A 26 GHz GaN-MMIC with Integrated Switches for Discrete Level Supply Modulation

O. Bengtsson, S. Paul, C. Schulze, S. Chevtchenko, and W. Heinrich

Published in:

IEEE MTT-S Int. Microw. Symp. Dig., Atlanta, USA, Jun. 20-25, Virtual Event, ISBN 978-1-6654-0307-8, pp. 527-530 (2021).

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Abstract:

A GaN-MMIC power amplifier (PA) for 5G applications in the 24 - 28 GHz frequency range with integrated multi-supply switches is presented. It is a three-stage conceptual design developed for the investigation of multi-stage discrete level supply modulated systems (class-G). The MMIC that was fabricated in the FBH 150 nm GaN-HEMT process includes reconfigurable power-supplies for two PA stages where the middle stage can be boosted with a high-level drain supply and the final-stage PA allows 3 levels of drain supply. The investigated amplifier shows 1.9 W peak output power at 26.4 GHz and a maximum PAE of 18.5%. A quasi-static evaluation shows a possible efficiency improvement of 5%-points at 5dB output power back-off including static losses in the switches. The integrated planar diodes in the class-G switches show a forward voltage drop of more than 1.5 V severely reducing the performance at low-voltage operation.

Ferdinand-Braun-Institut, Leibniz-Institut für Höchstfrequenztechnik (FBH), 12489 Berlin, Germany

Keywords:

power amplifiers, envelope tracking, supply modulation, gallium nitride.