AWR White Papers

Radar Systems

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MACOM Designs Ka-Band MMIC Power Amplifier (Case Study) Ka-band technology addressing 26.5 to 40.0GHz frequencies is becoming more and more popular for both military radar and commercial communication systems, driving the need for compact, efficient power amplifiers (PAs) to boost signals for those frequencies. The practical use of load-pull tuners and electromagnetic (EM) simulation software enabled MACOM engineers to design a high-frequency, four-stage, monolithic microwave integrated circuit (MMIC) (Figure 49) that required extensive EM simulation at a relatively early stage in the design process. The characterization included S-parameter and load-pull measurements taken over wide temperature ranges using load-pull impedance tuners from Maury Microwave Corp. Measured and simulated load-pull data from AWR Design Environment simulation software was used to determine the optimum input and output impedances for the MMIC PA. Figure 49: Block diagram of the MMIC A large-signal simulation of an extensive array of saturated transistor cells with good convergence in a reasonable time was called for. In particular, a 3D EM simulation of the RF bond wire transition was needed (Figure 50), as well as a 2.5D (3D planar) EM simulation of the IC elements and a full large-signal simulation and optimization of the PA. Foundry models available for the 0.15 μm GaAs process were used for the initial idealized design. Specific design requirements included a competitive size with a frequency range of 32 to 38GHz, Pout greater than 4 W, 18 dB gainfully matched to 50 ohms, continuous wave (CW) and pulsed operation, and on-chip decoupling and electrostatic discharge protection. Figure 50: 3D Analyst layout view showing bond wires Radar Systems 36

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