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Practical Simulation and Design of Broadband GaN RF Power Amplifiers – How Close are We to Right First Time Now?

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9/17/14 11:00 am to 9/17/14 12:00 pm EDT

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Technical Education Webinar Series

Title: Practical Simulation and Design of Broadband GaN RF Power Amplifiers – How Close are we to Right First Time Now?

Date & Time: September 17, 2014; 8am PT/ 11am ET/ 3pm UTC

Sponsored by: National Instruments (formerly AWR Corp.) and Cree Inc.

Presented by: Dominic FitzPatrick, Specialist Consultant in RF and Microwave Amplifier Design, PoweRFul Microwave

Abstract:
Those with little experience of RF design are often puzzled when experienced engineers will put a number of design iterations in a project plan. “Don’t you know what you’re doing” has been a question put. In response, engineers will often complain about the lack of information on the parts that they are using, that it isn’t like we aren’t trying to get it right!

We have come a long way from designing amplifiers from a set of small signal S-parameters (that we had no idea as to how representative of production devices they were) and tuning on the bench. This webinar, through the design and test of a 100 to 1000 MHz 100 W amplifier, will hope to show that with the latest generation of nonlinear device models, fast and accurate simulation tools, attention to detail and a good understanding of device operation, we can get very close to the predicted device performance on the first prototype.

Will we risk skipping the prototype stage in the future? Probably not, but program plans will become less risky, and we will definitely be a step closer to providing optimal power solutions, without having to include excessive margins on our amplifiers or alternatively ‘shoe-horn’ an extra stage in at the last minute!

This presentation will start with a review of the characteristics of the latest generation of Cree’s 50 V GaN 100 W transistor and using Microwave Office nonlinear simulation software, the design of a 100 to 1000 MHz amplifier stage. The manufactured stage will be compared with the simulated performance. The practicalities of such a design will be discussed including the modelling of passive components and the bias circuits for such an amplifier.

This webinar should be of interest to those currently involved in the design of high power amplifiers as well as students intending to undertake such projects, as well as system and project engineers wishing to get a better understanding of the processes involved and the best tools available for crafting RF and Microwave amplifiers.

Presenter Bio:
Dominic FitzPatrick has been involved with the design of solid state RF & Microwave amplifiers since the early ‘80s. He holds a B.Sc. and M.Sc. (Solid State Microwave Physics) from the University of Portsmouth, England, and a PhD from Cardiff University, Wales. He has been the Technical Director of two UK companies designing and manufacturing SSPAs. In 2010 he started Powerful Microwave, a consultancy specialising in the design and manufacture of solid state RF & Microwave amplifiers. He is a co-author of “The Handbook of RF and Microwave Power Amplifiers”, Cambridge University Press.

As a consultant with Powerful Microwave he has concentrated on developing RF and Microwave amplifier solutions for external customers. This works has covered 30MHz to 30GHz and power levels up to 20kW (not at 30GHz!). Dominic is also committed to the sharing of RF and Microwave learning through the webinars he has presented with Microwave Journal, training courses he has delivered and his membership of the RF & Microwave Society in the UK.

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