Simultaneously Broadband and Back-Off Efficient mm-Wave PAs: A Multi-Port Network Synthesis Approach

Chandrakanth Reddy Chappidi, Xue Wu, Kaushik Sengupta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8399503
Pages (from-to)2543-2559
Number of pages17
JournalIEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • 5G
  • Doherty
  • PA
  • backoff
  • broadband
  • digital power amplifier (PA)
  • loadpull
  • millimeter-wave (mm-wave)
  • outphasing
  • power combining


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