First Advisor

Branimir Pejcinovic

Date of Publication

Summer 1-4-2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Electrical and Computer Engineering


Electrical and Computer Engineering




Power amplifiers -- Design and construction, Amplifiers, Radio frequency -- Design and construction, Radio frequency integrated circuits, Modulation-doped field-effect transistors



Physical Description

1 online resource (vii, 68 pages)


The demand for higher frequency applications is largely driven by bandwidth. The evolution of circuits in the microwave and millimeter frequency ranges always demands higher performance and lower cost as the technology and specification requirements evolve. Thus the development of new processes addressing higher frequencies and bandwidth requirements is essential to the growth of any semiconductor company participating in these markets. There exist processes which can perform in the higher frequency design space from a technical perspective. However, a cost effective solution must complement the technical merits for deployment. Thus a new 0.15 um optical lithography pHEMT process was developed at TriQuint Semiconductor to address this market segment. A 40 GHz power amplifier has been designed to quantify and showcase the capabilities of this new process by leveraging the existing processing knowledge and the implementation of high frequency scalable models. The three stage power amplifier was designed using the TOM4 scalable depletion mode FET model. The TriQuint TQP15 Design Kit also implements microstrip transmission line models that can be used for evaluating the interconnect lines and matching networks. The process also features substrate vias and the thin film resistor and MIM capacitor models which utilize the capabilities of the BCB process flow. During the design stage we extensively used Agilent ADS program for circuit and EM simulation in order to optimize the final design. Special attention was paid to proper sizing of devices, developing matching circuits, optimizing transmission lines and power combining. The final design exhibits good performance in the 40 GHz range using the new TQP15 process. The measured results show a gain of greater than 13 dB under 3 volt drain voltage and a linear output power of greater than 28 dBm at 40 GHz. The 40 GHz power amplifier demonstrates that the new process has successfully leveraged an existing manufacturing infrastructure and has achieved repeatability, high volume manufacturing, and low cost in the millimeter frequency range.


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