Realization of a Broadband Push-Pull High-Frequency Power Amplifier

High-Frequency (RF) Power Amplifiers are the main components that make the daily communication with your smartphone an everyday fact. These devices are designed under very strict constraints as we want to surf the internet as fast as possible without depleting the battery of our cell phone in a matter of minutes. New and exotic amplifier architectures are thus a necessity to keep the consumers happy and connected. A possible way to achieve these constraints is combining the output of multiple power amplifiers together.

One such architecture is based on the combination of the inverted output of two power amplifiers such as is depicted in Figure 1. Each amplifier is only responsible for amplifying either the negative or the positive part of the communication signal. Alongside the Power Amplifier, Baluns are used to split the signals into its positive and negative part and afterwards to again recombine the signals. Modern communication signals cover a large frequency range and thus require a design that is broadband; giving additional design criteria on the baluns, the PA and the periphery.

Push-Pull RF Power Amplifier

Figure: General structure and internal signals of a Push-Pull RF Power Amplifier

In this thesis you will design a push-pull Power Amplifier from start to finish and will aim to obtain a design with high linearity, high efficiency and with a frequency range that is able to handle modern communication signals. The idea is that you will become an expert in tackling a challenging design problem without losing sight of the end goal. Typical design steps that will have to be confronted are the simulation of a complex device using state-of-the-art software, transforming a working, but idealistic design to something that can be realized in practice and the validation of the final design using measurements.

More information is readily available when requested and particularities of this master thesis can be tailor-made to suit you, the ambitious master student!

Contact: piet.bronders [at] vub.ac.be

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