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8-42 GHz GaN non-uniform distributed power amplifier MMICs in microstrip technology

: Dennler, P.; Schwantuschke, D.; Quay, R.; Ambacher, O.


Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers -IEEE-:
IEEE MTT-S International Microwave Symposium, IMS 2012 : 17-22 June 2012, Montreal, QC, Canada
New York, NY: IEEE, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-4673-1088-8
ISBN: 978-1-4673-1085-7 (Print)
ISBN: 978-1-4673-1086-4 (Online)
ISBN: 978-1-4673-1087-1
3 pp.
International Microwave Symposium (IMS) <2012, Montréal>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IAF ()
AlGaN/GaN; distributed amplifiers; NDPA; broadband amplifiers; HEMTs; Q-band; MMW; MMIC

This paper reports on two wide bandwidth monolithic power amplifiers suitable for electronic warfare (EW) systems and other wide bandwidth applications up to the Q-band. The MMICs are based on a 100nm AlGaN/GaN T-gate HEMT microstrip transmission line MMIC technology with an fT>80 GHz. Both designed and fabricated amplifiers use the non-uniform distributed power amplifier (NDPA) topology and cover a frequency range from 8 GHz to 42 GHz, whereas the lower band edge is limited by the on-chip DC bias network. The first MMIC is a single-stage topology with a measured S21 of 6+-1 dB, the second a dual-stage topology with a measured S21 of 14+-2 dB, both over the entire frequency range. By choosing adequate device geometries and a low interstage impedance of 32 in the dual-stage design, the wide bandwidth and high saturated output power of >0.5W of the single-stage design are maintained. A large-signal state-space model was used in the design process. A large-signal methodology for the broadband design of the amplifiers given soft compression of the FETs and low PAE over large bandwidth is proposed and verified.