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Design Simulation and Fabrication of Hybrid Circuits for RF Power Amplifiers Used in LTE Base Stations

Shalini T S Department of Telecomminication Engineering Siddaganga Institute of Technology Tumkuru, India

tss100shalini@gmail.com

R N Sathisha,M. Tech

AbstractPower amplifiers are used to convert a small high frequency signal to large high frequency signal for transmission through a microwave antenna to another microwave antenna. As the required distance between the microwave antenna increases, more power is required at the base station in order to transmit. The transistor used here is the CREE CGH40010 transistor, Using these transistor specifications and characterizations, The theoretical amplifier gain is 19dB. The simulated gain before tuning is 11dB. The tuned amplifier, i,e adjusting the matching network in real-time is 18dB. The two stage power amplifier gain is 33.41dB.

Keywords— Power Amplifier, Hybrid Circuits, LTE, AWR Microwave office, Amplifier characterization, X-band, PAE.

I.

INTRODUCTION

Power amplifiers are electronic devices which converts DC power into high microwave power thereby generating high frequency, large voltage and current waveforms. They are one of the indispensable parts of high frequency systems including radars, commercial wireless communication tools such as cell phones, microwave heating devices etc. The transistor used here is the CREE CGH40010 transistor, Cree’s CGH40010 is an unmatched, gallium nitride (GaN) high electron mobility transistor (HEMT). This transistor operating from a 28 volt rail, by offering a general purpose and broadband solution to a variety of RF and microwave applications. GaN HEMTs offers a high efficiency, high gain and wide bandwidth capabilities which makes the CGH40010 transistor ideal for linear and compressed amplifier circuits. This transistor is characterized at the quiescent operating point with targeted frequency of 2.5 GHz. Microwave power amplifier is one of the most vital

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Department of Telecommunication Engineering Siddaganga Institute of Technology Tumkuru, India satisharyan@gmail.com

components used in modern wireless communication systems not only for mobile communication, but also used in radar, electronic warfare, satellite communication, medical imaging applications. The requirements that must be satisfied by a power amplifier differs significantly from one application to another, different performance parameters should be optimized for each application. Generally, power amplifier is a electronic device that uses DC power to increase the power level of an input signal which is defined in a specific frequency band. Microwave power amplifiers are devices that operate in microwave frequency regime of radio frequency spectrum so that they are intended to use in high frequency applications.

II. DESIGN FLOW

so that they are intended to use in high frequency applications. II. DESIGN FLOW Figure 1.

Figure 1. RF power Amplifier Design Steps

III.

CHARACTERIZATION

Transistor characterization is performed by a curve tracer element which is available in AWR microwave office tool that steps the voltage from gate to source and sweeps the voltage

from drain to source. The corresponding IV curve is plotted in Figure 4. The data sheet summary is shown below, The CGH40010 is a 10 W, DC - 6 GHz, RF Power GaN HEMT. Features:

1. Up to 6 GHz Operation

2. 16 dB Small Signal Gain at 2.0 GHz

3. 14 dB Small Signal Gain at 4.0 GHz

4. 13 W typical PSAT

5. 65 % Efficiency at PSAT

6. 28 V Operation

Applications:

1. 2-Way Private Radio

2. Broadband Amplifiers

3. Cellular Infrastructure

4. Test Instrumentation

5. Class A, AB, Linear amplifiers suitable for OFDM, W-CDMA, EDGE, CDMA waveforms.

amplifiers suitable for OFDM, W-CDMA, EDGE, CDMA waveforms. Figure 2. Curve Tracer Setup A. Transfer Characteristics

Figure 2. Curve Tracer Setup

A. Transfer Characteristics of a Transistor

Field effect transistors are voltage-controlled current sources (VCCS), the transfer characteristics of a transistor is shown in Fig 4. When Vgs is below the threshold voltage ,the drain current Ids will be zero. Suppose if there is an increase in Vgs, the transistor reaches turned on region. As soon as the transistor enters into turned on region, Ids increases in a non linear manner. And finally, Ids will remain almost constant.

linear manner. And finally, Ids will remain almost constant. ​ Figure 3. FET VCCS Characterstics In

Figure 3. FET VCCS Characterstics

In the turned–on region, the non-linearity of the transistor can be read as a linear system , if the gate voltage level is very low, that is known as a small signal analysis.

level is very low, that is known as a small signal analysis. Figure 4. CGH40010 IV

Figure 4. CGH40010 IV curve

The above figure shows the gain versus frequency IV curve for the CGH40010 transistor.

IV. DESIGN OF POWER AMPLIFIER

Before designing the power amplifier, It is very essential to check whether the transistor is stable or not, If the transistor is stable we can proceed for the designing of matching networks, otherwise designing of stability network is done first then proceed for the designing of the matching circuits using distributed elements or lumped elements based on the frequency of operation whether low frequency or high frequency.

A. Stability

The first and very important parameter expected from a power amplifier is not to oscillate. Due to the internal feedback mechanism inside the transistors, the part of the output signal may going to fed back to the input side and if actual input

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signal and feedback signal may somehow have same phases then they will add up and create oscillations. This process is generated intentionally in oscillator circuits but for an power amplifier it is hazardous and degrades the performance of an amplifier. Therefore, after choosing the class of operation, stability analysis of a transistor should be done and a stability circuit must be designed if necessary. The stability criteria design equations are given below:

1. K-Δ Test

2. K-B1 Test

Where Stability factor K is given by:

K-Δ Test 2. K-B1 Test Where Stability factor K is given by: , K >1 ,

, K >1

K-B1 Test Where Stability factor K is given by: , K >1 , B > 0
K-B1 Test Where Stability factor K is given by: , K >1 , B > 0

, B > 0

Where Stability factor K is given by: , K >1 , B > 0 ​ Figure

Figure 5. Circuit diagram for S parameters

As we already mentioned in the above, the stability test criteria test should satisfy for the transistor to be stable, the stability factor K and B1 are simulated in the AWR microwave office as shown in the below Figure.6

in the AWR microwave office as shown in the below Figure.6 3 Figure 6.Stability measurement [AWR

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Figure 6.Stability measurement [AWR screenshot]

From the above graph plotted in AWR Simulation tool, the stability factor K is 0.7601 which does not satisfy the stability test and B1 is 1.569 which is greater than zero, from the graph we can conclude that the transistor is not stable, It is very essential to make the transistor stable by adding a stability network to the transistor.

B. Stability Network

To obtain a PA which is unconditionally stable at all frequencies and at all impedances seen by transistor, the designer, most probably, needs to add a stability network to

the circuit. In Figure 7, two different stability circuit topologies are shown. Due to the ease of implementation using microstrip circuits, the stability circuit topology shown in the Figure 7-a is chosen in this work. As frequency increases, the physical sizes of circuit elements

will become comparable with wavelength and all circuit elements will behave as distributed elements in reality. The proposed R-C network is designed and realized using distributed resistance and capacitance which will have parasitic components around actual elements.

which will have parasitic components around actual elements. Figure 7. Stability network topologies The stability

Figure 7. Stability network topologies

The stability topology Figure 7.a is chosen and the stability network is designed as shown in the below figure

and the stability network is designed as shown in the below figure Figure 8. Stability network

Figure 8. Stability network for a CGH40010 transistor

C. Input Matching

The input matching is done using distributed elements and the corresponding gain variation graph is plotted as shown below:

gain variation graph is plotted as shown below: Figure 9. Input Matching [AWR Screenshot] Figure 10.

Figure 9. Input Matching [AWR Screenshot]

as shown below: Figure 9. Input Matching [AWR Screenshot] Figure 10. Variation of Gain With Input

Figure 10. Variation of Gain With Input Matching.

D. Output Matching

The output matching is done at the load side in order to match the 50ohm source to the 50ohm load, similar to the input matching, the output matching is done using distributed elements and the corresponding gain for output matching is plotted as shown in below figure,

Figure 11. Output matching [AWR Screenshot]

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below figure, Figure 11. Output matching [AWR Screenshot] 4 Figure 12. Variation Of Gain With Output

Figure 12. Variation Of Gain With Output Matching

V. BIAS NETWORK

If bias network elements are not used as matching elements then input impedance of the bias network will be very high, ideally open circuit, compared to 50 ohms to isolate the bias network from matching circuits at high frequencies. Bias networks can be designed using RF chokes for low frequency amplifiers. Bias networks are designed using λ/4 transmission lines at microwave frequencies. The figure 13 shows the designed biasing network for the power amplifier design using two inductors, the baising network had been designed with two voltage sources because it is easy to measure with the two voltage sources independently Vgs=-2.25V, Vdd=28V.

to measure with the two voltage sources independently Vgs=-2.25V, Vdd=28V. Figure 13. Biasing network [AWR Screenshot]

Figure 13. Biasing network [AWR Screenshot]

usually should not exceed 4, and the fourth one is usually a buffer or a 2x multiplier. Using our previous designed microwave power amplifier, a two stage amplifier is designed as shown in Figure 17, and the simulation results are presented.

Figure 14. Power Amplifier Gain without matching
Figure 14. Power Amplifier Gain without matching
presented. Figure 14. Power Amplifier Gain without matching Figure 17. Gain of two stage power amplifier.

Figure 17. Gain of two stage power amplifier.

CONCLUSION

In this paper, we have successfully simulated two microwave amplifier designs, the single stage power amplifier, and the two stage amplifier. The single stage power amplifier gain at 2.5GHz is 11dB.The tuned single stage amplifier gain i.e adjusting matching network real-time, is 18 dB. The two stage amplifier gain with tuned network is 33 dB.

Figure 15. Transducer gain and return loss of amplifier circuit plotted on a power gain in dB. vs frequency set of axes.

VI. TWO STAGE POWER AMPLIFIER

dB. vs frequency set of axes. VI. TWO STAGE POWER AMPLIFIER Figure 16. Two Stage Power

Figure 16. Two Stage Power Amplifiers

The two stage power amplifier is designed in order to increase the gain, in a single stage amplifier does not have the required gain. So does a two stage amplifier design which produce a 18Db + 18Db gain. The second transistor would saturate and which generates a lot of noise. In designing a multiple stage amplifier, it is very important to limit the noise from being amplified. In doing so, the first stage would have the maximum gain and every succeeding stage would be at least half the previous stage with the last stage having only a gain of 2. By having a large number of amplifiers in series has diminishing returns. The number of amplifiers in series

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