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Power Amplifier Efficiency

2 day Master Class

Rick Campbell PhD Portland State University

References and Acknowledgements

textbook:

Steve C. Cripps, RF Power Amplifiers for Wireless Communications, 2nd edition, Artech House 2006

useful references Wes Hayward, Rick Campbell, and Bob Larkin, Experimental Methods in RF Design, ARRL 2003

Herbert Krauss, Charles Bostian, and Frederick Raab, Solid State Radio Engineering, Wiley 2000

acknowledgement

Many ongoing conversations with Frederick Raab, Steve Cripps, and Wes Hayward since 1996

Class Outline:

Morning Day 1 Definitions and Fundamentals: Class A, B, C, D

Afternoon Day 1 Switches and Waveforms: Class E and Class F

Morning Day 2 New Developments: Class J, interstage design, drive

Afternoon Day 2 Detailed Study of Current Design Examples

Definitions and Fundamentals

Efficiency

Efficiency

Efficiency

Total RF Power Output

Total DC Power Input

Communications Effectiveness

Handset Battery Life

Useful Information Transfer

Impact on Planet Earth

Common Definitions

Efficiency

Sine Wave Power Output

DC Input to PA Collector

Power Utilization Factor

Watts

dollar

Amplifier Classes A, B, C, D, E, F,

J

Classic Amplifier Classes A, B, C

Old Terminology that has evolved and muddied

Efficiency numbers are for active device dissipation

Theoretical efficiency may not be a useful concept

For example, rigorously applying PA efficiency concepts to my

laptop reveals that it dissipates no energy descriptive math models are still useful.

but

the language and

A Little Symbolic Math

Io Vcc

=

P DC

Power Supply DC

2
Vp
=
P
RF
Sine wave RF power in
2R
L
= P Device

Instaneous device dissipation in ideal class A amplifier with maximum pure sine wave output

Class A Amplifier

Vcc

constant current source

Io

active device

0 < I <2Io

-Vcc

A Little Textbook Math

Vcc

2

Vcc

using:
=
R
L

Io

R L
=

= P Device

= P Device

R L

2
Vcc
R L

2 P Device

=

using:

cos a cos b

=

2 1 cos (a + b)

+

2 1 cos (a - b)

End of Math

2
Vcc
2
= P Device
R L
1
1
=
cos 0
+
2
2
2
Vcc
1
R L
2

= P Device

2
Vcc
R L
1
2

dt

1 Vcc

2

2 R L

= P Device

= P Device

average device

dissipation = half of supply power

Class A Amplifier

Vcc

constant current source

Io

active device

0 < I <2Io

-Vcc

no signal DC device dissipation = Vcc x Io

Class A Amplifier

Vcc

constant current source

Io

active device

0 < I <2Io

-Vcc

no signal DC device dissipation = Vcc x Io

Peak sine wave in load =

Vcc 2

Vcc

no signal DC device dissipation = Vcc x Io

-Vcc

Io

Vcc

Vcc x

=

Vcc 2

0 < I <2Io

=

Peak sine wave in load =

Vcc 2

since DC power supply can’t tell the difference between peak output and no output, at peak output, half of DC power is converted to sine wave in load and half dissipated in device

From Model to Real Amplifier

model is only useful if it helps us understand and improve real amplifiers

Vcc

Io
0 < I <2Io
-Vcc

Class A model

12 v 50 mA
250 mW output at 12.0 volts
375 mW output at 15.0 volts
100n
L1
L2
1nF
L3
L4
50 MHz
1nF
22
56
120
56
L1 6t FT37-43
L2 10t T37-6
L3, L4 5t T25-6
150
All Transistors MPN5179
Rick Campbell
23 December 2008

Designed, Built, and Measured Amplifier

more

class

parts, but real parts A model is too simple, but still useful

From Model to Real Amplifier

Vcc

Vcc
Vc
Big L
Big C
Vc
Io
0 < I <2Io
-Vcc

Class A model

=

Vcc -

L

di

dt

With fast transistor and appropriate choice of Rload, Vc can be any- thing. Same circuit for PA, switch- ing power supply, ignition system, transistor killer

Io

Vcc
Big L
Big C
Vc
+
-
Vcc

Inductor stores power supply energy and can supply extra voltage when needed. Capacitor stores power supply energy and can supply extra current when needed.

A Reminder that Active Devices are Interesting

1 watt ZorchFET
Ids = 300mA
Idss
Ids = 200mA
Ids = 100mA
Ids = 0
Vds = 0
Vds = 2
Vds = 4
Vds = 6
Vdd
Vds = 8

Vgs = +.2

Vgs = 0

Vgs = -.2

Vgs = -.3

Vgs = -.4

Vgs = -.5

Vgs = Vp

and

Next: Waveform Analysis

Introduction to PA Waveform Analysis

Io

Vcc
2Vcc
Big L
Vcc
Big C
Vc
+
-
Vcc
0
-Vcc
2Io
2Vcc
Device Current
and Voltage
Io
Vcc
0
0
Vc
Vo

device dissipation is product of I and V

Class A Waveform Analysis

Io

Vcc
Big L
Big C
Vc
+
-
Vcc
 2Io 2Vcc Io Vcc 0 0

Device Current and Voltage

 2Vcc x 0 3 2 Vcc x Io x Vcc 3 Io x 2 0 x 2Io

1

2

1

2

Io

Vcc

0

0.75

1

0.75

0

Device Power

Class A Waveform Analysis

Io

Vcc
Big L
Big C
Vc
+
-
Vcc

sketch of instaneous device dissipation

Device Current and Voltage

note slightly real waveforms

Class A Waveform Analysis

Io

Vcc
Big L
Big C
Vc
+
-
Vcc

sketch of instaneous device dissipation

Device Current and Voltage

Average

textbook waveforms

Class A Waveform Analysis

Device Current and Voltage

Io

Vcc
Big L
Big C
Vc
+
-
Vcc

sketch of instaneous device dissipation

Note: this might still be a perfectly linear class A amplifier--the output signal is a perfect replica of the input signal.

Class A Efficiency Review:

“The efficiency of a Class A amplifier” is not a number at the end of several pages of arcane math in a textbook

slight deviation from textbook waveform has big impact on device dissipation

textbook waveforms only appear in textbooks

waveform engineering is our primary tool to reduce device dissipation--even at frequencies where we can’t observe waveforms

Next: an alphabetical listing of amplifier classes