RF and Microwave Amplifier Power Added Efficiency, Fact and Fiction

Presented by: Dominic FitzPatrick, Specialist Consultant in RF and Microwave Amplifier Design, PoweRFul Microwave
Sponsored by: National Instruments

Two obvious factors have increased the emphasis on improving the efficiency of amplifiers, mobile applications and energy costs. However, more efficient amplifiers generate less heat and hence improve reliability, in addition to requiring less exotic cooling methods. Lower operating temperatures also increase output power and gain. Numerous papers have been published with headline efficiency figures >70%, but when and where are these practically achievable?

This presentation seeks to explain the operation of solid state RF & Microwave amplifiers from an efficiency perspective. The key operating modes are explored and the implications of basing a design on them, particularly the demands on other circuit elements, clarified. Amplifier design is about balancing the performance trade-offs, particularly selecting the most appropriate device technology, device size and topology. Using nonlinear CAD simulations, these effects are shown aiding component and system designers to understand the solutions available and the cost/benefit implications.

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