A Compact Ultra-broadband GaN MMIC TR Front-End

This paper presents the design and the measured results of a monolithic microwave integrated circuit (MMIC) T/R front-end suitable for S band to Ku band applications, using a 0.1-μm GaN HEMT process. For the first time, the design successfully integrated a triple-stacked non-uniform distributed power amplifier (SNDPA), a two-stage double-stacked low noise amplifier (LNA) and a T/R switch in one MMIC, to obtain the ultra-broadband power response in Tx mode and low-noise low-consumption performance in Rx mode, simultaneously. The chip occupies a die area of 2.5 × 3.2 mm2. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this work reports the first T/R MMIC which covers the frequency range of 2 to 18 GHz and achieves about 8 W out-put power and lower than 3.5 dB NF with the smallest die size among all published chips to date.