Multi-Band Outphasing Power Amplifier Design for Mobile and Base Stations

New generations of wireless communication systems require linear efficient RF power amplifiers (PAs) for higher transmission data rates and longer battery life. On the contrary, conventional PAs are normally designed for peak efficiency under maximum output power (Pout). Thus, in power back-off, the overall efficiency degrades significantly and the average efficiency is much lower than the efficiency at maximum Pout. Chireix outphasing PA, also called LINC (Linear amplification using Non-linear Components), is one of the most promising techniques to improve the efficiency at power back-off. In this method, a variable envelope input signal is first decomposed into two constant-envelope phase-modulated signals and then amplified using two highly efficient non-linear PAs. The output signals are combined preferably in a loss-less power combiner to build the desired output signal. In this way, the PA exhibits high efficiency with good linearity. In this thesis, first we analyze a complex model of outphasing combiner considering its nonidealities such as reflection and loss in transmission lines (TL). Then we propose a compact model with analytical formula that is validated through several comparative tests using ADS and Spectre RF. Furthermore, we analyze the effect of reactive load in Chireix combiner with stubs (a parallel inductor and capacitor), while distinguishing between its capacitive and inductive parts. It is demonstrated that only the capacitive part of the reactive load degrades the performances. Based on this, a new architecture (Z LINC) is proposed where the power combiner is designed to provide a zero capacitive load to the PAs whatever the outphasing angle. The theory describing the operations of the system is developed and a 900 MHz classical LINC and Z-LINC PAs are designed and measured. In addition, a miniaturization technique is proposed which employs λ/8 or smaller TLs instead of conventional λ/4 TLs in outphasing power combiner. This technique is applied to implement a 900 MHz PA using LDMOS power transistors. Besides single-band PAs, dual-band PAs are more and more needed because of an increasing demand for wireless communication terminals to handle multi-band operation. In chapter 5, a new compact design approach for dual-band transmitters based on a reconfigurable outphasing combiner is proposed. The objective is to avoid the cumbersome implementations where several PAs and matching network are used in parallel. The technique is applied to design a dual band PA with a fully integrated power combiner in 90 nm CMOS technology. An inverter-based class D PA topology, particularly suitable for outphasing and multimode operations is presented. The TLs in the combiner, realized using a network of on-chip series inductors and parallel capacitors, are reconfigurable from λ/4 in 1800 MHz to λ/8 in 900 MHz. In order to maximize the efficiency, the on-chip inductors are implemented using high quality factor on chip slab inductors. The measured maximum Pout at 900/1800 MHz are 24.3 and 22.7 dBm with maximum efficiencies of 51% and 34% respectively.

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