A Power Efficient BiCMOS Ka-Band Transmitter Front-End for SATCOM Phased-Arrays

A high efficiency 27–30 GHz 130nm BiCMOS transmitter front-end MMIC for mobile satellite communication phased-array is presented. The implemented chip consists of a gain control block with 15 dB gain variation, a 400 degree phase shifter and a high efficiency two stage power amplifier. The chip has a measured transducer gain of 23 dB and power consumption of 45 mW at P1dB of 10.8 dBm. The power added efficiency (PAE) of 26.7% is measured for the entire channel at P1dB. An error vector magnitude (EVM) of -29 dB at Pout,avg of 5.7 dBm and PAEavg of 12% is measured for a 400 MHz bandwidth 64-QAM (1.8 Gbps) modulated signal. The overall size of the chip is 2.1×0.8 mm².