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Ultralinear UHF power transistors for CATV applications

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1 Author(s)
Muller, O. ; General Electric Company, Lynchburg, Va.

An investigation of the cross-modulation performance of UHF power transistors and its correlation with the gain parameter curves S21(IC, VCB) shows that such transistors today exhibit an inherent linearity limitation and are not optimized for ultralinear applications. This means that using higher power transistors does not result in a larger output signal with low cross-modulation distortion. Presented measurements clearly demonstrate that the nonlinear products increase, not only with increasing emitter dc current, but also with collector voltage above certain limiting values ICLand VCL, respectively; ICLand VCLare relatively small compared with the corresponding maximum permissible values of ICand VCB. Their existence can be explained by current crowding effects, by the space-charge limitation of the collector current, by the nonuniform thermal conductance, by the temperature gradients, and by the unequal current density distribution across the (large) active areas of power transistors. A correlation between the VCgain parameter falloff effect and the "thermal distortions," has been established. Design and selection criteria for ultralinear transistors needed in CATV amplifers are given. A simple linearity test method is described.

Published in:

Proceedings of the IEEE  (Volume:58 ,  Issue: 7 )