5W X-Band GaN Power Amplifier Using a Commercially Available Discrete Plastic Packaged SMT Transistor

This paper describes the design of a single stage 5W X-Band GaN Power Amplifier using a low-cost SMT packaged transistor. The amplifier is optimized for the 9.3 to 9.5 GHz band, has 11 dB small signal gain, provides more than +37 dBm output power at 3 dB gain compression with a corresponding drain efficiency of greater than 55%. The design is based on a commercially available discrete 0.25µm GaN transistor, housed in an over-molded SMT plastic package mounted on Rogers 4003 PCB. Fast drain switching circuitry is also included on the same PCB to facilitate pulsed operation with a turn-on time of just 20ns. The discrete GaN transistor is available from Qorvo as the TGF2977-SM.