Development of nonlinear CAD Models for the design of linear LDMOS power amplifiers

Du Plessis, Francois Daniel (2006-03)

Thesis (MScEng (Electrical and Electronic Engineering))--University of Stellenbosch, 2006.


Nonlinear transistor modeling is becoming increasingly popular due to the demand for high linearity and high efficiency microwave amplifiers. The available models often fail to accurately predict the higher order harmonics and intermodulation distortion, which are essential when designing high-linearity amplifier circuits. This thesis describes the design of hardware and software used for the development of nonlinear CAD models. A multiline TRL calibration kit is designed and manufactured so that the characterisation of a LDMOSFET, with a RF output power capability of 10W, can be performed using an adaptive-bias S-parameter measurement algorithm. Verification standards are also manufactured and used to determine the measurement accuracy after calibration. A series of GUIs are developed to ease the model extraction process. The extraction of the small-signal model parameters is performed between 0.4 and 3 GHz, and the extraction of the parameter values for the Fager large-signal model is then performed. An improved model is defined that implements two nonlinear charge sources in stead of the three nonlinear capacitors used in the Fager model. The nonlinear charge equations are formulated using the voltage-derivatives of the calculated nonlinear charge at each port of the device. By accurately modeling the voltagederivatives of the charge, where the voltages are functions of time, the prediction of the current produced by each of the charge sources is improved. The nonlinear models are verified against the MET model, and all three models are compared to measured data. It is shown that the models are able to accurately predict the single-tone and two-tone output harmonics for class-AB operation, and in many cases the predictions outperform that of the MET model. The single-tone output power is also verified for class-C operation. Although this prediction is not extremely accurate, it is found that the correct trend for the output harmonic power can be predicted.

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