Self-Bias and Digitally Tunable Conduction Angle Circuits for Differential RF Non-linear Power Amplifier Employing Low-Voltage Transistors

Introduction Transistor feature sizes are scaling to smaller and smaller dimensions in order to maximize the level of integration and operating speed of system-on-chip solutions. Unfortunately, lower breakdown voltages of the transistors accompany the smaller physical dimensions. This is problematic for the continuing development of wireless communications devices, especially RF power amplifiers. A highefficiency RF power amplifier (PA) is one of the major unsolved challenges inhibiting the development of wireless communications systems on a single chip. A differential PA topology is advantageous in single-chip solutions due to its superior power supply noise rejection capability and increased dynamic range compared to a conventional single-ended structure. However, a major limitation impeding further development of RF power amplifier designs is the low breakdown voltage of the fine-line transistors. Technology description Researchers at the University of Washington have invented a differential RF non-linear power amplifier employing low-voltage transistors in a cascode configuration. This technology uses selfbiasing solutions rather than external biasing techniques to overcome transistor breakdown problems. The self-biasing solution ensures that the cascode devices and driver device operate below breakdown voltage limitations. A low resistance circuit is placed in parallel with the self-biased circuitry to mitigate increased on-resistance created by the self-biasing solution. PMOS and NMOS inverter legs provide digital programming of the conduction angle for the power amplifier. Changing the PMOS and NMOS strengths in the chain of inverter legs changes the conduction angle. Business opportunity This invention is attractive for the design and integration of a high efficiency and high output power differential non-linear power amplifiers using modern sub-micron low breakdown voltage transistors. The world market for transistors is currently estimated to be $11,889.33 million and is expected to grow to approximately $14,992.11 by 2011. Intellectual Property Position US 7,221,217: Self-Bias and Digitally Tunable Conduction Angle Circuits for a Differential RF Nonlinear Power Amplifier Employing Low-Voltage Transistors. Issued May 2007. For more information on this technology contact:
Patrick Shelby Technology Manager jpshelby@u.washington.edu 206-616-2127

Type of Offer: Licensing



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