Spectrally efficient operation with high power and high efficiency at deep backoff will be critical for the next generation of millimeter-wave (mm-wave) transmitters for 5G and beyond. In addition, as larger non-contiguous chunks of the mm-wave spectrum open up, dynamic frequency reconfiguration while ensuring high spectral and energy efficiency can become a key toward optimal utilization of spectral resources. In this paper, we present a generalized network synthesis approach that enables simultaneous frequency and back-off reconfigurability in an mm-wave power amplifier (PA) architecture to maintain high-efficiency operation with spectrally efficient codes across a wide frequency range. We show that frequency reconfigurability and back-off enhancement can be treated in a similar fashion with dynamic impedance synthesis. The method is based on the synthesis of a multi-port combiner network that exploits the interaction of mm-wave DAC cells switched asymmetrically to synthesize the optimal impedances across the 2-D space of reconfiguration: frequency and backoff. As a proof of concept, a PA is presented in 0.13-μ m SiGe BiCMOS process, which operates across 30-55 GHz with peak Psat of 23.7 dBm at 40 GHz, output collector efficiency η out of 34.5% and 22% at the 0- and -6-dB backoff, respectively. The PA maintains ηout > 16% at -6-dB backoff across the range. Non-constant modulation is demonstrated with data rates up to 4 Gb/s across the frequencies from 30 to 50 GHz.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering
- digital power amplifier (PA)
- millimeter-wave (mm-wave)
- power combining