High Efficiency Integrated Power Supply Modulators for sub-6GHz 5G Transmitters

Principal Investigator
Project Description

Power supply modulators are critical components for the implementation of mm-wave and sub-6GHz 5G systems, especially the base-stations.  In addition to high power and efficiency, good linearity and compact size are required, since front-end electronics must be scaled down to sizes of a medium pizza-box size for massive MIMO for sub-6GHz remote radio heads. Toward these goals, having a fast and efficient power converter for envelop tracking to improve the efficiency of the transmitters proves to be critical for the system’s development, sustainability, and scalability. 

In the last year of this research, we have investigated and demonstrated fast power supply modulators using discrete MOS switches on PCB as a proof of concept. The demonstrations include a novel con-verter topology as well as efforts to test the converter together with commercial PA to show significant efficiency improvements. In the coming years, the research group seeks to explore an integrated imple-mentation of the converter on a commercial GaN process. The focus of the research will be on GaN process characterization specifically for power converter design, design, implementation, and test of the integrated power converter on the GaN process. Toward the end of the project duration, we aim to demonstrate the integrated converter with a commercial power amplifier for a complete system. A fa-ther future goal of the project is to have a complete integrated system including the power supply mod-ulator and power amplifier integrated together on the same package to reduce interconnect parasitics. Ultimately, the complete transmitter system can be monolithically integrated.