A. Wentzel, O. Hilt, J. Würfl and W. Heinrich
Int. J. Microwave Wireless Technolog., vol. 12, no. 10, Special Issue: EuMCE 2019 Special Issue Part II, pp. 945-953, doi:10.1017/S1759078720000380 (2020).
The paper presents a highly efficient GaN-based synchronous buck converter suitable for switching in the lower GHz range. The module includes a very compact 2-stage GaN half-bridge converter MMIC (monolithic microwave integrated circuit) for low parasitic inductances between switches and drivers and a hybrid output network with core-less inductors to avoid ferrite losses. At 1 GHz switching frequency the buck converter achieves with pulse-width modulated (PWM) input signals power loop conversion efficiencies up to 78% for 40 V operation and output voltages up to 33 V. For 100 MHz the power loop efficiencies peak at 87.5% for 14.5 W conversion to 25 V. By changing the output network to a 2nd order low-pass with 700 MHz cut-off frequency the module has been characterized for the use as a supply modulator in very broadband envelope tracking systems with modulation bandwidths of up to 500 MHz. For 1 GHz switching frequency the power-added efficiency peaks at 74% for a 90% duty-cycle PWM input signal. The novelty of this work is that for the first time a buck converter design proves highest flexibility supporting different applications from very compact DC converters to microwave power amplifier efficiency enhancement techniques as well as efficient high frequency switching up to 1 GHz.
Ferdinand-Braun-Institut, Leibniz-Institut für Höchstfrequenztechnik, Berlin, Germany
Buck converter; DC/DC converter; GaN;power amplifiers; envelope tracking
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