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A highly efficient GHz switching GaN-based synchronous buck converter module

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 April 2020

Andreas Wentzel*
Affiliation:
Ferdinand-Braun-Institut (FBH), Leibniz-Institut für Höchstfrequenztechnik, Berlin, Germany
Oliver Hilt
Affiliation:
Ferdinand-Braun-Institut (FBH), Leibniz-Institut für Höchstfrequenztechnik, Berlin, Germany
Joachim Würfl
Affiliation:
Ferdinand-Braun-Institut (FBH), Leibniz-Institut für Höchstfrequenztechnik, Berlin, Germany
Wolfgang Heinrich
Affiliation:
Ferdinand-Braun-Institut (FBH), Leibniz-Institut für Höchstfrequenztechnik, Berlin, Germany
*
Author for correspondence: Andreas Wentzel, E-mail: Wentzel@fbh-berlin.de

Abstract

The paper presents a highly efficient GaN-based synchronous buck converter suitable for switching in the lower GHz range. The module includes a very compact 2-stage GaN half-bridge converter MMIC (monolithic microwave integrated circuit) for low parasitic inductances between switches and drivers and a hybrid output network with core-less inductors to avoid ferrite losses. At 1 GHz switching frequency the buck converter achieves with pulse-width modulated (PWM) input signals power loop conversion efficiencies up to 78% for 40 V operation and output voltages up to 33 V. For 100 MHz the power loop efficiencies peak at 87.5% for 14.5 W conversion to 25 V. By changing the output network to a 2nd order low-pass with 700 MHz cut-off frequency the module has been characterized for the use as a supply modulator in very broadband envelope tracking systems with modulation bandwidths of up to 500 MHz. For 1 GHz switching frequency the power-added efficiency peaks at 74% for a 90% duty-cycle PWM input signal. The novelty of this work is that for the first time a buck converter design proves highest flexibility supporting different applications from very compact DC converters to microwave power amplifier efficiency enhancement techniques as well as efficient high frequency switching up to 1 GHz.

Type
Research Paper
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press and the European Microwave Association 2020

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References

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