Published online by Cambridge University Press: 15 April 2019
This paper presents a fully digital transmitter chain from baseband to antenna, including a modulator, two truly digital (i.e. fully switched) microwave power amplifiers and a transmit/receive switch. Both, amplifier and switch monolithic microwave integrated circuits were implemented in a GaN HEMT process. The novel amplifier design provides greatly reduced complexity, needing only three voltage sources. Measurements were conducted using 5, 20, and 100 MHz wide baseband signals. Carrier frequencies cover the 900 and 2000 MHz bands. For the 5 MHz BB signal an ACLR of over 52 dB is reached, fulfilling the 3GPP specs for base station use while still maintaining a final-stage drain efficiency of 46% at 6.5 dB peak to average power ratio. Full-scale output power at 30 V supply voltage was measured to exceed 3 W at 80% drain efficiency. Further features of this digital amplifier approach include small form factor and frequency agility, making it an ideal candidate for software defined radio.