Articles | Volume 11
04 Jul 2013
 | 04 Jul 2013

Envelope tracking of a radio frequency amplifier for Long Term Evolution using a three-level class-G modulator

A. Bräckle, L. Rathgeber, F. Siegert, S. Heck, and M. Berroth

Abstract. In this contribution, efficiency enhancement of a radio frequency (RF) power amplifier (PA) for Long Term Evolution (LTE) base stations using envelope tracking is investigated. The dynamically adapted drain bias voltage is provided by a three-level class-G modulator. The potential of this bias modulator is demonstrated with a class AB PA built in gallium nitride (GaN) technology with an operation frequency of 2.75 GHz, a maximum output power of 41 dBm and a peak power-added efficiency (PAE) of 60%. When driven by an LTE signal with a bandwidth of 20 MHz, overall system efficiency can be increased from 17% with a constant supply voltage up to 29% with envelope tracking. This is accompanied by a reduction of linearity. Adjacent channel leakage ratio (ACLR) decreases by 10 dB in the first and by 18 dB in the second adjacent channel, respectively. Error vector magnitude (EVM) increases from 9% up to 29%.