Toshiba Research Europe Limited

Innovates a Totem Pole RF Power Amplifier
We use NI AWR software on a daily basis in our research activities, which are projects that are typically five to 10 years away from market. The software enables us to take rough ideas for future products and develop them into prototypes.
Dr. Gavin Watkins
Principal Research Engineer
Toshiba Research Europe Limited

Innovates a Totem Pole RF Power Amplifier

Company

Toshiba Research Europe Limited operates Toshiba’s Cambridge Research Laboratory and the Telecommunications Research Laboratory in Bristol, UK. Since its inception in 1998, the Telecommunications Research Laboratory has been at the cutting edge of research into technologies such as next-generation wireless networking, reconfigurable device architectures, and “smart” systems for energy, mobile, and medical applications. 

Challenge

Wireless communications systems require RF power amplifiers (PAs) to overcome the transmission path loss that exists between transmitter and receiver. The push-pull amplifier offers a simple and convenient way to produce high transmit powers. At RF frequencies, it usually consists of two transformer-coupled common-source devices operating in antiphase. An alternative is the totem-pole architecture which features two devices of the same polarity driven by an active driver stage. The additional current consumption of this driver stage results in low RF efficiency.

Solution

Using the NI AWR Design Environment platform, specifically Microwave Office circuit design software, the designers successfully imported the transistor models and simulated the circuit. The software enabled the designers to characterize the gain and phase relationship between the two signal paths. Operation was confirmed by the current waveforms and the suppression of the second harmonic.

Note: The original paper for this application, written by Dr. Gavin Watkins of Toshiba Research Europe, can be found at  ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/8283349/.

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