Principles of Silicon mmWave PA Design

April 14, 2009
Interschool Lab, 7th Fl. CEPSR
Hosted by: Prof. Krishnaswamy
Speaker: Dr. Alberto Valdes-Garcia, IBM


In the accelerating evolution of silicon mmWave systems, highly integrated radios cable of multi-Gb/s transmission have already been demonstrated. Nevertheless, efficient power generation at mmWave frequencies using SiGe and CMOS devices is still a challenge. This presentation will address important considerations for the implementation of Power Amplifiers (PA) operating at 60GHz. Two different single-stage PA examples will be used to illustrate design, modeling, simulation and measurement concepts as well as challenges. The first design is a 60GHz class-E PA in 0.13um SiGe BiCMOS. To accomplish switching-mode operation at 60GHz, the input impedance matching network provides a low real source impedance rather than optimum power match. Measurement results show a saturated output power >11.1dBm with peak PAE>15% from 55-60GHz. The second design is a class-A PA in 65nm CMOS. In this case, the focus is to understand the large signal behavior of a deep-submicron FET devices in the 60GHz band over process and temperature variations. The PA achieves output 1dB compression point of 6dBm peak PAE of 8.5% at 62GHz.


Alberto Valdes-Garcia received the B.S. in Electronic Systems Engineering degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology (ITESM), Mexico in 1999 and the Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University in 2006. In 2000 he was a Design Engineer with Motorola, Broadband Communications. During his graduate studies he was a Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) Research Assistant and held internships with Agere Systems and IBM Research. Since January 2006 he has been a Research Staff Member with the IBM T. J. Watson Research Center. His present work is on silicon integrated millimeter-wave communication systems and carbon electronics. He is a member of the IEEE 802.15.3c 60GHz standardization committee and an Associate Editor of the Journal of VLSI Design. He has authored or co-authored more than 30 peer-referred publications, and 3 book chapters. Dr. Valdes-Garcia is the winner of the 2005 Best Doctoral Thesis Award presented by the IEEE Test Technology Technical Council (TTTC), a co-recipient of an IBM Corporate Outstanding Innovation Award and the recipient of the 2007 National Youth Award for Outstanding Academic Achievements presented by the Goverment of Mexico.

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