Design and Measurements of Two-Gain-Mode GaAs-BiFET MMIC Power Amplifier Modules with Small Phase Discontinuity for WCDMA Data Communications

Kazuya YAMAMOTO  Miyo MIYASHITA  Kenji MUKAI  Shigeru FUJIWARA  Satoshi SUZUKI  Hiroaki SEKI  

Publication
IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Electronics   Vol.E101-C   No.1   pp.65-77
Publication Date: 2018/01/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1353
DOI: 10.1587/transele.E101.C.65
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Microwaves, Millimeter-Waves
Keyword: 
WCDMA,  MMIC,  step attenuator,  two gain modes,  directional coupler,  heterojunction bipolar transistors (HBTs),  

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Summary: 
This paper describes the design and measurements of two-gain-mode MMIC power amplifier modules (PAMs) for Band 1 and Band 5 WCDMA data communications. The PAMs are based on the two-stage single-chain amplifier topology with an L-shaped FET step attenuator (ATT) placed at the interstage, featuring not only high-efficiency operation but also both a small phase discontinuity and a small input return loss variation between the two gain modes: a high-gain mode (0-dB thru state for the ATT) and a low-gain mode (14-dB attenuation state for the ATT). The PAMs are assembled on a 3 mm × 3 mm FR-4 laminate together with several surface mount devices, and a high-directivity, 20-dB bilayer-type directional coupler is integrated on the laminate for accurate forward-power monitoring even under a 2.5:1-VSWR load mismatching condition. To validate the design and analysis for the PAMs using the L-shaped ATT, two PAM products — a Band 1 PAM and a Band 5 PAM — were fabricated using our in-house GaAs-BiFET process. The main RF measurements under the condition of a WCDMA (R99) modulated signal and a 3.4-V supply voltage are as follows. The Band 1 PAM can deliver a power-added efficiency (PAE) as high as 46% at an output power (Pout) of 28.25 dBm while maintaining a ±5-MHz-offset adjacent channel power ratio (ACLR1) of approximately -40 dBc or less and a small phase discontinuity of less than 5°. The Band 5 PAM can also deliver a high PAE of 46% at the same Pout and ACLR1 levels with small phase discontinuity of less than 4°. This small discontinuity is due to the phase-shift compensation capacitance embedded in the ATT. The measured input return loss is well maintained at better than 10 dB at the two modes. In addition, careful coupler design achieves a small detection error of less than 0.5 dB even under a 2.5:1-VSWR load mismatching condition.