Int. J. Communications, Network and System Sciences, 2011, 4, 662-666
doi:10.4236/ijcns.2011.410081 Published Online October 2011 (
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. IJCNS
Using LDMOS Transistor in Class-F Power Amplifier for
WCDMA Applications*
Masoud Sabaghi, Seyed Reza Hadianamrei, Mehdi Rahnama, Maziyar Niyakan Lahiji
N. S. T. R. I., Te hran, Iran
E-mail: {msabaghir, rhadian}, {maziyarniyakan, meh di .rahnama 3}
Received August 8, 2011; revised August 27, 2011; accepted September 6, 2011
The fundamental operating principle of a Class F power amplifier and the factors aiding or affecting Class F
performance were explicated previously. A Class F power amplifier design which satisfies WCDMA speci-
fications is explained in this paper. The Class F amplifier was designed by employing Motorola’s LDMOS
(Laterally Diffused Metal Oxide Semiconductor) transistor models and we simulated its performance by
means of ADS. A variety of procedures were applied in the process of designing Class F amplifier, namely,
DC simulation, bias point selection, source-pull and load-pull characterization, input and output matching
circuit design and the design of suitable harmonic traps, which are explained here.
Keywords: ADS, Class F Power Amplifier, LD MOS, WCDMA
1. Introduction
The significance of wireless communications in the tele-
communications industry of present stage is unquestion-
able. Almost every aspect of our daily life is somehow
tied to wireless technologies. The technology of Univer-
sal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) has
already put 3G communication standard into practice for
mobile communications.
Within wireless communication systems, power am-
plifiers are the most power-consuming units. The power
amplifiers employed in UMTS devices should be ex-
tremely efficient. Enhanced efficiency, in addition to
extending the battery life, reduces the DC power con-
sumption, transmitter size and weight. Even though the
power amplifiers applied in existing second generation
GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications)
transmitters are greatly efficient, they cannot be used in
UMTS/WCDMA for GSM uses the constant envelope
feature of GMSK (Gaussian Minimum Shift Keying)
modulation which only establishes phase variations. A
WCDMA system with QPSK modulation is employed in
UMTS, where both phase and amplitude variations are
established by the modulation. The power amplifiers
which are designed for WCDMA should suit the contra-
dicting operation requirement between linearity and effi-
ciency [1,2].
A very efficient class F power amplifier which has
been designed for WCDMA band with a center frequency
of 2.14 GHz and bandwidth of 5 MHz, applying LDMOS
transistor, is introduced in this paper. The amplifier is
simulated by means of a high frequency circuit simulator,
titled as the Agil ent Advanced Desi gn Sy st em (ADS).
2. Design Architecture
Figure 1 illustrates the basic design architecture for
Class F power amplifier. VDD and VGG present the man-
datory drain and gate bias, which were determined before
from a 26 V supply. DC bias and DC blocks are over-
looked in this design. Input and output corresponding
networks transform the impedance so the transistor, at
their respective sides, should meet 50 ohms. Based on
the fundamental frequency, filter combination L0C0 is
tuned. It supplies very high impedance (preferably an
open circuit) for the fundamental frequency, and very
low impedance (preferably a short circuit) for harmonic
frequencies. Together, L3 and C3 make the third harmonic
trap. This trap makes high impedance available for the
third harmonics and permits all other signals to pass
through. Therefore, the third harmonic voltages are
added out of phase to the fundamental voltage at the
drain, resulting in the flattening of the drain voltage
waveform. The series filter combination L2C2, together
with bypass capacitor bypasses the second harmonics to
*This work was supported in pa rt by N.S.T.R.I, Tehran, Iran.
Figure 1. Class F power amplifier design architecture.
ground and, at other frequencies, provides high imped-
ance. The consequence is a short circuit second harmonic
current which, consecutively, makes the drain current
waveform be similar to a peaked half sinusoid [3].
3. Class F Implementation
We have clarified various design blocks of the Class F
amplifier. The final de sign was recognized in ADS. Mo-
torola’s High Voltage Version 10p04 LDMOS transistor
model is employed in the PA. We have applied non-ideal
inductors with a Q of 20 in order for the results gain ed to
be close to the performance gained applying commercial
inductors. Identical transistors, bias points and input and
output corresponding networks are used for Class F am-
plifiers. Figure 2 illustrates the ultimate realization of
the Class F designs respectively. These designs are then
simulated with the results to be analyzed.
3.1. DC Characteristics Analysis
The first step in designing any power amplifier is to choose
the most appropriate bias point as shown in Fi gure 3.
If we alter the gate and drain bias voltages, the tran-
sistor's output characteristics demonstrate the different
regions of operation (ohmic, saturation, and cut-off) and
transistor’s transfer characteristics demonstrate the pin-
ch-off voltage for definite drain bias voltage [4]. The
drain voltage was altered from 0 to 30 volts, as shown in
Figure 4.
We carried a DC bias point simulation out, in order to
determine the bias point. The plot of the DC transfer
characteristics for the transistor at a drain-source voltage
of 26 V is illustrates in Figure 4.
We ma y n o ti ce fro m Figure 5 that the tran sistor has to
be provided with a gate bias voltage between 3.2 V and 4
V for Class F operation. A 3.8 V gate bias voltage was
selected for this design. The maximum value of drain
current is 340 mA, as observed. A drain voltage of VDS
= 26 V was selected.
3.2. Input and Output Matching
Us Matching input and output can be provided by means
of a simple discrete element matching network, like an
L-network, T-network or pi-network. A pi-network, C2-
L1-L2, was employed to match to 50 ohms. We applied a
high pass L-network, L4-C5 for output matching to 50
ohms. The capacitive element in the output L-network
works as a DC blocking capacitor too (Figure 6).
3.3. S-Parameter Simulation
Simulated S-parameters Class F power amplifier is rep-
resented in Figure 7. S21 is above 20 dB at 2.14 GHz,
and input and output impedance matching (S11, S22) is
below –10 dB at 2.14 GHz, as shown in Figure 7. Fig-
ure 8 represents Noise Figure and shows that NF is close
to 2.6 dB from 1 to 3 GHz. NFmin is below 1.94 dB at
2.14 GHz.
3.4. Harmonic Terminations
The second and the third order harmonics tuning should
be integrated in the output network, in Class F amplifier,
in order to enlarge o ut put po w e r and efficiency.
Designing appropriate harmonic traps is the most criti-
cal, also the hardest part of th e desi gn. The third harm oni c
trap is designed by applying a parallel L-C filter tuned at
the third harmonic frequency of 6.42 GHz. Several L-C
combinations which would resonate at this frequency
were designed. The combination which resulted in the
best performance applying an inductor as small as possi-
ble was selected. A series L-C filter tuned at the second
opyright © 2011 SciRes. IJCNS
Figure 2. Schematic of the Class F p o wer amp lifier d es ign.
Figure 3. Schematic of DC bias for Class F power amplifier.
0. 2
0. 4
0. 6
0. 8
0. 0
1. 0
plot_vs(I_DS.i, VDS)=0.340
Figure 4. IDS vs VDS.
harmonic frequency of 4.28 GHz was primarily designed
for the second harmonic trap. Yet, we noticed there was
considerable fourth harmonic current in the circuit, which
resulted in the loss of power. A transmission line of the
length of one quarter-wavelength at fundamental fre-
quency was tied to the drain of the transistor, and the
2.2 2.4 2.6 2.8 3.0 3.2 3.4 3.6
0. 2
0. 4
0. 6
0. 8
0. 0
1. 0
plot_vs(I_DS.i, VGS)=0.340
VDS= 26.000000
Figure 5. IDS vs VGS.
other end of it bypassed to ground, in order to solve this
problem. This was capable provided presenting a very
good short circuit, not only at the second harmonic fre-
quency, but also at the fourth, and even higher order fre-
quencies. A similar method was tried, using a quar-
ter-wavelength transmission line to provide an open cir-
cuit for odd harmonic frequencies, but i t was det ected t hat
opyright © 2011 SciRes. IJCNS
Figure 6. Input and output matching network.
Figure 7. S-parameter of Class F power amplifier.
Figure 8. Noise figure of Class F power amp lifier.
the transmission line was not able to generate a good
open circuit. A potential work to be done in this field may
be realizing the harmonic traps on-chip with the output
matching done off-chip. A line of a quarter-wavelength at
2.14 GHz might b e too long to fit inside a chip. Therefore,
the third harmonic trap was recognized by applying dis-
crete components. We can add harmonic traps for the
fifth and other higher odd harmonics in order to enhance
the performance at the expense of increased circuit com-
plexity. The trade-off between the number of odd har-
monic traps and circuit complexity is analyzed in [5], and
it is figured o ut that, often, the third harmonic trap is suf-
ficient for acceptable Class F performance. Additional
harmonic traps, in addition to increasing the circuit com-
plexity, might l ead to loss when realized employing prac-
tical components. Moreover, it might be impossible to
realize the design by means of practical components, at
high operational frequencies. Bearing in mind the restric-
tions mentioned, it seems that the selected design scheme
for the harmonic traps is the best solution.
Figure 9 shows the PAE plots of the Class F amplifi-
ers respectively. There are Maximum PAE at 21 RFpower
for which PAE = 75.85.
The gain plots for Class F amplifier are represented in
Figure 10.
Figure 11 illustrates a plot of the power supplied to the load,
in dBm, at each frequency of the Class F power am plifier.
Table 1 summarizes the performance of Class F pow-
er amplifier. Table 2 is comparsion of performances of
various Class F Pas.
4. Conclusions
A Class-F amplifier is designed and stimulated for this
paper. The amplifier was simulated by employing a high
frequency circuit simulator titled as the Agilent Ad-
vanced Design System (ADS). The feasibility of using a
5 101520025
Figure 9. PAE (%) vs RF power (dBm).
Figure 10. Transducer power gain (dB) vs RFpower (dBm).
246810 12 14 16 18020
freq, GHz
m2 m2
Figure 11. Output spectrum.
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. IJCNS
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. IJCNS
Table 1. Summary of the performance of the Class F.
Performance Parameter Performance
Output Power Pout (dBm) 37.6
Gain (dB) 18
Power Added
Efficiency @ Maximum Output
Power (%) 75.8
DC Power Pdc (watts) 7.3
Thermal Dissipation (watts) 3.3
Input Power Pin (dBm) 24.8
Table 2. Comparsion of performances of various Class F
Reference fc (GHz) PAE (%)Pout (dBm) Device
[6] 2 70.5 19.85 GaAs pHEMT
[7] 2 76 21 GaAs pHEMT
[8] 1.9 63 30 GaAs FET
[9] 2.4 59 22.2 GaAs MESFET
[10] 2.14 70 40.2 GaN HEMT
This Work 2.14 75.8 37.6 LDMOS
Class F amplifier for WCDMA applications is proved via
simulation, by achieving an efficiency of 75.8% with
good linearity. This research provided the opportunity of
making some important contributions in this field of in-
vestigate. The idea of employing Class F amplifiers for
improving efficiency without corrupting linearity is
rather new, and there has been no significant published
work which focuses on Class F amplifiers for WCDMA
applications up to today. The actual performance of the
designed amplifier might differ considerably.
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