Millimeter-Wave Power Amplifier Integrated Circuits for High Dynamic Range Signals

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  • Author: Hua Wang; Peter M. Asbeck; Christian Fager

The next-generation 5G and beyond-5G wireless systems have stimulated a substantial growth in research, development, and deployment of mm-Wave electronic systems and antenna arrays at various scales. It is also envisioned that large dynamic range modulation signals with high spectral efficiency will be ubiquitously employed in future communication and sensing systems. As the interface between the antennas and transceiver electronics, power amplifiers (PAs) typically govern the output power, energy efficiency, and reliability of the entire wireless systems.

However, the wide use of high dynamic range signals at mm-Wave carrier frequencies substantially complicates the design of PAs and demands an ultimate balance of energy efficiency and linearity as well as other PA performances.

In this review paper, we will first introduce the system-level requirements and design challenges on mm-Waves PAs due to high dynamic range signals. We will review advanced active load modulation architectures for mm-Wave PAs and power devices. We will then introduce recent advances in mm-Wave PA technologies and innovations with several design examples. Special design considerations on mm-Wave PAs for phased array MIMOs and high mm-Wave frequencies will be outlined. We will also share our vision on future technology trends and innovation opportunities.

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