An X-band GaN PA MMIC for phased array radar applications: Page 6 of 6

June 29, 2017 // By Stuart Glynn and Liam Devlin, Plextek RFI
Active phased array radars require numerous power amplifiers (PAs), which must be small, efficient and low-cost. This article describes an X-band PA MMIC that covers 9 to 11.5 GHz and satisfies these requirements. It has an output power of 7W (38.5 dBm) from a 29 dBm drive with a Power Added Efficiency (PAE) of 42%.

The measured and simulated power transfer characteristics at 9.7 GHz are plotted in Figure 6, demonstrating very good agreement.

Figure 6: Measured and modelled power transfer characteristics at 9.7 GHz.

Summary and Conclusions

Details of the design, realisation and measured performance of a 9 to 11.5 GHz GaN PA MMIC have been presented. The amplifier was realised on the GH25 GaN MMIC process of UMS and designed using the UMS PDK on ADS 2015. It was designed with active phased array radars in mind, and generates an RF output power of 38.5 dBm (7W) from an input drive of 29 dBm with a PAE of 42%. Quiescent bias is 25V and 90mA. A summary of the measured performance of the GaN PA is presented in Table 2.

Table 2: Performance summary of the GaN PA MMIC.


[1]  Theodore S. Rappaport, NYU Wireless, “Millimeter Wave Mobile Communications for 5G Cellular: It Will Work!”, IEEE Access 30th May 2013
[2]  Wonbin Hong, Samsung Electronics, “Design and Analysis of a Low-Profile 28GHz Beam Steering Antenna Solution for Future 5G Cellular Applications”, IEEE MTT-S International, June 2014
[3]  Liam Devlin, “The Design of Integrated Switches and Phase Shifters”, Proceedings of the IEE Tutorial Colloquium on “Design of RFICs and MMICs”, Wednesday 24th November 1999, pp 2/1-14

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