Studying, designing, realization and measurement of power efficient RF power amplifiers

The aim of this master thesis is to study, design, realize, and measure a power efficient RF amplifier in the 2.4GHz range. Since the main idea is to focus on high data rate 5G communication that uses (amongst others) OFDM, it is necessary to have power amplifiers with a good linearity.


The first stage of the thesis will include the study and design of single power amplifier stages (including impedance matching using transmission lines and lumped elements, stability of the amplifier, and power efficiency of the different amplifier’s class). In a later stage, different single stage amplifiers are combined into more complex amplifier configurations (class-B push-pull, Dorothy amplifiers, envelope tracking,…). In this way, you will learn not only how to design RF systems using lumped elements and transmission lines, but also to understand better the concept of power amplifier design and the simulation of its power gain, stability, and nonlinear distortion.

The second stage include the hardware realization using discrete components, including the design and fabrication of the RF PCB, and the mounting / soldering the components.

The third stage includes the measurement of the designed amplifier. This includes the measurement and characterization of the frequency response, the input and output impedance matching, the power efficiency, the stability, and the nonlinear behavior of the amplifier.

Various iterations / realizations are possible in this design/realize/measure cycles, depending on the outcome and the gathered knowledge.

Last, it is possible to integrate this RF power amplifier with the USRP to obtain a higher transmit power.

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