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  

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

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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.