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RF Characterization of SiGe HBT Power Amplifiers Under Load Mismatch

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2 Author(s)
Keerti, A. ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., California Univ., Davis, CA ; Pham, A.-V.H.

We present the RF characterization of silicon-germanium heterojunction bipolar transistor (SiGe HBT) power amplifiers (PA) under load mismatched conditions. Experimental results demonstrate a strong dependence of a PA's RF performance on the phase of mismatched antenna loads. For a load mismatch of voltage standing-wave ratio (VSWR) of 10:1, the 1-dB compressed RF output power (P1 dB), transducer gain (GT), output third-order intercept point, and power-added efficiency differ by 7.5 dBm, 8.1 dB, 8.3 dBm, and 15%, respectively, between the optimal and worst phase conditions, for an SiGe HBT PA biased at VCC=3.3 V, collector current ICE =400 mA, and frequency of 1.88 GHz. At the optimal phase condition up to VSWR of 10:1, the SiGe HBT PA maintains its linearity, RF output power, gain, and efficiency close to that at a VSWR of 1:1. At all the nonoptimal phases, the deterioration in the RF performance increases with the magnitude of load mismatches. The nonlinear characteristic of a PA under load mismatches is due to amplitude and phase-distortion mechanisms

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Microwave Theory and Techniques, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:55 ,  Issue: 2 )