UCLA Extension

RF Power Amplifiers Devices, Circuits and Systems

A part of every wireless transmitter, RF power amplifiers (PAs) play a crucial role in achieving the system level performance required of today’s wireless communication systems. A key issue today with PA design is how to simultaneously achieve the output power, efficiency and linearity from nonlinear power devices. This short course addresses these conflicting issues. Furthermore, the development of a successful RF PA product often involves a much broader range of research topics–from the semiconductor device physics, nonlinear circuit architectures to system-level issues that concern digital modulations, adaptive controls, and filtering.

This short course benefits engineers, program managers, and professionals who want to understand the state-of-the-art in RF PAs and become familiar with the modern design practices of high-performance RF power transmitters. Participants learn various subjects regarding RF PAs, including fundamental PA design concepts, semiconductor device structures (on Si, GaAs and GaN), and nonlinear modeling on the first day; broadband microwave amplifiers and advanced switching modes PA on the second day; and the system aspects of PA design that addresses efficiency enhancement and linearization techniques on the last day. Throughout the course, participants have many opportunities to use CAD software and various device models for practicing on power amplifier design, as well as being provided with the latest information about commercial developments from the wireless basestation and cell phone industry.

Course Materials

Lecture notes are distributed on the first day of the course. These notes are for participants only and are not for sale.

Coordinators and Lecturers

Yuanxun Ethan Wang, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering, Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, UCLA. Professor Wang joined the Electrical Engineering Department in 2002, having previously worked as a research engineer in the department from 1999-2002. His research interest is in the general area of microwave systems with emphasis on active antennas, phased arrays, integrated transmitters, power amplifiers, and low-noise RF front-ends. He also has worked on radar systems for more than 10 years. His research blends the digital processing technologies and concepts into RF and microwave system design for new RF system architectures and novel configurations of antennas and circuits.

Dr. Wang has published over 100 journal and conference papers. He received MS and PhD degrees in electrical engineering from University of Texas at Austin, in 1996 and 1999.

Edmar Cmargo, PhD, Electrical Engineering. Dr. Camargo graduated from University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, in 1977 with an M.S. degree and in 1985 with a PhD degree both in Electrical Engineering. Before coming to the US, he worked at the University of Sao Paulo as professor and researcher from 1973 to 1993, with sabbaticals at CNET – Centre for Telecommunications Study in France in 1977 and in 1982. After moving to the US in 1993, he worked for a couple of years in HP-Santa Clara division, on the design of front end digital radios from 13 to 39 GHz. Then joined Fujitsu in San Jose for nearly 10 years, where he was involved in hybrid power amplifiers and later on MMIC projects, including mixers, VCOs, distributed amplifiers, LNAs and frequency multipliers. After 2005 joined Watkins Jonhson to work primarily on power InGaP HBT amplifiers for infrastructure and in 2007 joined RFMD to work in InGaP HBTs for Cell phones. From 2009 until 2012 was a consultant for QuinStar, GigOptix and Phase Matrix. He joined QuinStar as Principal Engineer in January 2013 to work on the design of mmWave MMICs.
Dr. Camargo holds 4 patents, on MMIC mixer for TV reception, on large band 20 to 40 GHz harmonic mixer, on a 77 GHz waveguide to microstrip transition and on the linearity enhancement of a PHEMT cascode amplifier. He is the author and co-author of more than 40 papers and author and co-author of two books: Design of Frequency Multipliers in 1996 and Microwave Mixer technology and applications in 2013.

Course Outline

PA Device Basics and Modeling

  • Power MOSFETs
  • MESFETs and HEMTs
  • BJTs and HBTs
  • Nonlinear behavior models
  • Modeling using ICCAP

RF PA Design Fundamentals

  • I-V curve, gain compression, and IP3
  • Power match, gain match, and load line analysis
  • Harmonic termination
  • Class A, AB, B, and C
  • Stability analysis
  • Large signal S parameters
  • Load pull measurements and characterization

PA Architectures and Switched Mode PAs

  • Overdriven Class-B
  • Class-D, E, and F
  • Inverse Class-F
  • Power amplifiers in other operating classes

Broadband Microwave Power Amplifier Design

  • Broadband impedance matching
  • Power combining
  • Balanced amplifiers
  • Push-pull amplifiers
  • Distributed amplifiers
  • MIC and MMIC implementations

Efficiency Enhancement Techniques

  • Efficiency versus peak to average ratio
  • Drain modulations and load modulations
  • Envelop tracking techniques
  • Doherty amplifiers
  • Chireix’s outphasing techniques
  • Other advanced techniques

Power Amplifier Linearization Techniques

  • Power amplifier nonlinearity and distortions
  • Cascode amplifiers
  • Feedback techniques
  • Pre-distortion techniques
  • Feedforward linearization techniques

For more information contact the Short Course Program Office:
shortcourses@uclaextension.edu | (310) 825-3344 | fax (310) 206-2815