Wireless Systems Design

Driver Amplifiers Improve Power Efficiency


The first 11 high-performance driver amplifiers in a new family have arrived. Each has been designed to improve gain linearity and power-added efficiency (PAE) for high-power-amplifier (HPA) signal conditioning/transmit circuits and systems. They target both commercial and defense applications, including point-to-point radio communications; wireless-local loop (WLL); SatCom transmitters; microwave multi-point distribution systems (MMDSs); digital broadcast systems (DBSs); GPS; and airborne and weather radar equipment.

The MAAPGM00XX family is expected to simplify otherwise complex gain stages while reducing bill-of-material costs. Each product has been manufactured on a high-yield MSAG Metal Semiconductor Field Effect Transistor (MESFET) process. Selective ion implantation was used to form active layers of microwave and digital FETs on a single MMIC. To maximize gain and power performance over frequency, each amplifier is fully matched to 50 Ohms on both the input and output. In addition, each new product features on-chip bias networks and a 4-V to 10-V variable drain voltage to reduce—or in many cases eliminate—trim circuitry.

Four of the new products are considered 0.5- to 0.6-W amplifiers. The 0.6-W MAAPGM0026-DIE is an L/S-band driver amp operating between 0.8 and 3.3 GHz with 28 dBm of output power. The 0.5-W MAAPGM0028-DIE operates at 8 GHz (S/C-bands). This latter product delivers superb linearity with a 1.7:1 input voltage standing wave ratio (VSWR) over its 14-dBm small signal gain. The two-stage MAAPGM0034-DIE and three-stage MAAPGM0040-DIE are collectively optimized for point-to-point X/Ku band operation between 8 and 15.5 GHz. Each features a 33-dBm output third-order intercept (OTOI). Their linearity performance rivals amplifiers that cost significantly more.

In the 1-W amplifier category is MAAPGM0027-DIE, a two-stage, 2- to 4-GHz (S-band) driver for WLL and MMDS systems. The MAAPGM0029-DIE produces a 31-dBm output with 40% PAE and 1.5:1 VSWR. The MAAPGM0030-DIE operates from 5 to 9 GHz (C/X-band). It is designed for ISM band applications that require output power of up to 30 dBm and OTOI in the 38-dBm range. The two-stage MAAPGM0033-DIE supports the higher-frequency X-band with operation between 9.5 and 11 GHz. It features 30 dBm of output power and a 14-dB small signal gain.

The last three products in this family operate at 1.2 W and deliver 31 dBm of output power. The MAAPGM0036-DIE is optimized for either satellite (1.5-to-1.6-GHz) systems or MMDS at 2.5 to 2.7 GHz. Lastly, the three-stage MAAPGM0038-DIE and two-stage MAAPGM0051-DIE are C/Ku-band drivers specified for operation between 7.5 and 13.5 GHz. The VSWR for each one is 4:1 and 2:1, respectively, with OTOI in the 40-dBm range.

The MAAPGM00XX family of driver amplifiers is available now in high-volume production quantities or as evaluation samples. Pricing starts at $33.90 in 1000-piece quantities. Contact the factory for exact pricing per model.

M/A-COM, Inc.
1011 Pawtucket Blvd., Lowell, MA 01853; (800) 366-2266, www.macom.com.

TAGS: Defense
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