cold and hot noise powers, Nl and N2 can be measured at that
particular frequency (step) before the local oscillator is swept to the next
step. An instrument based on the arrangement shown inside the dotted
box is usually known as a noise figure meter. With the addition of sweep
oscillator and noise-source drive capabilities, the equipment is known as an
automatic noise figure meter.
11.7 NOISE-FIGURE MEASUREMENT AT MICROWAVE FREQUENCIES
The noise-figure meter discussed in the last section functions up to a certain
frequency, say 1.5 GHz as described. If the same equipment, whether the
manual or the automatic version, is to be used for higher frequencies, a
down-conversion stage has to be incorporated.
A noise-measurement system with down conversion is shown in Fig.
11.10. The little block labelled as the noise-figure meter in Fig. 11.10 is
itself a system similar to that shown inside the dotted box of Fig. 11.9. A
noise-measurement system with down conversion requires a broadband
mixer and a signal generator or synthesizer covering roughly the same band
as the intended measuring range. For most applications, a low-noise IF
amplifier is required to produce a large enough signal for the noise-figure
meter to measure. Since the mixer produces both the sum and difference
frequencies between its inputs, the actual input being measured at any time
is equal to fM = FLO fIF' i.e. there is noise at the intended frequency as
well as at the image frequency. This is called the double-sideband (DSB)
noise measurement.
For example, the noise-figure meter (NFM) in a measurement system
with down conversion has a measuring range of 0-15 GHz, and the whole
system is used to measure noise input over the range of 1.5-3.0 GHz with a
fixed local oscillator of 1.5 GHz. Suppose at a certain instant the swept LO
L-______________ S_I_D_EB_A_N_D __ M_E_A_SU_R_E_M_E_N_T_S ____________ __
r--------------I
I Power I
I meter I
I
I
I
I
I I
L ______________
fM = fLO - flF
Fig. 11.9 Tunable noise-figure meter.
of the NFM is such that it allows a noise input of 1.0 GHz to be measured
by the NFM. There are two noise frequencies at the input of the whole
system, 0.5 GHz and 2.5 GHz, that when mixed with the system LO of
1.5 GHz, will produce a 1.0 GHz noise signal for the NFM to detect.
Therefore the NFM will given a noise power reading for fM = 2.5 GHz that
is actually the sum of the noise power for fM = 2.5 GHz and fM = 0.5 GHz.
Hence the noise power detected by a noise-measuring system with down
conversion is always higher than the actual value. This is a consequence of
the double-sideband measurement technique.
11.8 SINGLE-SIDEBAND (SSB) AND DOUBLE-SIDEBAND (DSB)
MEASUREMENTS
If the frequency response of the DUT of the example in the last section is
flat over the entire frequency range of 0-3.0GHz, the noise powers from
Measurement system
Solid-state
noise
source
Fig. 11.10 Measurement system with down conversion.
Noise
figure
meter
Noise I
source I
drive I
_
[-_____ ___ J
the OUT at 0.5 GHz and at 2.5 GHz are the same. Hence the noise power
shown by the NFM for 1M = 2.5 GHz is twice as much as it should be, and
therefore the correct reading should be 3 dB below the reading shown by
the NFM in a DSB noise measurement. However, a 3 dB adjustment to the
noise power measured by the DSB method is only valid if the OUT has a
constant response at both the intended measuring band and its correspond-
ing image band. If a OUT does not have a constant response at both the
measuring and the image bands, a high-pass filter (e.g. cutoff at 1.5 GHz
for the system in the previous example) has to be inserted between the
OUT and the system mixer so that the noise power contributed by the
image band (0-1.5 GHz) can be eliminated. Sometimes, a lowpass filter
instead of a high-pass filter is required in order to prevent noise at the
image band affecting the system. Whether a low-pass or a high-pass filter
is required depends on whether the image band is above or below the
measuring band frequencies, respectively. Down-converted measurements
with an image-rejection filter are known as single-sideband (SSB) measure-
ments. A noise figure measured by the down-conversion technique has
therefore to be qualified by specifying whether it is obtained by the DSB or
the SSB method.
11.9 SUMMARY
There are essentially two kinds of noise-figure measuring systems. One is
for single-frequency operation like that shown in Fig. 11.8, which consists
of a bandpass filter and a detector-meter. This type of system is known as
the system noise monitor. A system noise monitor is particularly useful
when installed permanently into a communication link (e.g. a satellite
receiver) or a radar system so that the noise performance of the system can
be checked either continuously or when required. The other kind of noise-
measuring system is the tunable type like those shown in Fig. 11.9 and Fig.
11.10. This type of instrument is particularly useful for characterizing
devices such as amplifiers, filters and mixers, where the noise-figure or the
noise-temperature frequency response is desired.
PROBLEMS
1. The Ailtech (Eaton) 757 spectrum analyser has an IF output (to
external connector) at 21.4 MHz. Design a noise-measuring system
using the Ailtech 757 and a fixed-tuned noise-figure meter (tunable to
21.4 MHz) that is capable of measuring the noise figure of devices from
10 MHz to 18 GHz (the entire input range of Ailtech 757), in sweep
mode.
2. Show that for a two-stage system with noise figures FI and F
2
, effective
noise temperatures Tel and Te2' and gains G
I
and G
2
, for the first and
the second stages are, respectively,
L-____________________
T T
Te2
e12 = el + G
1
and
F2 - 1
F12 = Fl + 0;-'
where Te12 and F12 are the effective noise temperature and the noise
figure, respectively, of the whole system.
3. A 12 GHz direct-broadcast satellite TV down link has the following
characteristics.
Transmitter
Transmission path
Receiver
Calculate:
Transmitter power
Transmitter antenna gain
Bandwidth of transmission
Feeder loss
Path loss
Atmospheric attenuation:
Antenna gain
lOOW
39dB
27 MHz
3dB
206 dB (38000 km)
2dB
38dB
1. Power to the receiver (after the receiving antenna),
2. The maximum noise figure of the receiver in order to have a link
margin (C/N carrier to noise ratio) of 12 dB.
Ans.: -84dBm; 2.7 dB
4. The maximum noise power P n generated by a resistance and made
available to a load resistance R( = l/G) is equal to kTB watts, where k is
Boltzmann's constant, T is absolute temperature and B is the bandwidth
of measurement from which P n is measured. Show that the equivalent
noise voltage (en) and the equivalent noise current (in) of the source are
given by
= 4kTBR
= 4kTBG,
where the bars respresent 'the mean value of'.
5. A swept measuring system with down conversion, like that shown in
Fig. 11.10, can be modified such that the swept LO inside the NFM is
replaced by a fixed LO and the fixed system LO can be replaced by a
swept LO. Devise a system (in block diagram form) capable of swept
noise measurements over the frequency range of (a) 0.01-3.0 GHz; and
(b) 0.01-18.0 GHz. State whether the system you devised is of the SSB
or DSB type.
6. In the calibration of a noise-figure meter, the noise figure of the NFM is
found to be 8 dB. If the NFM is used to measure the noise figure of a
certain device of gain 11.8 dB, it gives a noise-figure reading of 2.23 dB.
What is the contribution of the NFM
Ans.: 0.23 dB
_________________ N_O_I_SE __ M_E_A_SU_R_E_M_E_N_T ________________
7. If the effective input noise temperature (Te) of a mixer, the conversion
loss of the mixer at the signal frequency (LSig) in ratio and the
conversion loss of the mixer at the image frequency (Lim) in ratio are
given, shown that the noise figure of the mixer measured by the SSB
method (F
ssB
) and that measured by the DSB method (F
DsB
) are given
by
(
LSig) ( T
e
)
FssB = 1 + L 1 + 1:
1m 0
and
FDSB = 1 +
8. A certain mixer is specified as follows.
r.f/LO range: 1.0-2.0 GHz
Conversion loss: 20 dB
Noise figure: 8 dB
Image rejection: lOdB.
Assuming that all ports are perfectly matched, calculate the noise figure
measured (i) by the SSB method, and (ii) by the DSB method.
Ans.: 8.4dB; 8.0dB
FURTHER READING
Fundamentals of RF and microwave noise figure measurements (1983)
Hewlett Packard Application Note 57-1, July.
Measuring noise performance factors (1983) published by Ailtech Instru-
ments.
W.E. Pastori (1983) Image and second-stage corrections resolve noise
figure measurement confusion. Microwave Systems News, May.
W.E. Pastori (1983) Transform noise figure to noise temperature. Micro-
waves and RF, May.
J.B. Winderman (1980) Perform true DSB to SSB noise figure conversions,
Microwaves, July.
Swept Measurements and
Network Analysers
12.1 NETWORK ANALYSIS
Network analysis is the process of finding the response of a network to a
certain input waveform. It is well known that the behaviour of a linear
network can be totally specified by its response to a unit impulse; this is
known as the impulse response of the network. Since an impulse has
infinitely many frequency components at all frequencies from zero to
infinity with equal magnitude, it is therefore equivalent to sending a signal
of continuously changing frequency of equal magnitude at all frequencies
into the input port of the network. The response at the output port is
known as the frequency response of the network. If the input signal can be
swept from zero to infinity, the frequency response of the network is the
same as the Fourier transform of the impulse response.
Networks or circuits at high frequencies, say above a few tens of
megahertz, are normally described by their s-parameters if they are linear
or piecewise linear. These s-parameters are generally frequency dependent,
so in order to find out the frequency response of a network in terms of its
transmission and reflection characteristics expressed by its s-parameters,
swept frequency measurements over the frequency range of interest have
to be made. Equipment catering for this kind of measurement at high
frequencies are normally called network analysers.
12.2 SIGNAL SOURCE FOR SWEPT MEASUREMENTS
The first thing required of a high-frequency network analyser is a signal
source covering the frequency range of interest. In the manual type of
frequency-response measurements where each frequency is tuned manually
with the aid of a frequency counter, an ordinary signal generator would
suffice. However, if a 'real-time' display of the frequency response is
required (e.g. in tuning a filter), swept oscillator (generator) is necessary.
In the case where the frequency response is displayed from a set of
measured data contained in the memory of a computer/controller (i.e. not
real-time in the absolute sense of the word), a programmable synthesizer
can also be used. Synthesizers are more stable and accurate CW sources
12
LI ____ NETWORK
than are swept oscillators in general. Synthesizers are required to test
narrowband devices, devices whose characteristics change rapidly with
frequency and low-noise devices because synthesizers offer much lower
phase noise than swept oscillators and much better frequency resolution.
In most other frequency-response measurements a swept oscillator would
suffice. The block schematic diagram of a typical swept oscillator is shown
in Fig. 12.l.
The output frequency of the voltage-controlled oscillator (YCO) is
proportional to the instantaneous voltage of the sweep generator output.
By altering the sweep voltage, the YCO frequency range is broadened or
narrowed. By varying the d.c. offset of the sweep, the YCO start and stop
frequency can be changed. A small sample of the output signal to the
directional coupler taken from the sampling arm is converted to d.c. which
acts as a negative feedback by varying the attenuation of the PIN atten-
uator. The feedback circuit is known as the automatic levelling control
(ALC). The ALC is essential in order to produce output magnitudes
which are constant with frequency as required by the swept measurement
technique.
12.3 VECTOR OR SCALAR MEASUREMENT?
Characterization of a two-port network (which can be extended to an
n-port) is essentially the measurement of Sl1 and S21 in the forward confi-
guration where the power is fed into port 1 and of S22 and S12 in the
ALe
PIN
attenuator
Sweep
output
Sweep
generator
Fig. 12.1 Swept oscillator.
Directional
coupler
Lr. output
L-______________ SC_A_L_A_R __ N_ETW ___ O_R_K_A_N_A_L_Y_SI_S ___________ __
reverse configuration where the power is fed into port 2 of the network.
In both configurations the reflection coefficient (Sl1 or S22) is measured
at the point where the input power is applied to the network. From these
measurements of SII, SI2, S2I and S22, a whole list of other parameters, such
as return loss, input and output VSWR, insertion loss, and gain and input/
output impedances, can be obtained.
The reflection and transmission coefficients (Sl1' S12, S21 and S22) are, in
general, complex quantities with phase as well as magnitude. It is obvious
that measuring magnitude ratios is simpler than measuring both the
magnitude ratios and phase differences of two quantities. Therefore, a
class of equipment, known as scalar network analysers, is specifically
designed to measure the magnitude of the transmission coefficient and the
return loss of a network. Although a scalar network analyser cannot be
used to specify fully a network due to the lack of phase information, it is
still very useful in checking whether a network, a device or a system is
functioning properly, and in the preliminary tuning of the network. In
some research and development applications it is sometimes required to
find out why a network does not function, and then both phase as well as
magnitude measurements are necessary. These measurements require a
class of equipment known as vector network analysers (VNA).
12.4 SCALAR NETWORK ANALYSIS
A scalar network analyser (SNA) system (see Fig. 12.2) normally consists
of a swept oscillator, a signal-separation device and a power-detection
system. A fairly popular way of constituting a SNA system is to use a swept
oscillator, a signal-separation device and a frequency-response test set
(also known as a scalar network analyser). The test set comes with three
crystal detectors which provide a d.c. or low-frequency output voltages
proportional to the input power.
The Lf. signal from the swept oscillator is fed into the signal-separation
device. A small portion of this incident signal power is sampled by a
coupling arm to be detected by detector R whereas the rest of the incident
power goes through the separation device and acts as the input signal
power to the DDT. The d.c. voltage detected by the detector R is
proportional to the Lf. power sampled by the detector and hence it is also
proportional to the actual power input to the DDT. A portion of the signal
power fed to the DDT is reflected by the DDT to the separation device if
the input impedance of the DDT is not equal to the system impedance Zoo
A small portion of the reflected power is sampled by another coupler arm
and is detected by detector A. The d.c. outputs of detector R and detector
A represent the incident and reflected power of the DDT, hence the ratio
of A and R is proportional to the square of the input reflection coefficient
C SWEPT MEASUREMENTS AND NETWORK ANALYSERS
Swept oscillator
Lf. Sweep
output output
)
I II

+
Frequency-response
test set
t
----. Freq.
R A B
()
c:> :>
)
-
l

DUT
Signal-separation
device

Fig. 12.2 Scalar network analyser system.
of the D UT. Since the test set takes the ratio of V A/V R and displays it in
decibels against frequency, the vertical axis of the display is equal to the
return loss (L
R
), i.e.
2 VA
LR = -lOlogQ = -lOlog V
R
(dB). (12.1 )
It is noted that (12.1) is only correct if the coupling arms to A and R have
the same coupling coefficients.
Up to now the term 'signal separation device' has been used to describe
the circuit block which samples both the incident and reflected power. The
most commonly used separation devices are dual-directional couplers and
______________ SC_A_L_A_R __ NE_T_W __ O_RK __ A_N_A_L_Y_SI_S ____________
reflectometer bridges. The schematic of a dual-directional coupler is shown
in Fig. 12.3.
The main advantage of using a dual-directional coupler as the signal-
separation device is that theoretically any variation of coupling factor C
R
with frequency will be the same as that for C
A
, and since it is the ratio of
the R and A outputs which is measured, any frequency variation due to the
coupler will be cancelled.
Another commonly used signal-separation device is the reflectometer
bridge as shown schematically in Fig. 12.4. The two detectors R and A are
normally built into the bridge. They produce a d.c. or low-frequency (if the
swept oscillator is amplitude modulated by a low-frequency signal in the
order of kilohertz) voltage which is proportional to the power dissipated
in the 50 Q loads that they are connected to. It is not difficult to show that
the voltage across the balancing 50 Q resistor (reflection) is directly pro-
portional to the reflection coefficient of the device connected to the test
port and that the voltage across the 'incident' 50 Q resistor is directly
proportional to the input power. The reflectometer bridge can also be
represented schematically by a circuit symbol similar to that of a dual-
directional coupler, as shown in Fig. 12.5.
Coming back to the scalar network analyser system shown in Fig. 12.2,
the d.c. or low frequency output voltage of detector B is proportional to
the output power of the OUT. The transmission coefficient of the OUT
can be displayed as the ratio of VBIV
R
in decibels on the frequency-
response test set.
The frequency-response test set has three d.c. (or low-frequency) inputs,
R, A and B. It normally has two traces on its CRT display. The test set can
display the absolute power of either two of R, A and B in dBm or the ratio
of V AIV
R
and VBIV
R
in decibels on the vertical axis. The input to the
horizontal axis of the display is the sweep signal (time base) of the swept
oscillator, which corresponds to the frequency axis.
Since d.c. voltages are more difficult to amplify and compare accurately,
almost all frequency-response test sets provide a low-frequency square-
Matched
termination
-20 dBm
t (0.01 mW)
C
A
= 20 dB
A
t
Matched
termination
o dBm I X I

(1 mW)
Fig. 12.3 20 dB dual-directional coupler.
-0.044 dBm
(0.99 mW)
LI ____ S_W_E_P_T_M_E_A_S_U_R_E_M_E_N_T_S ANALYSERS
r.f.
input
(Reflection)
Fig. 12.4 Reflectometer bridge.
r.f.
input
Incident
(R)
50 n
Short for
fioIl-/+-- calibration
/
<
DUT
" / ",/
Reflection
(A)
Test
port
I

Fig. 12.5 Schematic diagram ot a reflectometer bridge. Incident (R) has r.t. input
coupling -6dB; Reflection (A) has test port coupling -9dB; and the test port has
r.t. input coupling -9 dB.
L--____ O_T_H_E_R_SC_A_L_A_R_N_E_TW_O_RK_-_A_N_A_LY_S_E_R_S_Y_S_T_EM_S ___ --'I
wave signal (e.g. 1kHz or 27.8 kHz) to modulate the swept oscillator into
pulsed r.f. mode, so that the outputs of the detectors are square waves of
1 kHz or 27.8 kHz.
12.5 OTHER SCALAR NETWORK-ANALYSER SYSTEMS
The spectrum analyser/tracking generator system together with a direc-
tional coupler acting as the signal-separation device as described in Section
9.5 form a complete scalar network-analyser (SNA) system. This type of
SNA is accurate, easy to use and easy to calibrate. It does not rely on
expensive crystal detectors which are non-repairable. In performing
transmission measurements they offer a large dynamic range, which is
basically the dynamic range of the spectrum analyser. The only commonly
encountered problem with this type of SNA is in the measurement of small
reflection signals because of the coupling factor (say 20 dB) of the
reflection sampling arm of the coupler. The cost of an SNA system based
on a spectrum analyser is slightly more than that of a system based on a
frequency-response test set. However, it is noted that a spectrum analyser
is a general instrument with many application areas. This fact should also
be taken into account in comparing the costs of various SNA systems.
A cheaper SNA system can be configured using power meters as shown
in Fig. 12.6. It is noted that power meters used for this purpose must have
fast acquisition time and that analogue outputs must be available in order
for the output voltage to be displayed on the oscilloscope.
meter
Scope
Swept oscillator

ChI Ch2
L.......j-Oll'O
meter
r.f.
Sweep output
Fig. 12.6 Scalar network analyser with power meters.
SWEPT MEASUREMENTS AND NETWORK ANALYSERS
@DI L-______________________________________________________
12.6 VECTOR NETWORK ANALYSER
When the phase as well as the magnitude of the s-parameters of a DUT is
required, it is necessary to have a heterodyne system converting the signals
to be measured to a low frequency where phase comparison is possible.
This forms the basis of all modern vector network analysers. A basic vector
network analyser (VNA) connected in the transmission mode is shown in
Fig. 12.7.
The test signal from the swept oscillator is divided equally into a test and
a reference channel. The test signal is 'transmitted' through the DUT
before it is down converted in a mixer by a local oscillator signal (LO). The
reference signal is directly down converted in an identical mixer by the
same LO signal under strict phase lock. The mixers convert these two
signals to a low frequency (IF) where comparisons of phase and magnitude
between signals from the two channels are made. Because of the provision
for the insertion of the DUT in the test channel, the electrical lengths of
the two channels are different, hence even if the two DUT ports are
connected directly together, the phase and magnitude of the signals on the
two channels are different.
In order to account for the phase and magnitude offset of the two
channels due to different physical lengths and hence electrical lengths, a
transmission-line section of variable length known as the line stretcher is
inserted in the reference channel as shown in Fig. 12.8. In the calibration
for transmission measurements, the DUT ports are connected directly and
the line stretcher is mechanically tuned until the phase difference between
the two channels is as close to zero as is possible over the frequency range
of interest. The magnitude offset between the two channels is also affected
by the difference in the path lengths, but to a much smaller extent.
Sweptosc.
r----,
I I
I
Reference
channel
I
I
I
I
I
I I
L ___ ..J
Test
channel
Mixer
Fig. 12.7 Basic vector network analyser.
IF. BPF
IF (fixed)
'------' Reference
IF (fixed)
'------' Test
IFBPF
______________ S_O_U_R_C_E_S_Y_N_C_H_RO __ N_IZ_A_TI_O_N ______________
Swept
osc.
r.f. reference
channel
Fig. 12.8 Phase equalization.
Line
stretcher
IF
Test
LO
(yeO)
IF
Reference
Modern vector network analysers do not need phase equalization by the
line stretcheL In the calibration of these VNAs, the phase and magnitude
offsets at a number of points in the frequency range of interest are
recorded in an externally connected controller or built-in microcomputer
and the stored data are used to correct the measured data before they are
displayed.
12.7 SOURCE SYNCHRONIZATION
The intermediate frequencies (IF) of the test and the reference channel
must be of the same fixed frequency, independent of the frequency of the
Lt. input at any instance. This requires a swept local oscillator sweeping
over a bandwidth equal to the swept bandwidth of the r.f. input. The local
oscillator is also required to have a frequency which exceeds the Lf. input
frequency by the amount of the intermediate frequency at all times. The
establishment of a fixed relationship between the Lf. and the LO signals is
known as source synchronization. Figure 12.9 shows an example of how
source synchronization can be achieved. In this example, the Lf. sweep
range is 0.1 to 1.5 GHz and the 100 kHz IF is maintained by means of an
accurate reference oscillator of the same frequency. It is noted that both
the phase detector and the reference oscillator are normally part of the
analyser.
LI ___ AND __ J
To power splitter
0.1 to 1.5 GHz
From r.f.
test and
reference
channel
0.1 to 1.5 GHz
Sweep osc.
Reference
oscillator
fixed at
Phase
fIF = 100 kHz
fIF = 100 kHz
Reference channel
LO 0.1001
(yeO) To 1.5001 GHz
Test channel
fIF = 100 kHz
Fig. 12.9 Source synchronization.
12.8 POWER-SPLITTER CIRCUIT
To phase and
magnitude
comparator
and display
The basic operating principles of a vector network analyser have been
illustrated with reference to its transmission mode in Fig. 12.7. In
reflection measurements a signal-separation device to sample the reflected
signal is necessary. One possible way of achieving this purpose using a
dual-direction coupler is shown in Fig. 12.10. The circuit shown inside the
dotted box, which includes the power-splitter function, is sometimes
known as the transmission and reflection test set of a vector network
analyser.
PROBLEMS
1. For the reflectometer shown in Fig. 12.4, show that the output voltage
of detector A is proportional to the square of the voltage-reflection
coefficient as seen by the test port and that the output voltage of
detector R is proportional to the power coming into the bridge,
assuming that the output of the detectors is proportional to the power
dissipated in the resistors across which they are connected.
___________________ P_RO_B_L_EM __ S ________________
DUT output to test
channel for transmission
measurements
Output
DUT
Input
r---
---------------,
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I Line I
I stretcher I
L __ ______________
r
Signal source
from
swept oscillator
I
I
I
I
I
I
To test channel
for reflection
measurements
To reference
channel
Fig. 12.10 Signal separation - transmission and reflection test.
2. With reference to the schematic diagram of the reflectometer bridge
shown in Fig. 12.5, show that: (a) the power coming out from the test
port is 9 dB below the power coming into the bridge; (b) the power
coming out from the incident (R) arm is 6 dB below the power coming
into the bridge; and (c) the power coming out from the reflection (A)
[222 I [- .=- NETWORK ANALYS_E_R_S __ -==_l---"
Fig. P.12.1
t
Pi
(b)
arm is 9 dB below the power reflected back into the bridge at the test
port.
3. The coupling factor C of a directional coupler as shown in Fig. P.12.l(a)
is given by
P
C = 10 ioglO p;
and the directivity of a directional coupler is given by
P
f
D = lOioglO Ph'
where P
b
is defined in Fig. P.12.l(b).
If the coupling factor and the directivity of a directional coupler are
10 dB and 24dB, respectively, find PI and P
2
which are defined in Fig.
P.12.2.
4. The input impedance of an amplifier was measured via an adapter by a
vector network analyser to be 61- jS Q at 1 GHz. The s-parameters of
the adapter at 1 GHz were measured in a separate measurement to be
L-__________________ F_U_R_T_H_ER __ R_E_A_D_IN_G __________________
o dBm
Short
circuit
o dBm ------II [J
Fig. P.12.2
ISI1I = -27 dB
IS121 = -0.05dB
LS
I1
= 8
LS
12
= 30
IS211 = -0.1 dB
Iszzl = -30dB
Find the 'true' input impedance of the amplifier.
Ans.: 52 - jO.005 n
LS
21
= 30
LS
22
= _12.
5. A detector/frequency-response test set type of scalar network analyser
is to be configured to measure the gain of a 5 W power amplifier. Draw
a possible configuration for this measurement and state the major
disadvantage of the system with respect to such a measurement.
6. An open-circuited air line (coaxial with air as dielectric) is connected to
a network analyser (either scalar or vector) for reflection measurement
over the frequency range of 1.0-10.0 GHz. Sketch the magnitude dis-
play (in dB) against frequency for the entire range.
Note: Similar shapes are frequently encountered in swept reflection
measurements. Explain why.
FURTHER READING
High Frequency Swept Measurement, Hewlett Packard, Application Note
183.
Laverghetta, T.S., (1984) Practical Microwaves, Howard W. Sams.
Vector measurements of High Frequency Networks (1987), Hewlett
Packard.
Index
Active biasing 86
Admittance chart 53
Alumina 26, 27
AM 1, 173, 176, 192
Amplifier
small-signal 91-108
broadband 113
low-noise 109-13, 115
high-gain 114
power 119-37
Associated gain 77, 78
Attenuation constant 8, 10
Available power
power available 95
noise 195, 197
Avalanche diode 203
Balanced stubs 134, 136
Bandwidth 43, 70, 197, 208
IF 168,169,179,181
BJT3, 71,119,139
biasing 86
data-sheet 77-85
design 116, 117
Boltzmann's constant 86, 172, 195, 197
Broadband 113
Characteristic
admittance 10
impedance 9, 22
Clapp 139
Class A 85,119,137
ClassAB 85
Class B 85,119,137
Class C 119,137,138,139
biasing, 121, 122
Class D 119
ClassE 119
Class S 119
Colpitt 139
Conjugate matching 104,107-11,114,
126
Constant power gain circles 104, 106
Constant Q curves 57
Complex conjugate 129
Coupling factor 214,221,222
Dielectric resonator oscillator (DRO) 2
Direct broadcasr satellite (DBS) 2
Directional coupler 178, 217, 220-2
Dissipation factor 27,28
see loss tangent
Dynamic range 120, 172
Effective input noise temperature 197
Effective permittivity 22-6
Electrical length 216
Equivalent noise resistance 77,80,81
FAX 2
Feedback 36, 73, 75, 96, 140,211
FET 139,198
biasing, 85
Frequency counting 184-92
FM 1, 174
residual 169
incidental 176
GaAs FET 3,71
Gain
maximum available 79, 82
operating power 95
transducer power 95
unilateral transducer 97
Gain compression 120, see 1 dB
compression
Harmonic 43,119,163,185,188
distortion, 120
Hartley, 139
HBT71
(heterojunction bipolar transistor)
HEMT71,198
(high electron mobility transistor)
Heterodyne conversion, 185-8, 191,
206,216
__ _____________ IN_D_E_X ______________________
Identity matrix 140, 157
IFA3
IFbandwith 168, 169, 179, 181
Incidental FM 176
Indefinite matrix 140, 157
Input impedance (of power transistors)
127
Input stability circle 102-4
Instability, see stability
Intermediate frequency (IF) 3, 4
Image 163, 207, 209
Immittance 14, 15, 36
Immittance chart 54, 55, 57,58
Impedance chart 52, 53
Impulse response 210
Linvill 51
LNA (low noise amplifier) 3,109-13
Load stability circles 102,103,105
Local oscillator (LO) 162,216
Loss tangent 27, 28
MAG (maximum available gain) 79,82
Matching 42-63, see also conjugate
matching
MESFET88, 107, 115, 117, 119
Microstrip 18-27
Minimum noise figure 110
Mobile Radio Phone (MRP) 3
MOSFET3
Network analyser 210-19
Noise circles 111, 112, 113
Noise figure 77, 78, 80, 81,111
meter 205, 207
Noise measurement 178-81, 199-203
Noise parameters 80, 81
Noise power bandwidth 179, 181
Noise temperature 197-99
Non-woven 27
One dB compression 120
Operating power gain 95,106,109,114
Open-circuit stub 60, 63, 64
Optimal load reflection coefficient 99,
100, 102, 114
Optimal source reflection coefficient 99,
100, 102, 114
Oscillation conditions 142
Output impedance (of power transistor)
127
Output stability circle 102-4
Phase constant 8, 9
PIN diode 211
Potentially unstable 82, 102, 104, 106,
110, 114, 139
Power meter 204, 216
Propagation coefficient 8
Propagation velocity 22
PTFE (polytetrafluorethylene) 20, 26
Q curves 56,131
Quality factor (Q factor) 42, 43, 46, 57
Quarter wave transformer 14, 68
Quasi-TEM 21
Radio frequency choke (RFC) 121, 122,
127, 136, 137
Reflection coefficient 11, 13
Reflection loss 18
Residual FM 169
Resolution 168
Return loss 18
Rollet, see stability factor
s-parameter 31-41
Short-circuit stub 60, 63, 64
Smith chart 15, 17,51
Source stability circles 103, 104, 105
Spectrum analyser 161-83
Stability factor (Rollet's) 101, 106, 107
Stub matching 60
single 60, 61, 62
double 64, 65
SUPERCOMP ACT 117
Swept oscillator 162, 172,211
Synthesizer 210,211
Teflon (PTFE) 20, 26
Thermal noise 179, 180, 195
measurement 178-181
TOUCHSTONE 117
Tracking generator 172
Transducer power gain 82, 95-8, 109,
111
Transmission coefficient 98, 212, 214
reverse 96
Transmission line 7-15, 60
Transmission measurement 177,216,
217
Transmission transducer gain 82
Unconditionally stable 82, 99, 100
Unilateral amplifier 96, 98
Unilateral transducer gain 96, 97,98
L ___________________ IN_D_E_X __________________
Voltage controlled oscillator (VeO) 2,
3,189,211
Voltage standing wave ratio (VSWR) 8,
12,13,18
Wavelength 12,24,68
Woven 27
Y-parameters 76, 77
Yttrium-iran-garnet (YIG) 163, 186
Z-parameters 140,142