A Review of 5G Power Amplifier Design at cm-Wave and mm-Wave Frequencies

The 5G wireless revolution presents some dramatic challenges to the design of handsets and communication infrastructures, as 5G targets higher than 10Gbps download speed using mm-Wave spectrum with MIMO antennas, connecting densely deployed wireless devices for Internet-of-Everything, and very small latency time for ultra reliable machine type communication, etc. The broadband modulation bandwidth for 5G RF transmitters demands high-power efficiency and stringent linearity from its power amplifier.

Additionally, the phased-array MIMO antennas with numerous RF front-ends will require unprecedented high integration level with low cost, making the design of 5G PA one of the most challenging tasks. As the cm-Wave 5G systems will probably be deployed on themarket earlier than their mm-Wave counterparts, this paper reviews the latest development on 15 GHz and 28 GHz 5G cm-Wave PAs extensively, while also covering some key mm-Wave PAs in the literature. The review focuses on the available options of device technologies, novel circuit and system architectures, and efficiency enhancement techniques at power back-off for 5G PA design.