Basics of Power Amplifier and Front End Module Measurements

The power amplifier (PA) is one of the most integral RF integrated circuits (RFICs) in the modern radio. Whether it is a discrete component or part of an integrated front end module (FEM), the PA can dramatically affect the performance of a wireless transmitter. For example, a cellular PA’s power added efficiency (PAE) can significantly affect the battery life of a mobile device, and its linearity can affect the ability of a receiver to demodulate a transmitted signal.