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A transformer-based high-order output matching network is proposed for broadband power amplifier design, which provides optimum load impedance for maximum output power within a wide operating frequency range. A design methodology to convert a canonical bandpass network to the proposed matching configuration is also presented in detail. As a design example, a push-pull deep class-AB PA is implemented with a third-order output network in a standard 90 nm CMOS process. The leakage inductances of the on-chip 2:1 transformer are absorbed into the output matching to realize the third-order network with only two inductor footprints for area conservation. The amplifier achieves a 3 dB bandwidth from 5.2 to 13 GHz with 25.2 dBm peak and 21.6% peak PAE. The EVM for QPSK and 16-QAM signals both with 5 Msample/s are below 3.6% and 5.9% at the output 1 dB compression point. This verifies the PA's capability of amplifying a narrowband modulated signal whose center-tone can be programmed across a large frequency range. The measured BER for transmitting a truly broadband PRBS signal up to 7.5 Gb/s is less than 10 , demonstrating the PA's support for an instantaneous wide operation bandwidth.
Date of Publication: Dec. 2010