Phase distortion in envelope elimination and restoration radio frequency power amplifiers
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The objective of this research is to analyze and improve linearity of envelope elimination and restoration (EER) radio frequency (RF) power amplifiers. Envelope elimination and restoration was compared to other efficiency enhancement techniques and determined to likely be the most suitable solution for implementation of multimode, multiband portable RF transmitters. Distortion, stemming from dynamic power-supply modulation of RF transistors in EER RF power amplifiers was identified as one of the key challenges to the development of commercially viable EER transmitters. This dissertation presents a study of phase distortion in RF power amplifiers (PAs) with emphasis on identification of the origins of phase distortion in EER RF power amplifiers. Circuit-level techniques for distortion mitigation are also presented. Memory effects in conventional power amplifiers are investigated through the accurate measurement and analysis of phase asymmetry of out-of-band distortion components. Novel physically-based power amplifier model is developed for attributing measured memory effects to their physical origin. The amount of linearity correction, obtained through pre-distortion for a particular RF power amplifier, is then correlated to the behavior of the memory effects in the corresponding PA. Heterojunction field-effect transistor and heterojunction bipolar transistor amplifiers are used for investigation of voltage-dependent phase distortion in handset EER RF PAs. The distortion is found to stem from vector addition of signals, generated in nonlinear circuit elements of the PA. Specifically, nonlinear base-collector capacitance and downconversion of distortion components from second harmonic frequency are found to be the dominant sources of phase distortion. Shorting of second harmonic is proposed as a way to reduce the distortion contribution of the downconverted signal. Phase distortion is reduced by 50%, however a slight degradation in the amplitude distortion is observed. Push-pull architecture is proposed for EER RF power amplifiers to cancel distortion components, generated in the nonlinear base-collector capacitance. Push-pull implementation enables a 67% reduction in phase distortion, accompanied by a 1-2 dB reduction in amplitude distortion in EER RF power amplifiers. This work, combined with other studies in the field, will help advance the development of multimode, multiband portable RF transmitters, based on the envelope elimination and restoration architecture.