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Design of highly-efficient GaN x-band-power-amplifier MMICs

: Kühn, J.; Raay, F. van; Quay, R.; Kiefer, R.; Maier, T.; Stibal, R.; Mikulla, M.; Seelmann-Eggebert, M.; Bronner, W.; Schlechtweg, M.; Ambacher, O.; Thumm, M.

IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society:
IEEE MTT-S 2009, International Microwave Symposium Digest : 7-12 June, Boston Convention & Exhibition Center
Piscataway/NJ: IEEE, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4244-2804-5
ISBN: 978-1-4244-2803-8
International Microwave Symposium Digest (MTT-S) <2009, Boston>
Fraunhofer IAF ()
amplifier; MODFET; gallium compound; power amplifier; microstrip; MMIC; standing wave measurement

This paper describes the design and realization of efficient GaN/AlGaN MMICs for X-band frequencies (8-12 GHz) in microstrip- transmission-line-technology on 3-inch s.i.SiC substrates. Four dual-stage MMICs are designed and realized based on different bandwidth requirements between 1 GHz and 3 GHz with output power levels of 15-20 W at X-band. After optimization of field-plate architectures and driver stage size, a maximum PAE of >=40% is achieved between 8.5-10 GHz with a maximum output power of 19-23 W, and an associated power gain of 17 dB. A broadband device with 3 GHz bandwidth reaches >=35% of PAE between 8 and 11 GHz. A 1 mm test chip of the same technology supports a VSWR-ratio test of a least 4:1 at P(ind -1 dB) power compression and 10 GHz.