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A 5-GHz transmitter front-end for 802.11a and HIPERLAN2 wireless local area networks was implemented in a low-cost 46-GHz-fT silicon bipolar technology. The transmitter includes a digitally controlled linear-in-dB variable-gain up-converter and a three-stage linear power amplifier. At a 3-V supply voltage, the front-end exhibits a 23.5-dBm output 1-dB compression point, 35-dB maximum power gain, and 30-dB dynamic range. The dB-linear gain error is lower than ±0.8 dB. The transmitter is able to comply with the stringent error vector magnitude requirement of the standard up to a 19-dBm output power level.