Title page for ETD etd-04252000-16200028


Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Haskins, Christopher Burke
Author's Email Address burke@vt.edu, christopher_haskins@hotmail.com
URN etd-04252000-16200028
Title Diode Predistortion Linearization for Power Amplifier RFICs in Digital Radios
Degree Master of Science
Department Electrical and Computer Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Raman, Sanjay Committee Chair
Bostian, Charles W. Committee Member
Sweeney, Dennis G. Committee Member
Keywords
  • intermodulation distortion
  • AM-AM
  • HBT
  • MESFET
  • envelope analysis
  • AM-PM
  • integrated circuit
  • ACPR
  • nonlinear
Date of Defense 2000-04-17
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
The recent trend in modern information technology has been towards the increased use of portable and handheld devices such as cellular telephones, personal digital assistants (PDAs), and wireless networks. This trend presents the need for compact and power efficient radio systems. Typically, the most power inefficient device in a radio system is the power amplifier (PA). PA inefficiency requires increased battery reserves to supply the necessary DC bias current, resulting in larger devices. Alternatively, the length of time between battery charges is reduced for a given battery size, reducing mobility.

In addition, communications channels are becoming increasingly crowded, which presents the need for improved bandwidth efficiency. In order to make more efficient use of the frequency spectrum allocated for a particular system, there is a push towards complex higher order digital modulation schemes in modern radio systems, resulting in stricter linearity requirements on the system. Since power efficient amplifiers are typically nonlinear, this poses a major problem in realizing a bandwidth and power efficient radio system. However, by employing various linearization techniques, the linearity of a high efficiency PA may be improved.

The work presented in this thesis focuses on diode predistortion linearization, particularly for PA RFICs in digital radios. Background discussion on common linearization techniques available to the PA designer is presented. In addition, a discussion of traditional and modern methods of nonlinearity characterization is presented, illustrating the nonlinear PA effects on a modulated signal. This includes the use of two-tone analysis and the more modern envelope analysis. The operation of diode predistortion linearizers is discussed in detail, along with diode optimization procedures for PA linearization with minimum impact on return loss and gain. This diode optimization is effective in improving the ability to integrate the predistorter into a single, linearized PA RFIC chip. MESFET and HBT based diode linearizers are studied for use with corresponding MESFET and HBT based PAs in the 2.68 GHz and 1.95 GHz frequency bands, respectively. Results show an improvement in adjacent channel power ratio (ACPR) due to the linearizer in both MESFET and HBT cases. A fully integrated 1.95 GHz linearizer and PA RFIC in HBT technology is also presented. Design considerations, simulations, and layouts for this design are presented. Finally, several recommendations are made for continued research in this area.

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