Experimental Study on CDMA GaAs HBT MMIC Power Amplifier Layout Design for Reducing Turn-On Delay in Transient Response

Kazuya YAMAMOTO  Miyo MIYASHITA  Takayuki MATSUZUKA  Tomoyuki ASADA  Kazunobu FUJII  Satoshi SUZUKI  Teruyuki SHIMURA  Hiroaki SEKI  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Electronics   Vol.E100-C   No.6   pp.618-631
Publication Date: 2017/06/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1353
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Microwaves, Millimeter-Waves
heterojunction bipolar transistors (HBTs),  MMIC,  CDMA,  parallel-amplifier-chain topology,  transient response,  thermal coupling,  

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This paper describes, for the first time, an experimental study on the layout design considerations of GaAs HBT MMIC switchable-amplifier-chain-based power amplifiers (SWPAs) for CDMA handsets. The transient response of the quiescent current and output power (Pout) in GaAs HBT power amplifiers that consist of a main chain and a sub-chain is often affected by a thermal coupling between power stages and their bias circuits in the same chain or a thermal coupling between power stages and/or their bias circuits in different chains. In particular, excessively strong thermal coupling inside the MMIC SWPA causes failure in 3GPP-compliant inner loop power control tests. An experimental study reveals that both the preheating in the main/sub-chains and appropriate thermal coupling inside the main chain are very effective in reducing the turn-on delay for the two-parallel-amplifier-chain topology; for example, i) the sub-power stage is arranged near the main power stage, ii) the sub-driver stage is placed near the main driver stage and iii) the main driver bias circuit is placed near the main power stage and the sub-power stage. The SWPA operating in Band 9 (1749.9 to 1784.9 MHz), which was designed and fabricated from the foregoing considerations, shows a remarkable improvement in the Pout turn-on delay: a reduced power level error of 0.74 dB from turn-off to turn-on in the sub-amplifier chain and a reduced power level error of over 0.30 dB from turn-off to turn-on in the main amplifier chain. The main RF power measurements conducted with a 3.4-V supply voltage and a Band 9 WCDMA HSDPA modulated signal are as follows. The SWPA delivers a Pout of 28.5 dBm, a power gain (Gp) of 28 dB, and a PAE of 39% while restricting the ACLR1 to less than -40 dBc in the main amplifier chain. In the sub-amplifier chain, 17 dBm of Pout, 23.5 dB of Gp, and 27% of PAE are obtained at the same ACLR1 level.