Design and evaluation of a 5-W X-band PA using a low-cost plastic-packaged GaN transistor: Page 7 of 7

June 06, 2016 //By Stuart Glynn, Tony Richards and Liam Devlin, 
Plextek RFI
This article describes the design of a single stage 5-W X-band GaN Power Amplifier using a low-cost SMT packaged transistor. The amplifier is optimized for the 9.3 to 9.5 GHz band: it has 11 dB small signal gain, and provides more than +37 dBm output power at 3 dB gain compression with a corresponding drain efficiency of greater than 55%. The design is based on a commercially available discrete 0.25µm GaN transistor, housed in an over-moulded SMT plastic package mounted on Rogers 4003 PCB. Fast drain switching circuitry is also included on the same PCB to facilitate pulsed operation with a turn-on time of just 20ns.

Summary

This article has demonstrated that excellent performance at X-band can be realized from a GaN transistor housed in an over-moulded SMT plastic package such as the TGF2977-SM from Qorvo. A single-stage power amplifier based on this device was designed for optimum performance in the range 9.3 - 9.5 GHz. At mid-band under nominal conditions, the amplifier has over 11 dB small signal gain, and provides over +37 dBm output power at 3 dB compression with a corresponding drain efficiency of 57%.

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