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Design and Characterization of a 1-Watt Driver Amplifier for Wireless Infrastructure
High Frequency Electronics (2009)
  • Chin-Leong Lim

Variable gain amplifiers (VGA) find application in RF systems wherever the signal amplitude must be varied in reaction to a changing environment. Transmitters' driver stage utilize VGAs to conserve power under good propagation conditions and to minimize interference to adjacent sites. Cellular base-station receivers use VGAs in the 2nd/3rd stage LNA to prevent mixer/DAC overloading. Commercially available L-band VGA devices require 14 to 19 external components and have modest linearity-to-power consumption ratio (OIP3 / Pdc). To achieve the industry's lowest component count and best linearity-to-power ratio, we developed a highly integrated VGA module from 0.25 x 3900 um enhancement-mode Pseudomorphic High-Electron-Mobility Transistor (epHEMT) and silicon PIN diode technologies in a multiple-chips-on-board (MCOB) assembly measuring 5.0 x 8.0 x 1.1 mm3. This paper describes the module design, fabrication and characterization. The module is capable of 1W output over 1.6-2.4 GHz, OIP3 / Pdc of 25.1 and only requires 4 external components. In conclusion, our design has one-third the external component count and the highest OIP3 / Pdc linearity figure of merit in comparison to competing designs

  • Variable gain amplifier,
  • VGA
Publication Date
November, 2009
Citation Information
Chin-Leong Lim. "Design and Characterization of a 1-Watt Driver Amplifier for Wireless Infrastructure" High Frequency Electronics (2009)
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