Skip to Main Content
Wideband code division multiple access (WCDMA) base-station RF amplifiers using a variety of device technologies including GaN field-effect transistors (FETs), Si LDMOS, and GaAs high-voltage heterojunction bipolar transistors (HVHBTs) are modeled, optimized, and compared for use in wideband envelope tracking (ET) system. A quasi-static approach is employed to effectively model the supply-modulated RF amplifiers, and thus facilitate the design optimization process. A new design methodology for ET RF amplifiers is introduced including identification of optimum fundamental and harmonic terminations. The fundamental and harmonic impedances have been successfully optimized for various RF devices and good agreement has been achieved between the simulation and measurement results. Among the modeled and measured ET RF amplifiers, a GaAs HVHBT exhibits the best overall efficiency of 60% with an average output power of 33 W and a gain of 10 dB for a WCDMA signal with 3.84-MHz bandwidth and 7.7-dB peak-to-average power ratio, while meeting all linearity requirements of the WCDMA standard. Desirable device characteristics for optimum ET operation are also discussed.