Diode Predistortion Linearization for Power Amplifier RFICs in Digital Radios
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In addition, communications channels are becoming increasingly crowded, which presents the need for improved bandwidth efficiency. In order to make more efficient use of the frequency spectrum allocated for a particular system, there is a push towards complex higher order digital modulation schemes in modern radio systems, resulting in stricter linearity requirements on the system. Since power efficient amplifiers are typically nonlinear, this poses a major problem in realizing a bandwidth and power efficient radio system. However, by employing various linearization techniques, the linearity of a high efficiency PA may be improved.
The work presented in this thesis focuses on diode predistortion linearization, particularly for PA RFICs in digital radios. Background discussion on common linearization techniques available to the PA designer is presented. In addition, a discussion of traditional and modern methods of nonlinearity characterization is presented, illustrating the nonlinear PA effects on a modulated signal. This includes the use of two-tone analysis and the more modern envelope analysis. The operation of diode predistortion linearizers is discussed in detail, along with diode optimization procedures for PA linearization with minimum impact on return loss and gain. This diode optimization is effective in improving the ability to integrate the predistorter into a single, linearized PA RFIC chip. MESFET and HBT based diode linearizers are studied for use with corresponding MESFET and HBT based PAs in the 2.68 GHz and 1.95 GHz frequency bands, respectively. Results show an improvement in adjacent channel power ratio (ACPR) due to the linearizer in both MESFET and HBT cases. A fully integrated 1.95 GHz linearizer and PA RFIC in HBT technology is also presented. Design considerations, simulations, and layouts for this design are presented. Finally, several recommendations are made for continued research in this area.
- Masters Theses