Technical Insights > Simulation + Design

Dual-Band 5G Power Amplifier Design Example

2018-08-28  |  3 min read 

Demands for faster data speeds and more reliable services are at an all-time high. 5G is predicted to meet these demands, and much more. Progress towards 5G commercialization took another step forward this June with the 3GPP Release-15 standards, and researchers continue working on solutions to the technology behind it. Once thought unsuitable for mobile communication, mmWaves have the potential to solve many problems that exist today with the overcrowded spectrum due to their high operating frequencies. Research has shown that mmWave propagation issues can be overcome with help from mmWave small-circuit designs.

Plextek RFI is a leading company in 5G design, specializing in the design and development of Radio Frequency Integrated Circuits (RFICs), Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuits (MMICs) and microwave/mmWave modules. The designers at Plextek RFI manage their own RF On Wafer (RFOW) test facility, providing several leading foundries with highly developed design services. Their designs are used in a wide range of applications from test instrumentation to infrastructure equipment and the latest mm-wave 5G systems.

Plextek RFI also has a growing collection of video tutorials on various design topics in a wide range of applications from test instrumentation to infrastructure equipment and the latest mm-wave 5G systems.

One of their video tutorials provides a visual demonstration of the design, layout, and performance of a Dual-Band 5G Power Amp.

Dual Band Power Amplifier
Figure 1. Full layout of a mm-wave 5G dual-band power amplifier. (Designed in ADS).

Dual-band power amps are vastly popular in proposed 5G designs due to the wide range of frequencies used in 5G applications. They perform almost as well as two single-band PAs combined, as they are capable of electronically switching their operating band between the 26GHz and 32GHz 5G bands. They are small, inexpensive, and easy to design with electronic design software.

Dual-Band Power Amplifier
Figure 2: ADS schematic of three-stage dual-band power amplifier in Keysight ADS.
S-parameter vs. Frequency
Figure 3: S-parameters vs. frequency of a pHEMT switch transistor, used to alter effects of transmission lines in low and high bands.

Watch the 20-minute tutorial video to dive further into each stage of the power amp design, and to see the effects of the pHEMT switch by simulating the S-parameters at high and low band.

More information on Plextek RFI.

See more tutorials by Plextek RFI.