Broadband Millimeter-Wave 5G Power Amplifier Design in 22 nm CMOS FD-SOI and 40 nm GaN HEMT

Jill Mayeda, Donald Y.C. Lie, Jerry Lopez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Three millimeter-wave (mm-Wave) power amplifiers (PAs) that cover the key 5G FR2 band of 24.25 to 43.5 GHz are designed in two different state-of-the-art device technologies and are presented in this work. First, a single-ended broadband PA that employs a third-order input matching network is designed in a 40 nm GaN/SiC HEMT (High Electron Mobility Transistor) technology. Good agreement between the measurement and post-layout parasitic extracted (PEX) electromagnetic (EM) simulation data is observed, and it achieves a measured 3-dB BW (bandwidth) of 18.0–40.3 GHz and >20% maximum PAE (power-added-efficiency) across the entire 20–44 GHz band. Expanding upon this measured design, a differential broadband GaN PA that utilizes neutralization capacitors is designed, laid out, and EM simulated. Simulation results indicate that this PA achieves 3-dB BW 20.1–44.3 GHz and maximum PAE > 23% across this range. Finally, a broadband mm-Wave differential CMOS PA using a cascode topology with RC feedback and neutralization capacitors is designed in a 22 nm FD-SOI (fully depleted silicon-on-insulator) CMOS technology. This PA achieves an outstanding measured 3-dB BW of 19.1–46.5 GHz and >12.5% maximum PAE across the entire frequency band. This CMOS PA as well as the single-ended GaN PA are tested with 256-QAM-modulated 5G NR signals with an instantaneous signal BW of 50/100/400/9 × 100 MHz at a PAPR (peak-to-average-power ratio) of 8 dB. The data exhibit impressive linearity vs. POUT trade-off and useful insights on CMOS vs. GaN PA linearity degradation against an increasing BW for potential mm-Wave 5G applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number683
JournalElectronics (Switzerland)
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 1 2022


  • 5G
  • GaN
  • Millimeter-wave
  • Phased-array
  • Power amplifier (PA)


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