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This paper presents a highly efficient silicon-based envelope-tracking power amplifier (ET-PA) for broadband wireless applications. A pseudo-differential power amplifier (PA) is designed using two integrated SiGe power cells fabricated in a 0.35- μm SiGe BiCMOS technology with through-silicon-via (TSV). In the continuous-wave (CW) measurement, the PA achieves a saturated output power (POUT) of around 2 W with power-added efficiency (PAE) above 65% across the bandwidth of 0.7-1.0 GHz. To optimize the ET-PA system performance, several envelope shaping methods such as dc shifting, envelope scaling, envelope clipping, and envelope attenuation at back-off have been investigated carefully. A highly efficient monolithic CMOS envelope modulator (EM) integrated circuit (IC) is designed in a 0.35- μm bipolar-CMOS-DMOS (BCD) process to mate with our SiGe PA. With the LTE 16 QAM 5/10/20-MHz input signals, our ET-PA system achieves around 28 dBm linear POUT, passing the stringent LTE linearity specs such as the spectrum emission mask with an average composite system PAE of 42.3%/41.1%/40.2%, respectively. No predistortion is applied in this work.
Date of Publication: Sept. 2013