Publication Details
Xinyan Tang, Johan Nguyen, Alaaeldien Medra, Khaled Khalaf, Akshay Visweswaran, Bjorn Debaillie, Piet Wambacq

Contribution To Journal


This paper presents design considerations and methodology for D-band transformer-based Class-AB gain-boosting power amplifiers (PAs) in three advanced silicon technologies: 28 nm bulk CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor), 22 nm FD-SOI (fully-depleted silicon on insulator), and 130 nm SiGe BiCMOS (Silicon-germanium bipolar-CMOS). Firstly, the choice of processes and models together with de-embedding approaches are discussed and described. Then, a general design flow for a transformer-based matching network (TMN) is introduced to accelerate the design of multistage PAs. Further, two gain-boosting topologies are analyzed. The influence of capacitive gain-boosting on PA performance (maximum available power gain G-{max} , saturation power P-{sat} , drain efficiency DE and power-Added efficiency PAE) is studied for different silicon technologies after properly sizing the PA transistors to reach an optimum load resistance R-{opt}. The inductive gain-boosting PA is explored and compared with the capacitive gain-boosting one in SiGe BiCMOS to achieve an even higher P-{sat} while maintaining a high G-{max}. Finally, A D-band 4-stage capacitive gain-boosting PA is fabricated in a 28 nm bulk CMOS process as a reference to verify the design methodology and simulation results, and its detailed design considerations are described. This prototyped D-band PA achieved the state-of-The-Art results: A 22.5 dB G-{p} , 6.6 % PAE, 8 dBm P-{sat} and 81.1 FoM with only 0.0265 mm 2 core area.