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A digitally modulated power amplifier (DPA) in 1.2 V 0.13 mum SOI CMOS is presented, to be used as a building block in multi-standard, multi-band polar transmitters. It performs direct amplitude modulation of an input RF carrier by digitally controlling an array of 127 unary-weighted and three binary-weighted elementary gain cells. The DPA is based on a novel two-stage topology, which allows seamless operation from 800 MHz through 2 GHz, with a full-power efficiency larger than 40% and a 25.2 dBm maximum envelope power. Adaptive digital predistortion is exploited for DPA linearization. The circuit is thus able to reconstruct 21.7 dBm WCDMA/EDGE signals at 1.9 GHz with 38% efficiency and a higher than 10 dB margin on all spectral specifications. As a result of the digital modulation technique, a higher than 20.1 % efficiency is guaranteed for WCDMA signals with a peak-to-average power ratio as high as 10.8 dB. Furthermore, a 15.3 dBm, 5 MHz WiMAX OFDM signal is successfully reconstructed with a 22% efficiency and 1.53% rms EVM. A high 10-bit nominal resolution enables a wide-range TX power control strategy to be implemented, which greatly minimizes the quiescent consumption down to 10 mW. A 16.4% CDMA average efficiency is thus obtained across a > 70 dB power control range, while complying with all the spectral specifications.
Date of Publication: July 2009