High efficiency switching CMOS power amplifiers for wireless communications

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Lee, Ockgoo
Laskar, Joy
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High-efficiency performance is one of the most important requirements of power amplifiers (PAs) for wireless applications. However, the design of highly efficient CMOS PAs for watt-level applications is a challenging task. This dissertation focuses on the development of the design method for highly efficient CMOS PAs to overcome the fundamental difficulties presented by CMOS technology. In this dissertation, the design method and analysis for a high-power and highefficiency class-E CMOS PA with a fully integrated transformer have been presented. This work is the first effort to set up a comprehensive design methodology for a fully integrated class-E CMOS PA including effects of an integrated transformer, which is very crucial for watt-level power applications. In addition, to improve efficiency of cascode class-E CMOS PAs, a charging acceleration technique is developed. The method accelerates a charging speed to turn off the common-gate device in the off-state, thus reducing the power loss. To demonstrate the proposed cascode class-E PA, a prototype CMOS PA was implemented in a 0.18-μm CMOS process. Measurements show an improvement of approximately 6% in the power added efficiency. The proposed cascode class-E PA structure is suitable for the design of high-efficiency class-E PAs while it reduces the voltage stress across the device.
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