RF CMOS Power Amplifier Design Techniques - Online

Course 254

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Until recently, power amplifiers have been considered the exclusive province of GaAs, GaN, Si LDMOS and other processes. Recently, there has been renewed interest in the use of CMOS for power amplifiers targeted at the mobile market. Aside from the potential to integrate the PA with the transceiver chip or front-end switch, the main driving factors have been cost and access to a standard foundry process. Although CMOS processes offer significant cost benefits, MOS transistors do have performance limitations when compared to other processes being used for PA design. These limitations require design changes to enable CMOS to be used from PA design. As a result, although there are many similarities to PA design in other processes there are additional aspects that are unfamiliar to PA designers. Therefore CMOS PA design requires a combination of the skills of a PA designer with those of an RFIC design engineer.

This seminar contains material typically covered in one full day of instruction but is divided into five 90 minute web-classroom presentations.(9:00am to 10:30am Pacific time) Each daily session is a live online event but the recording can be made available on demand and online to support students requiring a more convenient viewing time. For on demand students, simply register online or by contacting the office and you will receive the login details for 30 day access to the recording.

This course is intended for registered individual students only. Please contact us for group rates at info@besserassociates.com or 650-949-3300. Recording, copying, or re-transmission of classroom material is prohibited.

Students will receive a signed Certificate of Completion on request.

Learning objectives

Upon completing the course you will be able to:

  • Understand PA basics and the differences in design for power and design for gain
  • Understand tradeoffs in class of operation
  • Understand the differences and trade-offs in saturated and linear amplifier design
  • Describe the limitations of the MOS transistor when used in power applications
  • Understand techniques used to overcome MOS limitations

Target Audience

RFIC and analog baseband design engineers, researchers and graduate students who are interested in designing CMOS PA circuits. In addition, RFIC engineers who specialize in GaAs and other III-V technologies will also find this course useful in learning how to transition to CMOS technology. Technical managers will also learn current technology limitations and future technology trends.


Web Classroom

PA Basics
 • Introduction • Load-line theory • Load Pull • Class of operation - A, AB, B, C • Stability
CMOS Reliability
 • Mechanisms of MOS performance failure • Maximum stress limits expected • MOS transistor tolerance limits • Output network reliability concerns • ESD • Approaches to CMOS PA implementation • Cascode output structure and operation
Switching Mode CMOS Power Amplifiers
 • Switching mode amplifier types • Class D and Class E • Stability concerns
Linear CMOS Power Amplifiers
 • Definition of a linear amplifier • Explanation of linearity specifications • Gain enhancement and gain compression • Phase non-linearities in CMOS • Linearizing a PA • Advantages and disadvantages of linearization schemes • Class F introduction