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RFIC PA Development for Communication and Radar Systems

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WHITE PAPER RFIC PA Development for Communication and Radar Systems Featuring Cadence AWR Software Power amplifiers (PAs) are responsible for increasing the strength of a signal with minimal added distortion. By providing enough signal strength to overcome over-the-air losses, PAs play a vital role in the RF/microwave front-end of any communication system. In mobile devices, PAs are typically realized as an integrated circuit (IC) or module, incorporating power transistors, impedance matching networks, biasing, and, potentially, other functions to manage power levels, linearity, and more. Most PAs in wireless devices are based on gallium arsenide (GaAs) and gallium nitride (GaN) semiconductor technology; however, silicon germanium (SiGe) bipolar and silicon (Si) complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) technologies offer attractive benefits such as high-volume manufacturing, lower cost, and the potential to integrate an entire PA module (PA core, control circuits, and passives), and possibly even the RF front-end, including any digital signal processing. Contents Design Overview ........................................................2 PA Basics......................................................................2 Nonlinearities ..............................................................4 System Metrics ...........................................................6 Conclusion .................................................................. 8

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