AWR Success Stories

Qorvo GaN Discrete PA Design

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Qorvo and Cadence Cadence is a pivotal leader in electronic design and computational expertise, using its Intelligent System Design strategy to turn design concepts into reality. Cadence customers are the world's most creative and innovative companies, delivering extraordinary electronic products from chips to boards to systems for the most dynamic market applications. © 2021 Cadence Design Systems, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. Cadence, the Cadence logo, and the other Cadence marks found at are trademarks or registered trademarks of Cadence Design Systems, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. 14720 02/21 DB/SA/SS-M-QRV-GRN/PDF Solution Cadence AWR Microwave Of fice circuit design sof tware was used for the linear simulations, which were matched to impor ted S-parameter blocks. The Cadence AWR A XIEM 3D planar electromagnetic (EM) analysis was used for the board-level layout and EM simulation of the input and output matches. The designer was more easily able to design the matching networks thanks to the built-in tools and measurements within the Cadence AWR Design Environment ® platform. The software's ability to easily construct, compare, and optimize various topologies quickly was another advantage. The highly integrated AWR AXIEM tool was especially helpful with the extraction flow for the board design. The final device was tested on a board made of Rogers 4350B. The 50Ω-matched input held up well enough to achieve 10dB return loss from 40MHz to 2.7GHz and 7dB return loss down to 30MHz, as shown in Figure 2. The device achieved a gain of 12dB at lower frequencies and 17dB at higher frequencies. Figure 2: Small signal S-parameters for a hybrid MMIC discrete PA. At 32V and under pulsed conditions, the amplifier achieved a typical output power of 5W (or 4W/mm power density) and 45% PAE over 1 to 2.7GHz, as shown in Figure 3. Figure 3: Measured P out and drain efficiency of the hybrid solution, where the amplifier was driven to 3dB compression and used a 100us pulse width with 20% duty cycle The pulsed operation was chosen over continuous wave (CW), because the evaluation board limited the total power dissipation. Additionally, the data were measured from 1 to 2.7GHz, because the designer was not able to set up a pulsed test station below 1GHz. The engineer reused the design for several MMICs of different power levels with the bridge T input match. The product using the 2.48mm is complete and shows excellent results. Summary The designer chose AWR software because, having used it as an engineering student, he now prefers it to other RF design tools, especially its ease of use. He noted that the unified database with tightly integrated schematic and layout is especially beneficial because it makes it much easier to understand projects and what is actually being designed, modeled, and laid out. Being able to lay out everything in the Cadence AWR software quickly and correctly and to send it straight to be manufactured has allowed me to complete design cycles in a short time. Mark Greene, Qorvo

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