Experimental Design Method for High-Efficiency Microwave Power Amplifiers Based on a Low-Frequency Active Harmonic Load-Pull Technique

Ryo ISHIKAWA  Yoichiro TAKAYAMA  Kazuhiko HONJO  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Electronics   Vol.E99-C    No.10    pp.1147-1155
Publication Date: 2016/10/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1353
DOI: 10.1587/transele.E99.C.1147
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on Microwave and Millimeter-Wave Technology)
high efficiency,  power amplifier,  active load-pull,  harmonic tuning,  

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A novel experimental design method based on a low-frequency active load-pull technique that includes harmonic tuning has been proposed for high-efficiency microwave power amplifiers. The intrinsic core component of a transistor with a maximum oscillation frequency of more than several tens of gigahertz can be approximately assumed as the nonlinear current source with no frequency dependence at an operation frequency of several gigahertz. In addition, the reactive parasitic elements in a transistor can be omitted at a frequency of much less than 1GHz. Therefore, the optimum impedance condition including harmonics for obtaining high efficiency in a nonlinear current source can be directly investigated based on a low-frequency active harmonic load-pull technique in the low-frequency region. The optimum load condition at the operation frequency for an external load circuit can be estimated by considering the properties of the reactive parasitic elements and the nonlinear current source. For an InGaAs/GaAs pHEMT, active harmonic load-pull considering up to the fifth-order harmonic frequency was experimentally carried out at the fundamental frequency of 20MHz. By using the estimated optimum impedance condition for an equivalent nonlinear current source, high-frequency amplifiers were designed and fabricated at the 1.9-GHz, 2.45-GHz, and 5.8-GHz bands. The fabricated amplifiers exhibited maximum drain efficiency values of 79%, 80%, and 74% at 1.9GHz, 2.47GHz, and 5.78GHz, respectively.