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A Surface-mount Plastic-packaged 1 to 18 GHz Low Noise Driver Amplifier

With the introduction of the MAAMGM0002, M/A-COM adds a cost-effective, highly manufacturable surface-mount plastic-packaged wideband driver amplifier to its array of standard products. The MAAMGM0002 provides 10 dB gain from 1 to 18 GHz, with a corresponding 4 dB typical noise figure and up to 21 dBm output power (P1dB). Applications include use as a low noise gain block or driver amplifier in test equipment or electronic warfare and radar systems.


The MAAMGM0002 amplifier is housed in a standard 5 mm FQFP-N 20 lead surface-mount plastic package. Inside is a single GaAs MMIC (MAAMGM0002-DIE), fabricated using the company’s highly robust Multifunction Self-aligned Gate (MSAG™) process.

No additional components are included in the package. The only external components required to use the MAAMGM0002 are 100 pF capacitors for VDS and VGS bypassing, placed as close as possible to the package leads. Low frequency bypassing may be performed further from the package.

The MAAMGM0002 is on-chip DC blocked and provides good match to 50 Ω at the input and output. Excellent performance, even to 18 GHz, is due to the low lead-frame parasitics of the plastic package.


Table 1 presents typical DC and RF performance characteristics for the MAAMGM0002 amplifier. The combination of high gain, low noise figure and high output power make for a component with wide application potential.

Figures 1 and 2 show typical gain and VSWR data at VDS = 3 and 5 V, respectively, for the packaged amplifier. Input and output VSWRs are fairly insensitive to drain bias, typically being better than 1.8 (–11 dB), degrading somewhat at the lower and upper band edges. For a given percentage IDSS bias point, the 3 V gain is approximately 0.5 dB higher than at 5 V.

Fig. 1 Small signal gain and input/output match at VDS = 3 V.

The MAAMGM0002 offers some amount of gain control as a function of gate bias. A 2 dB gain variation is evident going from 25 percent IDSS to 50 percent IDSS.

Fig. 2 Small signal gain and input/output match at VDS = 5 V.

Figures 3 and 4 show typical MAAMGM0002 noise figure and P1dB performance, respectively. 3 V operation provides approximately 0.25 dB noise figure improvement as compared to 5 V operation. A minimal change in noise figure (0.1 dB) is evident as a function of IDSS.

Fig. 3 Noise figure at VDS = 3 and 5 V.

The P1dB performance is more sensitive to VDS. At a given frequency, 5 V versus 3 V drain bias provides a 4 dB improvement in output power… 21 versus 17 dBm, typically, across the band. The data presented is for 50 percent IDSS bias.

Fig. 4 P1dB at VDS = 3 and 5 V.


The MAAMGM0002 amplifier is a cost-effective, manufacturing-friendly plastic-packaged broadband driver amplifier offering excellent performance from 1 to 18 GHz. Additional information on this part or the ability to request samples may be found on the company’s Web site at

M/A-COM Inc.,
a Tyco Electronics company,
Roanoke, VA
(800) 366-2266.

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