Automatic Hardware Reconfiguration for Current Reduction at Low Power in RFIC PAs

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  • Author: Peter Zampardi
This paper presents a novel hardware reconfiguration technique implemented in a dual integrated-circuit (IC) GaAs HBT power amplifier (PA) design and demonstrates reduced current and improved efficiency at low power. The method automatically reconfigures the hardware of an RF IC PA over a given power
transmission. Hardware interfacing and synchronization from outside the PA is minimized, and automatic gain compensation upon hardware reconfiguration is achieved with minimal temperaturedependant calibration. The challenge of integrating such complex on-chip hardware functions in a GaAs HBT technology was circumvented by the introduction of a gating concept used in conjunction with envelope feedback, and careful tradeoffs between circuit complexity and performance. Designs that suit the on-chip integration of the technique in GaAs HBT or Si bipolar junction transistor technologies are described. Experimental data are reported to support the proposed method.