Broadband, Linear, and High-Efficiency Mm-Wave Power Amplifiers and Co-Designs with Antennas

With 5G communication and many emerging applications just around the corner, there is a rapidly increasing need for high-performance mm-Wave power amplifiers. However, these next-generation mm-Wave PAs are often expected to deliver "almighty" performance. They should offer large output power to ensure sufficient link budget, broad bandwidth to support multi-standard communication or frequency reconfigurability/agility, high peak and back-off efficiency for energy saving, and also inherent linearity for Gbit/s complex modulations with minimum or no digital pre-distortions (DPD). It is noteworthy that designers typically need to take trade-offs among these performance aspects in a given PA design, instead of trying to achieve all of them. Interestingly, this somehow unreasonable and unrealistic quest for "almighty" mm-Wave PAs has recently stimulated a new wave of mm-Wave PA innovations at both circuit levels and architecture levels, which have substantially advanced the state of the art. In this talk, we will review several recent mm-Wave PA designs that feature various design techniques and innovations at both circuit-level (nonlinearity compensation, continuous-mode operations, broadband harmonic tuning) and architecture-level (such as Doherty and outphasing PAs). We will also showcase several mm-Wave PA/antenna co-design examples that exploit new antenna structures as a new design paradigm to further enhance mm-Wave PA output power and efficiency.