University of Oulu

Analysis, measurement and cancellation of the bandwidth and amplitude dependence of intermodulation distortion in RF power amplifiers

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Author: Vuolevi, Joel1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Technology, Department of Electrical Engineering
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.6 MB)
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Language: English
Published: 2001
Publish Date: 2001-10-05
Thesis type: Doctoral Dissertation
Defence Note: Academic Dissertation to be presented with the assent of the Faculty of Technology, University of Oulu, for public discussion in Raahensali (Auditorium L 10), Linnanmaa, on November 2nd, 2001, at 12 noon.
Reviewer: Ph.D. Stephen Maas
Professor Veikko Porra


The main emphasis in modern RF power amplifier (PA) research is on improving linearity while at the same time maintaining reasonably good efficiency, for which purpose external linearization in the form of feedforward or predistortion is often used. Linearity and linearization can be considered from both a fundamental signal (amplitude and phase conversions, AM-AM & AM-PM) and an intermodulation distortion (IMD) regeneration point of view, and since a study of intermodulation gives more information on the behaviour of an amplifier, linearity is studied in this thesis by analysing the amplitude and phase of IM components under varying signal conditions, i.e. as functions of temperature, modulation bandwidth and amplitude.

To study the behaviour of IM components analytically, a Volterra model including electro-thermal distortion mechanisms is developed and a simulation technique is introduced to determine how easily the amplifier can be linearized. An S-parameter characterization method for extracting the Volterra model and the simulation model is developed, and the amplitude and phase dependences of the IM components are shown by means of measurements performed by a novel technique developed here. The results show that the behaviour of IM components is more complicated than had commonly been expected.

Three techniques are developed for eliminating the frequency dependence of IM components, impedance optimization, envelope filtering and envelope injection. In the envelope injection technique, a low frequency envelope signal is added to the input of the amplifier in order to improve both the bandwidth and amplitude range of the memoryless predistortion. The functionality of envelope injection is demonstrated by Volterra calculations, simulations and measurements, and the technique is applied to 1W, 1.8 GHz common-emitter BJT and common-source MESFET amplifiers. IM cancellation better than 20 dB is achieved over a wide range of bandwidths and amplitudes.

It is concluded that an inherently linear amplifier is not necessarily easy to linearize any further using external techniques, but that the part of the distortion that varies with bandwidth and amplitude can be cancelled out using envelope injection and the remaining memoryless distortion by means of a simple polynomial RF predistorter. This results in good cancellation of distortion, and since both envelope injection and RF predistortion consume little power, both good efficiency and linearity can be achieved.

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Series: Acta Universitatis Ouluensis. C, Technica
ISSN-E: 1796-2226
ISBN: 951-42-6514-9
ISBN Print: 951-42-6513-0
Issue: 162
Copyright information: This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.