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High Frequency Design From May 2003 High Frequency Electronics

Copyright © 2003 Summit Technical Media, LLC
RF POWER AMPLIFIERS

RF and Microwave Power
Amplifier and Transmitter
Technologies — Part 2
By Frederick H. Raab, Peter Asbeck, Steve Cripps, Peter B. Kenington,
Zoya B. Popovich, Nick Pothecary, John F. Sevic and Nathan O. Sokal

P
art 1 of this series
Our multi-part series on introduced basic
power amplifier tech- concepts, discussed
nologies and applications the characteristics of sig-
continues with a review of nals to be amplified, and
amplifier configurations, gave background infor-
classes of operation, mation on RF power
device characterization devices. Part 2 reviews
and example applications the basic techniques, rat-
ings, and implementation
methods for power amplifiers operating at HF
through microwave frequencies.

6a. BASIC TECHNIQUES FOR Figure 7 · A single-ended power amplifier.
RF POWER AMPLIFICATION
RF power amplifiers are commonly desig-
nated as classes A, B, C, D, E, and F [19]. All Consequently, the drain voltage and current
but class A employ various nonlinear, switch- waveforms are (ideally) both sinusoidal. The
ing, and wave-shaping techniques. Classes of power output of an ideal class-A PA is
operation differ not in only the method of
operation and efficiency, but also in their Po = Vom2 / 2 R (5)
power-output capability. The power-output
capability (“transistor utilization factor”) is where output voltage Vom on load R cannot
defined as output power per transistor nor- exceed supply voltage VDD. The DC-power
malized for peak drain voltage and current of input is constant and the efficiency of an ideal
1 V and 1 A, respectively. The basic topologies PA is 50 percent at PEP. Consequently, the
(Figures 7, 8 and 9) are single-ended, trans- instantaneous efficiency is proportional to the
former-coupled, and complementary. The power output and the average efficiency is
drain voltage and current waveforms of select- inversely proportional to the peak-to-average
ed ideal PAs are shown in Figure 10. ratio (e.g., 5 percent for x = 10 dB). The uti-
lization factor is 1/8.
Class A For amplification of amplitude-modulated
In class A, the quiescent current is large signals, the quiescent current can be varied in
enough that the transistor remains at all proportion to the instantaneous signal enve-
times in the active region and acts as a cur- lope. While the efficiency at PEP is
rent source, controlled by the drive. unchanged, the efficiency for lower ampli-
This series of articles is an expanded version of the paper, “Power Amplifiers and Transmitters for RF and
Microwave” by the same authors, which appeared in the the 50th anniversary issue of the IEEE Transactions on
Microwave Theory and Techniques, March 2002. © 2002 IEEE. Reprinted with permission.

22 High Frequency Electronics
High Frequency Design
RF POWER AMPLIFIERS

turn proportional to the RF-output
current. Consequently, the instanta-
neous efficiency of a class-B PA
varies with the output voltage and
for an ideal PA reaches π/4 (78.5 per-
cent) at PEP. For low-level signals,
class B is significantly more efficient
than class A, and its average efficien-
cy can be several times that of class A
at high peak-to-average ratios (e.g.,
28 vs. 5 percent for ξ = 10 dB). The
utilization factor is the same 0.125 of
class A.
Figure 8 · Transformer-coupled In practice, the quiescent current
push-pull PA. is on the order of 10 percent of the
peak drain current and adjusted to
minimize crossover distortion caused
by transistor nonlinearities at low
outputs. Class B is generally used in
a push-pull configuration so that the
two drain-currents add together to
produce a sine-wave output. At HF
and VHF, the transformer-coupled
push-pull topology (Figure 8) is gen-
erally used to allow broadband oper-
ation with minimum filtering. The
use of the complementary topology
Figure 9 · Complementary PA. Figure 10 · Wavefrorms for ideal PAs. (Figure 9) has generally been limited
to audio, LF, and MF applications by
the lack of suitable p-channel tran-
tudes is considerably improved. In an or saturation voltage of the transis- sistors. However, this topology is
FET PA, the implementation tor. It is also degraded by the pres- attractive for IC implementation and
requires little more than variation of ence of load reactance, which in has recently been investigated for
the gate-bias voltage. essence requires the PA to generate low-power applications at frequen-
The amplification process in class more output voltage or current to cies to 1 GHz [20].
A is inherently linear, hence increas- deliver the same power to the load.
ing the quiescent current or decreas- Class C
ing the signal level monotonically Class B In the classical (true) class-C PA,
decreases IMD and harmonic levels. The gate bias in a class-B PA is the gate is biased below threshold so
Since both positive and negative set at the threshold of conduction so that the transistor is active for less
excursions of the drive affect the that (ideally) the quiescent drain cur- than half of the RF cycle (Figure 10).
drain current, it has the highest gain rent is zero. As a result, the transis- Linearity is lost, but efficiency is
of any PA. The absence of harmonics tor is active half of the time and the increased. The efficiency can be
in the amplification process allows drain current is a half sinusoid. increased arbitrarily toward 100 per-
class A to be used at frequencies close Since the amplitude of the drain cur- cent by decreasing the conduction
to the maximum capability (fmax) of rent is proportional to drive ampli- angle toward zero. Unfortunately,
the transistor. However, the efficiency tude and the shape of the drain-cur- this causes the output power (utiliza-
is low. Class-A PAs are therefore typ- rent waveform is fixed, class-B pro- tion factor) to decrease toward zero
ically used in applications requiring vides linear amplification. and the drive power to increase
low power, high linearity, high gain, The power output of a class-B PA toward infinity. A typical compromise
broadband operation, or high-fre- is controlled by the drive level and is a conduction angle of 150° and an
quency operation. varies as given by eq. (5). The DC- ideal efficiency of 85 percent.
The efficiency of real class-A PAs input current is, however, proportion- The output filter of a true class-C
is degraded by the on-state resistance al to the drain current which is in PA is a parallel-tuned type that

24 High Frequency Electronics
High Frequency Design
RF POWER AMPLIFIERS

bypasses the harmonic components with frequency. Class F
of the drain current to ground with- Class-D PAs with power outputs Class F boosts both efficiency and
out generating harmonic voltages. of 100 W to 1 kW are readily imple- output by using harmonic resonators
When driven into saturation, effi- mented at HF, but are seldom used in the output network to shape the
ciency is stabilized and the output above lower VHF because of losses drain waveforms. The voltage wave-
voltage locked to supply voltage, associated with the drain capaci- form includes one or more odd har-
allowing linear high-level amplitude tance. Recently, however, experimen- monics and approximates a square
modulation. tal class-D PAs have been tested with wave, while the current includes even
Classical class C is widely used in frequencies of operation as high as 1 harmonics and approximates a half
high-power vacuum-tube transmit- GHz [22]. sine wave. Alternately (“inverse class
ters. It is, however, little used in F”), the voltage can approximate a
solid-state PAs because it requires Class E half sine wave and the current a
low drain resistances, making imple- Class E employs a single transis- square wave. As the number of har-
mentation of parallel-tuned output tor operated as a switch. The drain- monics increases, the efficiency of an
filters difficult. With BJTs, it is also voltage waveform is the result of the ideal PA increases from the 50 per-
difficult to set up bias and drive to sum of the DC and RF currents cent (class A) toward unity (class D)
produce a true class-C collector-cur- charging the drain-shunt capaci- and the utilization factor increases
rent waveform. The use of a series- tance. In optimum class E, the drain from 1/8 (class A) toward 1/2π (class
tuned output filter results in a voltage drops to zero and has zero D) [29].
mixed-mode class-C operation that is slope just as the transistor turns on. The required harmonics can in
more like mistuned class E than true The result is an ideal efficiency of 100 principle be produced by current-
class C. percent, elimination of the losses source operation of the transistor.
associated with charging the drain However, in practice the transistor is
Class D capacitance in class D, reduction of driven into saturation during part of
Class-D PAs use two or more tran- switching losses, and good tolerance the RF cycle and the harmonics are
sistors as switches to generate a of component variation. produced by a self-regulating mecha-
square drain-voltage waveform. A Optimum class-E operation nism similar to that of saturating
series-tuned output filter passes only requires a drain shunt susceptance class C. Use of a harmonic voltage
the fundamental-frequency compo- 0.1836/R and a drain series reac- requires creating a high impedance
nent to the load, resulting in power tance 1.15R and delivers a power out- (3 to 10 times the load impedance) at
outputs of (8/π2)VDD2/R and put of 0.577VDD2/R for an ideal PA the drain, while use of a harmonic
2 2
(2/π )VDD /R for the transformer-cou- [23]. The utilization factor is 0.098. current requires a low impedance
pled and complementary configura- Variations in load impedance and (1/3 to 1/10 of the load impedance).
tions, respectively. Current is drawn shunt susceptance cause the PA to While class F requires a more com-
only through the transistor that is deviate from optimum operation [24, plex output filter than other PAs, the
on, resulting in a 100-percent effi- 25], but the degradations in perfor- impedances must be correct at only a
ciency for an ideal PA. The utilization mance are generally no worse than few specific frequencies. Lumped-ele-
factor (1/2π = 0.159) is the highest of those for class A and B. ment traps are used at lower fre-
any PA (27 percent higher than that The capability for efficient opera- quencies and transmission lines are
of class A or B). A unique aspect of tion in the presence of significant used at microwave frequencies.
class D (with infinitely fast switch- drain capacitance makes class E use- Typically, a shorting stub is placed a
ing) is that efficiency is not degraded ful in a number of applications. One quarter or half-wavelength away
by the presence of reactance in the example is high-efficiency HF PAs from the drain. Since the stubs for
load. with power levels to 1 kW based upon different harmonics interact and the
Practical class-D PAs suffer from low-cost MOSFETs intended for open or short must be created at a
losses due to saturation, switching switching rather than RF use [26]. “virtual drain” ahead of the drain
speed, and drain capacitance. Finite Another example is the switching- capacitance and bond-wire induc-
switching speed causes the transis- mode operation at frequencies as tance, implementation of suitable
tors to be in their active regions while high as K band [27]. The class-DE PA networks is a bit of an art.
conducting current. Drain capaci- [28] similarly uses dead-space Nonetheless, class-F PAs are success-
tances must be charged and dis- between the times when its two tran- fully implemented from MF through
charged once per RF cycle. The asso- sistors are on to allow the load net- Ka band.
ciated power loss is proportional to work to charge/discharge the drain A variety of modes of operation in-
VDD3/2 [21] and increases directly capacitances. between class C, E, and F are possi-

26 High Frequency Electronics
High Frequency Design
RF POWER AMPLIFIERS

parameter may produce a new set of
contours. A variety of different
parameters can be plotted during a
load-pull analysis, including not only
power and efficiency, but also distor-
tion and stability. Harmonic
impedances as well as drive
impedances are also sometimes var-
ied.
A load-pull system consists essen-
tially of a test fixture, provided with
biasing capabilities, and a pair of low-
loss, accurately resettable tuners,
usually of precision mechanical con-
Figure 12 · Example load-pull con- struction. A load-pull characteriza-
tours for a 0.5-W, 836 MHz PA. tion procedure consists essentially of
(Courtesy Focus Microwaves and measuring the power of a device, to a
dBm Engineering) given specification (e.g., the 1-dB
compression point) as a function of
impedance. Data are measured at a
tance lines on the Smith chart. The large number of impedances and
Figure 11 · Contant power contours impedances for a specified maximum plotted on a Smith chart. Such plots
and transformation. current analogously follow a series- are, of course, critically dependent on
resistance line. For an ideal PA, the the accurate calibration of the tuners,
resultant constant-power contour is both in terms of impedance and loss-
ble. The maximum achievable effi- football-shaped as shown in Figure es. Such calibration is, in turn, highly
ciency [30] depends upon the number 11. dependent on the repeatability of the
of harmonics, (0.5, 0.707, 0.8165, In a real PA, the ideal drain is tuners.
0.8656, 0.9045 for 1 through 5 har- embedded behind the drain capaci- Precision mechanical tuners, with
monics, respectively). The utilization tance and bond-wire/package induc- micrometer-style adjusters, were the
factor depends upon the harmonic tance. Transformation of the ideal traditional apparatus for load-pull
impedances and is highest for ideal drain impedance through these ele- analysis. More recently, a new gener-
class-F operation. ments causes the constant-power ation of electronic tuners has
contours to become rotated and dis- emerged that tune through the use
6b. LOAD-PULL torted [31]. With the addition of sec- varactors or transmission lines
CHARACTERIZATION ond-order effects, the contours switched by pin diodes. Such elec-
RF-power transistors are charac- become elliptical. A set of power con- tronic tuners [32] have the advantage
terized by breakdown voltages and tours for a given PA somewhat of almost perfect repeatability and
saturated drain currents. The combi- resembles a set of contours for a con- high tuning speed, but have much
nation of the resultant maximum jugate match. However, a true conju- higher losses and require highly com-
drain voltage and maximum drain gate match produces circular con- plex calibration routines. Mechanical
current dictates a range of load tours. With a power amplifier, the tuners are more difficult to control
impedances into which useful power process is more correctly viewed as using a computer, and move very
can be delivered, as well as an loading to produce a desired power slowly from one impedance setting to
impedance for delivery of the maxi- output. As shown in the example of another.
mum power. The load impedance for Figure 12, the power and efficiency In an active load-pull system, a
maximum power results in drain contours are not necessarily aligned, second power source, synchronized in
voltage and current excursions from nor do maximum power and maxi- frequency and phase with the device
near zero to nearly the maximum mum efficiency necessarily occur for input excitation, is coupled into the
rated values. the same load impedance. Sets of output of the device. By controlling
The load impedances correspond- such “load-pull” contours are widely the amplitude and phase of the
ing to delivery of a given amount of used to facilitate design trade-offs. injected signal, a wide range of
RF power with a specified maximum Load-pull analyses are generally impedances can be simulated at the
drain voltage lie along parallel-resis- iterative in nature, as changing one output of the test device [33]. Such a

28 High Frequency Electronics
High Frequency Design
RF POWER AMPLIFIERS

system eliminates the expensive nents and are used primarily as and “shorted” means no more 1/10 to
tuners, but creates a substantial cali- chokes and by-passes. Matching, tun- 1/3 of the fundamental-frequency
bration challenge of its own. The wide ing, and filtering at microwave fre- impedance [FR17].
availability of turn-key load-pull sys- quencies are therefore accomplished A wide variety of class-F PAs have
tems has generally reduced the appli- with distributed (transmission-line) been implemented at UHF and
cation of active load-pull to situations networks. Proper operation of power microwave frequencies [36-41].
where mechanical or electronic tun- amplifiers at microwave frequencies Generally, only one or two harmonic
ing becomes impractical (e.g., mil- is achieved by providing the required impedances are controlled. In the X-
limeter-wave frequencies). drain-load impedance at the funda- band PA from [42], for example, the
mental and a number of harmonic output circuit provides a match at the
6c. STABILITY frequencies. fundamental and a short circuit at
The stability of a small-signal RF the second harmonic. The third-har-
amplifier is ensured by deriving a set Class F monic impedance is high, but not
of S-parameters from using mea- Class-F operation is specified in explicitly adjusted to be open. The 3-
sured data or a linear model, and terms of harmonic impedances, so it dB bandwidth of such an output net-
then establishing the value of the k- is relatively easy to see how trans- work is about 20 percent, and the effi-
factor stability parameter. If the k- mission-line networks are used. ciency remains within 10 percent of
factor is greater than unity, at the Methods for using transmission lines its maximum value over a bandwidth
frequency and bias level in question, in conjunction with lumped-element of approximately 10 to 15 percent.
then expressions for matching tuned circuits appear in the original Dielectric resonators can be used
impedances at input and output can paper by Tyler [34]. In modern in lieu of lumped-element traps in
be evaluated to give a perfect conju- microwave implementation, however, class-F PAs. Power outputs of 40 W
gate match for the device. Amplifier it is generally necessary to use trans- have been obtained at 11 GHz with
design in this context is mainly a mission lines exclusively. In addition, efficiencies of 77 percent [43].
matter of designing matching net- the required impedances must be
works which present the prescribed produced at a virtual ideal drain that Class E
impedances over the necessary speci- is separated from the output network The drain-shunt capacitance and
fied bandwidth. If the k factor is less by drain capacitance, bond-wire/lead series inductive reactance required
than unity, negative feedback or lossy inductance. for optimum class-E operation result
matching must be employed in order Typically, a transmission line in a drain impedance of R + j0.725R
to maintain an unconditionally stable between the drain and the load pro- at the fundamental frequency,
design. vides the fundamental-frequency –j1.7846R at the second harmonic,
A third case is relevant to PA drain impedance of the desired value. and proportionately smaller capaci-
design at higher microwave frequen- A stub that is a quarter wavelength tive reactances at higher harmonics.
cies. There are cases where a device at the harmonic of interest and open At microwave frequencies, class-E
has a very high k-factor value, but at one end provides a short circuit at operation is approximated by provid-
very low gain in conjugate matched the opposite end. The stub is placed ing the drain with the fundamental-
condition. The physical cause of this along the main transmission line at frequency impedance and preferably
can be traced to a device which has either a quarter or a half wavelength one or more of the harmonic
gain roll-off due to carrier-mobility from the drain to create either an impedances [44].
effects, rather than parasitics. In open or a short circuit at the drain An example of a microwave
such cases, introduction of some posi- [35]. The supply voltage is fed to the approximation of class E that pro-
tive feedback reduces the k-factor drain through a half-wavelength line vides the correct fundamental and
and increases the gain in conjugately bypassed on the power-supply end or second-harmonic impedances [44] is
matched conditions, while maintain- alternately by a lumped-element shown in Figure 13. Line l2 is a quar-
ing unconditional stability. This tech- choke. When multiple stubs are used, ter-wavelength long at the second
nique was much used in the early era the stub for the highest controlled harmonic so that the open circuit at
of vacuum-tube electronics, especially harmonic is placed nearest the drain. its end is transformed to a short at
in IF amplifiers. Stubs for lower harmonics are placed plane AA'. Line l1 in combination
progressively further away and their with L and C is designed to be also a
6d. MICROWAVE IMPLEMENTATION lengths and impedances are adjusted quarter wavelength to translate the
At microwave frequencies, lumped to allow for interactions. Typically, short at AA' to an open at the tran-
elements (capacitors, inductors) “open” means three to ten times the sistor drain. The lines l1 to l4 provide
become unsuitable as tuning compo- fundamental-frequency impedance, the desired impedance at the funda-

30 High Frequency Electronics
Figure 13 · Idealized microwave class-E PA circuit. Figure 14 · Example X-band class-E PA.

mental. The implementation using an power, but class F has about 15 per- HF/VHF Single Sideband
FLK052 MESFET is shown in Figure cent higher efficiency. Class E has the One of the first applications of
14 produces 0.68 W at X band with a highest efficiency. Gain compression RF-power transistors was linear
drain efficiency of 72 percent and occurs at a lower power level for class amplification of HF single-sideband
PAE of 60 percent [42]. E than for class F. For a given effi- signals. Many PAs developed by
Methods exist for providing the ciency, class F produces more power. Helge Granberg have been widely
proper impedances through the For the same maximum output adapted for this purpose [56, 57]. The
fourth harmonic [45]. However, the power, the third order intermodula- 300-W PA for 2 to 30 MHz uses a pair
harmonic impedances are not critical tion products are about 10 dB lower of Motorola MRF422 Si NPN transis-
[30], and many variations are there- for class F than for class E. Lower- tors in a push-pull configuration. The
fore possible. Since the transistor power PAs implemented with smaller PA operates in class AB push-pull
often has little or no gain at the high- RF power devices tend to be more from a 28-V supply and achieves a
er harmonic frequencies, those efficient than PAs implemented with collector efficiency of about 45 per-
impedances often have little or no larger devices [42]. cent (CW) and a two-tone IMD ratio
effect upon performance. A single- of about –30 dBc. The 1-kW amplifier
stub match is often sufficient to pro- Millimeter-Wave PAs is based upon a push-pull pair of
vide the desired impedance at the Solid-state PAs for millimeter- MRF154 MOSFETs and operates
fundamental while simultaneously wave (mm-W) frequencies (30 to 100 from a 50-V supply. Over the frequen-
providing an adequately high GHz) are predominantly monolithic. cy range of 2 to 50 MHz it achieves a
impedance at the second harmonic, Most Ka-band PAs are based upon drain efficiency of about 58 percent
thus eliminating the need for an pHEMT devices, while most W-band (CW) with an IMD rating of –30 dBc.
extra stub and reducing a portion of PAs are based upon InP HEMTs.
the losses associated with it. Most Some use is also made of HBTs at the 13.56-MHz ISM Power Sources
microwave class-E amplifiers operate lower mm-W frequencies. Class A is High-power signals at 13.56 MHz
in a suboptimum mode [46]. used for maximum gain. Typical per- are needed for a wide variety of
Demonstrated capabilities range formance characteristics include 4 W Industrial, Scientific, and Medical
from 16 W with 80-percent efficiency with 30-percent PAE at Ka band [53], (ISM) applications such as plasma
at UHF (LDMOS) to 100 mW with 250 mW with 25-percent PAE at Q generation, RF heating, and semicon-
60-percent efficiency at 10 GHz [47], band [54], and 200 mW with 10-per- ductor processing. A 400-W class-E
[48], [44], [49], [50], [51]. Optical sam- cent PAE at W band [55]. Devices for PA uses an International Rectifier
pling of the waveforms [52] has veri- operation at mm-W are inherently IRFP450LC MOSFET (normally
fied that these PAs do indeed operate small, so large power outputs are used for low-frequency switching-
in class E. obtained by combining the outputs of mode DC power supplies) operates
multiple low-power amplifiers in cor- from a 120-V supply and achieves a
Comparison porate or spatial power combiners. drain efficiency of 86 percent [58, 26].
PAs configured for classes A (AB), Industrial 13.56-MHz RF power gen-
E, and F are compared experimental- 6e. EXAMPLE APPLICATIONS erators using class-E output stages
ly in [50] with the following conclu- The following examples illustrate have been manufactured since 1992
sions. Classes AB and F have essen- the wide variety of power amplifiers by Dressler Hochfrequenztechnik
tially the same saturated output in use today: (Stolberg, Germany) and Advanced

July 2003 31
High Frequency Design
RF POWER AMPLIFIERS

Figure 16 · Output section of a 50-
Figure 15 · 3-kW high efficiency PA for 13.56 ISM-band operation. kW AM broadcast transmitter.
(Courtesy Advanced Energy) (Courtesy Harris)

Energy Industries (Ft. Collins, CO). MF AM Broadcast Transmitters 900-MHz Cellular-Telephone
They typically use RF-power Since the 1980s, AM broadcast Handset
MOSFETs with 500- to 900-V break- transmitters (530 to 1710 kHz) have Most 900-MHz CDMA handsets
down voltages made by Directed been made with class-D and -E RF- use power-amplifier modules from
Energy or Advanced Power output stages. Amplitude modulation vendors such as Conexant and RF
Technology and produce output pow- is produced by varying the supply Micro Devices. These modules typi-
ers of 500 W to with 3 kW with drain voltage of the RF PA with a high-effi- cally contain a single GaAs-HBT
efficiencies of about 90 percent. The ciency amplitude modulator. RFIC that includes a single-ended
Advanced Energy Industries amplifi- Transmitters made by Harris class-AB PA. Recently developed PA
er (Figure 15) uses thick-film-hybrid (Mason, Ohio) produce peak-envelope modules also include a silicon control
circuits to reduce size. This allows output powers of 58, 86, 150, 300, and IC that provides the base-bias refer-
placement inside the clean-room 550 kW (unmodulated carrier powers ence voltage and can be commanded
facilities of semiconductor-manufac- of 10, 15, 25, 50, and 100 kW). The to adjust the output-transistor base
turing plants, eliminating the need 100-kW transmitter combines the bias to optimize efficiency while
for long runs of coaxial cable from an output power from 1152 transistors. maintaining acceptably low amplifier
RF-power generator installed outside The output stages can use either distortion. over the full ranges of
the clean-room. bipolars or MOSFETs, typically oper- temperature and output power. A typ-
ate in class DE from a 300-V supply, ical module (Figure 17) produces 28
VHF FM Broadcast Transmitter and achieve an efficiency of 98 per- dBm (631 mW) at full output with a
FM-broadcast transmitters (88 to cent. The output section of the Harris PAE of 35 to 50 percent.
108 MHz) with power outputs from 3DX50 transmitter is shown in
50 W to 10 kW are manufactured by Figure 16. Cellular-Telephone Base
Broadcast Electronics (Quincy, Transmitters made by Broadcast Station Transmitter
Illinois). These transmitters use up to Electronics (Quincy, IL) use class-E The Spectrian MCPA 3060 cellu-
32 power-combined PAs based upon RF-output stages based upon lar base-station transmitter for 1840-
Motorola MRF151G MOSFETs. The APT6015LVR MOSFETs operating 1870 MHz CDMA systems provides
PAs operate in class C from a 44-V from 130-V maximum supply volt- up to 60-W output while transmitting
supply and achieve a drain efficiency ages. They achieve drain efficiencies a signal that may include as many 9
of 80 percent. Typically, about 6 per- of about 94 percent with peak-enve- modulated carriers. IMD is mini-
cent of the output power is dissipated lope output powers from 4.4 to 44 kW. mized by linearizing a class-AB main
in the power combiners, harmonic- The 44-kW AM-10A transmitter com- amplifier with both adaptive predis-
suppression filter, and lightning-pro- bines outputs from 40 individual out- tortion and adaptive feed-forward
tection circuit. put stages. cancellation. The adaptive control

32 High Frequency Electronics
High Frequency Design
RF POWER AMPLIFIERS

for next-generation wireless communi-
cations,” Microwave J., vol. 42, no. 2, pp.
22-42, Feb. 1999.
23. N. O. Sokal and A. D. Sokal,
“Class E—a new class of high efficiency
tuned single-ended switching power
amplifiers,” IEEE J. Solid-State
Circuits, vol. SC-10, no. 3, pp. 168-176,
June 1975.
24. F. H. Raab, “Effects of circuit
variations on the class E tuned power
Figure 17 · Internal view of a dual- amplifier,” IEEE J. Solid State Circuits,
band (GSM/DCS) PA module for vol. SC-13, no. 2, pp. 239-247, April
cellular telephone handsets. Figure 18 · Thick-film hybrid S-band 1978.
(Courtesy RF Micro Devices) PA module. (Courtesy UltraRF) 25. F. H. Raab, “Effects of VSWR
upon the class-E RF-power amplifier,”
Proc. RF Expo East ’88, Philadelphia,
system adjusts operation as needed GaAs MMIC Power Amplifier PA, pp. 299-309, Oct. 25-27, 1988.
to compensate for changes due to A MMIC PA for use from 8 to 14 26. J. F. Davis and D. B. Rutledge, “A
temperature, time, and output power. GHz is shown in Figure 19. This low-cost class-E power amplifier with
The required adjustments are amplifier is fabricated with GaAs sine-wave drive,” Int. Microwave Symp.
derived from continuous measure- HBTs and intended for used in Digest, vol. 2, pp. 1113-1116, Baltimore,
ments of the system response to a phased-array radar. It produces a 3- MD, June 7-11, 1998.
spread-spectrum pilot test signal. W output with a PAE of approxi- 27. T. B. Mader and Z. B. Popovic,
The amplifier consumes a maximum mately 40 percent [59]. “The transmission-line high-efficiency
of 810 W from a 27-V supply. class-E amplifier,” IEEE Microwave
References and Guided Wave Letters, vol. 5, no. 9,
S-Band Hybrid Power Module 19. H. L. Krauss, C. W. Bostian, and pp. 290-292, Sept. 1995.
A thick-film-hybrid power-ampli- F. H. Raab, Solid State Radio 28. D. C. Hamill, “Class DE invert-
fier module made by UltraRF (now Engineering, New York: Wiley, 1980. ers and rectifiers for DC-DC conver-
Cree Microwave) for 1805 to 1880 20. R. Gupta and D. J. Allstot, “Fully sion,” PESC96 Record, vol. 1, pp. 854-
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34 High Frequency Electronics
High Frequency Design
RF POWER AMPLIFIERS

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42. E. W. Bryerton, M. D. Weiss, and vol. 47, no.12, pp. 2599-2604, Dec. 1999.
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43 S. Toyoda, “Push-pull power Digest, vol. 3, pp. 947-950, Anaheim, rectly. The archived version has been
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1433-1436, Denver, CO, June 8-13, 1997. high-efficiency monolithic power ampli- com — click on “Archives,” select
44. T. B. Mader and Z. Popovic, “The fier using 0.1-µm pHEMTs,” IEEE “May 2003 — Vol. 2 No. 3” then click
transmission-line high-efficiency class- Microwave and Guided Wave Lett., on the article title.
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292, Sept. 1995. band solid-state MMIC high power sive issues through January 2004.

36 High Frequency Electronics