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Lecture 8

RF Amplifier Design

Johan Wernehag
Electrical and Information Technology
Johan Wernehag, EIT
Lecture 8

• Amplifier Design
– Summary of Design Methods
– Transistor Biasing
• Voltage and Current Drive of Bipolar Transistors
• Temperature Dependence
– Passive Biasing Circuits
– Active Biasing Circuits
– Biasing of Field Effect Transistors
– Isolating the Bias Design from Signal Designs
– Diagnostic test

Johan Wernehag, EIT


Summary of Amplifier Design Methods
Specific GT and F
1. Decide if the transistor is unconditionally
stable or not
2. Calculate stability circles if the transistor F
is conditionally stable ΓS

3. Choose the design method for ΓL


specific gain
4. Assume that conjugate match will be
applied at the output
Stable ga
5. Calculate and draw the gain circle area ΓS
(ga < GMSG) and noise circle (F) ΓOUT Stable
area ΓL

6. Select a ΓS in the stable area that S11


provides a suitable compromise between S22
gain and noise figure
7. Calculate ΓOUT regarding the selected ΓS
8. Calculate ΓL = ΓOUT* and check for stability
9. Design the matching networks and verify stability for all frequencies of interest
10.Design the biasing circuits for proper DC settings of the transistor

Johan Wernehag, EIT


Transistor Biasing

• How is the bias setting specified?


– collector current IC and
collector-emitter voltage VCE for BJT
(ID and VDS for FET)

• Why controlling the biasing?


– S-parameters or similar are only valid at a specific
operating point (small signal parameters)
– temperature essentially controls the properties of
the transistor. More so on BJTs than on FETs

Johan Wernehag, EIT


Voltage or Current Drive of the Transistor

The collector current


• Voltage drive: increase exponentially
wrt the base voltage
IC

IC

VBE

VBE

The collector current


depends linearly wrt
• Current drive: the base current
IC

IC

IB

IB

Johan Wernehag, EIT


Voltage Drive of Bipolar Transistors

 
IC
• Simplified VBE VBE

relationship: IC  IS e VT
 1  I S  e
VT

 
VBE

– where the thermal voltage VT  kT q  26 mV T300 K

• k = Boltzmann’s constant = 1.38·10-23 [J/K]


• T = absolute temperature [K]
• q = charge of the electron = 1.6·10-19 [C]

• The saturation current IS varies between different transistors


• VT and IS are both temperature dependent

Johan Wernehag, EIT


Temperature Dependence at Voltage Driven Biasing

I S  A I C  A
80mA

55A
T  C  T  C 

VBE
• Example:
IC
IC  IS  e 
VT

Calculate the collector


current at constant VBE  1 mA at T  300 K
VBE  0, 7745 V VBE

-20Ԩ to 80Ԩ is a
standard temp. range for
a commercial design
Johan Wernehag, EIT
Temperature Dependence at Current Driven Biasing

IC
I C  0  I B

IB

0

T  C 

The temperature dependence at current driven biasing is


considerably ”friendlier” compared to voltage driven biasing!
A factor of 2 compared to 2000!
Johan Wernehag, EIT
Controlling the Operating Point
• The operating point needs to be controlled to avoid
thermal avalanche effect that might destroy the device

• Three common methods to


implement the feedback: VCC

RC
RB

– passive current or voltage IB


I
C

VCC
driven biasing
RC1
R1
T2
I
C1
– active biasing
I IB
R2 C2 T1
VCC
RC2

ID
I

– thermal feedback
C1
IB T1

V
D

Johan Wernehag, EIT


Current Driven Biasing
• The simplest circuitry: VCC

– Moderate temperature dependency RC


– Sensitive to variations in the current gain, 0 RB

– Requires large resistance values I


 R
C
IB
– Loop gain: 0 C
RB
– Large loop gain if the ratio VCC / VCE is large

• Alternative circuit solution:


– Not strictly current driven VCC

– Moderate temperature dependency RC


– Less sensitive to variations in the current gain RB1

– Does not require large resistance values I


 R RB2 RB3 I B
C
– Loop gain : 0 C 
RB3 RB1  RB2
RB2
– Large loop gain if the ratio VCC / VCE is large

Johan Wernehag, EIT


Voltage Driven Biasing

• Series feedback
VCC
• Decent temperature dependence
RC
• Not sensitive to variations in the current
RB1 I
gain C
IB
• RC may be replaced with an RFC*
• Loop gain: gm∙RE RB2
RE

• Not suitable at high frequencies


– due to difficulties to signal ground the emitter
without introducing stability problems

*RFC = Radio-Frequency Choke, a large reactance coil intended for high frequencies

Johan Wernehag, EIT


Example of Active Biasing Circuit

VCC I C  mA  without feedback

RC1
R1
active biasing
T2
I passive
C1 current drive
I IB
R2 C2 T1

RC2 T  C 

T2: low frequency transistor working T1: high frequency transistor


as current generator

Johan Wernehag, EIT


Control by Thermal Feedback

VCC

ID
I
C1
Thermally
connected IB T1

V
D

The diode VD is thermally connected to the transistor


Good in PAs etc. where high currents heat it up

Johan Wernehag, EIT


Biasing of Field Effect Transistors

• The FET shows a slight temperature dependence


compared to the BJT
• Large spreading in the threshold voltage compared to
the BJT
• Only voltage driven biasing possible
• Passive biasing circuits are not usable if there is a large
variation in the threshold voltage

Johan Wernehag, EIT


Isolating the Bias Design from the Signal Design
Example using
RFC’s

biasing circuit

signal
output

signal
input
signal circuit

RFC = Radio-Frequency Choke


may be used up to medium high frequencies

Johan Wernehag, EIT


Isolating the Bias Design from the Signal Design
Example using
stubs

biasing circuit

signal
output

signal
input

signal circuit

At high frequencies the RFC’s are replaced with line elements

Johan Wernehag, EIT


Lab 3 – RF amplifier

Johan Wernehag, EIT