A Compact 10W 2-20 GHz GaN MMIC Power Amplifier Using a Decade Bandwidth Output Impedance Transformer

This paper presents the design and measurement of a two-stage, 2-20 GHz GaN MMIC power amplifier fabricated on 100 micron silicon carbide using Qorvo's QGaN15 released process. A non-uniform distributed power amplifier architecture with a decade bandwidth 1:4 output impedance transformer is implemented to achieve high power and PAE. The MMIC power amplifier is fully integrated, having on-chip DC blocking capacitors at the RF terminals and on-chip RF bias inductors while only requiring low-cost bypass capacitors at the power supply terminals. The PA produces 40.3 – 42 dBm of output power over the 2-20 GHz band with 22.3 - 38.2% PAE using a 22V supply voltage. The large signal gain varies between 13.3 and 15dB. The design is realized in a compact 10.5 mm2 resulting in a power density of greater than 1 W/mm2 over the full bandwidth with a supply voltage that is over 20% lower than prior art.