Design of highly efficient wideband RF polar transmitters using the envelope-tracking technique

Jerry Lopez, Yan Li, Jeremy D. Popp, Donald Y.C. Lie, Chia Chang Chuang, Kevin Chen, Stanley Wu, Tzu Yin Yang, Gin Kou Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


This paper discusses the design issues of highly efficient and monolithic wideband RF polar transmitters, especially the ones that use the envelope-tracking (ET) technique. Besides first reviewing the current state-of-the-art polar transmitters in the literature, three focus topics will be discussed: 1) the system-on-a-chip (SoC) design considerations of the monolithic polar transmitter using ET versus EER (envelope elimination and restoration); 2) the design of highly efficient envelope amplifier capable of achieving the high efficiency, current, bandwidth, accuracy and noise specifications required for wideband signals; and 3) the design of high-efficiency monolithic Si-based class E power amplifiers (PAs) suitable for ET-based RF polar transmitters. A design prototype of a polar transmitter using ET and a monolithic SiGe PA that passed the stringent low-band EDGE (Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution) transmit mask with 45% overall transmitter system efficiency will be given; the simulated data of the entire polar transmitter system is also compared against the measurement. Further investigations on how to solve the technical challenges to successfully implement linear and high-efficiency ET-based polar transmitter for broadband wireless applications such as WiBro/WiMAX are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5226754
Pages (from-to)2276-2294
Number of pages19
JournalIEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2009


  • DC-DC converter
  • Envelope amplifier
  • Envelope- elimination-and-restoration (EER)
  • Envelope-tracking (ET)
  • Monolithic RF SiGe power amplifier (PA)
  • Polar transmitters
  • Power-added efficiency (PAE)
  • Radio-frequency (RF)
  • Switch-mode PA
  • Wideband transmitter


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