Supply Modulation of a Broadband Load Modulated Balanced Amplifier

This work presents multi-level supply modulation of a load modulated balanced amplifier (LMBA). The RF-input LMBA employs dynamic active matching for efficient operation over an octave bandwidth. Supply modulation is a natural candidate to further enhance the back-off efficiency of this broadband amplifier due to its independence on RF carrier frequency. In the ET-LMBA prototype demonstrated here, an efficient hybrid multi-level converter (power DAC) produces supply levels from 10 to 30V to modulate the drain of the balanced amplifier. Digital predistortion is used to linearize the ET-LMBA behavior at discrete steps and over frequency. This system is demonstrated at 2.1, 2.7 and 3.5 GHz with a 20-MHz, 10-dB PAPR signal showing composite efficiency improvement between 9 and 12 percentage points when supply modulation is employed, while maintaining linearity.