10W High Efficiency GaN-Si MMIC Power Amplifier for 17.3–20.2GHz Onboard Satellite Use

In this contribution is reported the design and the experimental characterization of a 17.3–20.2GHz High Power Amplifier (HPA) realized in 100nm gate length Gallium Nitride on Silicon (GaN-Si) technology. The realized Microwave Monolithic Integrated Circuit (MMIC) is a cascade of three stages, with a total gate periphery in the final stage of 6.4 mm. The MMIC is conceived for satellite applications, thus a proper thermal-aware design approach was pursued to account for the larger thermal resistance and higher losses characterizing the Silicon substrate with respect to the more traditional Silicon Carbide one. The on-wafer measurements, in pulsed condition, shown an output power of 40dBm in a broader frequency range (17–21 GHz) with a power added efficiency (PAE) larger than 35% (with a peak of 45% over the bandwidth). The packaged version, without any compensation, demonstrates in continuous wave condition an output power larger than 39.5dBm with a PAE better than 30%.