DOI: 10.3390/electronics12173566 ISSN:

A Wideband Power Amplifier in 65 nm CMOS Covering 25.8 GHz–36.9 GHz by Staggering Tuned MCRs

Zhiqiang Wang, Xiaosong Wang, Yu Liu
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Signal Processing
  • Control and Systems Engineering

Broadband millimeter-wave power amplifiers have attracted much attention and have wide applications for 5G communication, satellite communication, radar, sensing, etc. Yet, it is challenging to design a power amplifier with broadband small-signal gain and power performance simultaneously. In this study, a transformer-based symmetrical magnetically coupled resonator (MCR) matching network for broadband output matching and stagger-tuned MCRs are used to achieve both broadband small- and large-signal performance. Also, to enhance the gain for the power amplifier, a three-stage common-source pseudo-differential structure is adopted to mitigate the low-gain issue due to stagger tuning, and the shunt resistors aimed to decrease the Q factor of the MCRs. We used the in-phase two-way current combined with microstrip transmission lines to increase the output power. Designed in 65 nm bulky CMOS technology, the power amplifier presents a 3 dB small-signal gain bandwidth from 25.8 GHz to 36.9 GHz, indicating a peak gain of 25.87 dB at 30.5 GHz. The power amplifier demonstrates a 17.84 dBm saturated output power (Psat) at 31 GHz and a 24.37% peak power added efficiency (PAEmax) at 28 GHz. The power amplifier achieves a flat Psat of 17.44 ± 0.4 dBm, a PAEmax of 22.59 ± 1.78%, and an OP1dB of 13.78 ± 0.31 dBm from 26 GHz to 36 GHz.

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