High-Efficiency Doherty-Based Power Amplifiers Using GaN Technology For Wireless Infrastructure Applications
The continuing advancement of modulation standards with newer generations of cellular technology, promises ever increasing data rate and bandwidth efficiency. However, these modulation schemes present high peak to average power ratio (PAPR) even after applying crest factor reduction. Being the most power-hungry component in the radio frequency (RF) transmitter, power amplifiers (PA) for infrastructure applications, need to operate efficiently at the presence of these high PAPR signals while maintaining reasonable linearity performance which could be improved by moderate digital pre-distortion (DPD) techniques. This strict requirement of operating efficiently at average power level while being capable of delivering the peak power, made the load modulated PAs such as Doherty PA, Outphasing PA, various Envelope Tracking PAs, Polar transmitters and most recently the load modulated balanced PA, the prime candidates for such application. However, due to its simpler architecture and ability to deliver RF power efficiently with good linearity performance has made Doherty PA (DPA) the most popular solution and has been deployed almost exclusively for wireless infrastructure application all over the world.
Although DPAs has been very successful at amplifying the high PAPR signals, most recent advancements in cellular technology has opted for higher PAPR based signals at wider bandwidth. This lead to increased research and development work to innovate advanced Doherty architectures which are more efficient at back-off (BO) power levels compared to traditional DPAs. In this dissertation, three such advanced Doherty architectures and/or techniques are proposed to achieve high efficiency at further BO power level compared to traditional architecture using symmetrical devices for carrier and peaking PAs. Gallium Nitride (GaN) based high-electron-mobility (HEMT) technology has been used to design and fabricate the DPAs to validate the proposed advanced techniques for higher efficiency with good linearity performance at BO power levels.