Technical Education Webinar Series
Title: Design of X-band GaN Power Amplifiers
Date: May 4, 2021
Time: 8am PT / 11am ET
Sponsored by: Wolfspeed
Presented by: Dr. Robert Smith, Senior Consultant Engineer, PRFI Ltd.
The 0.15µm GaN-on-SiC process from Wolfspeed (V5) is used to design and simulate a high-efficiency two-stage X-band PA. Typical applications include phased-array radar for weather, fire-control and air-traffic control. GaN is recognised as the leading semiconductor technology for solid-state microwave PAs. Short gate length GaN processes such as the V5 process used here can provide useful operation to Ka-band and allow higher gain per stage at lower microwave frequencies. The Wolfspeed V5 process also has the advantage of allowing operation at 28V, which increases power density and enables high efficiency performance.
The webinar discusses preliminary microwave PA design considerations such as MMIC process selection and transistor sizing and biasing. The power combining of multiple transistors, matching considerations, and load-pull simulations are then outlined. Finally, examples of GaN PA designs are provided.
Dr. Robert Smith received his PhD in microwave engineering from Cardiff University in the UK in 2013, specializing in broadband power amplifier design. He subsequently worked for Thales in the Netherlands where he designed transmitter modules for active phased array radar. As a Senior Consultant Engineer at PRFI Ltd., he designs pioneering millimeter-wave compound semiconductor integrated circuits for 5G communications as well as high performance power amplifiers.
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