CMOS RF transmitter front-end module for high-power mobile applications
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With the explosive growth of the wireless market, the demand for low-cost and highly-integrated radio frequency (RF) transceiver has been increased. Keeping up with this trend, complimentary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) has been spotlighted by virtue of its superior characteristics. However, there are challenges in achieving this goal, especially designing the transmitter portion. The objective of this research is to demonstrate the feasibility of fully integrated CMOS transmitter module which includes power amplifier (PA) and transmit/receive (T/R) switch by compensating for the intrinsic drawbacks of CMOS technology. As an effort to overcome the challenges, the high-power handling T/R switches are introduced as the first part of this dissertation. The proposed differential switch topology and feed-forward capacitor helps reducing the voltage stress over the switch devices, enabling a linear power transmission. With the high-power T/R switches, a new transmitter front-end topology - differential PA and T/R switch topology with the multi-section PA output matching network - is also proposed. The multi-stage PA output matching network assists to relieve the voltage stress over the switch device even more, by providing a low switch operating impedance. By analyzing the power performance and efficiency of entire transmitter module, design methodology for the high-power handling and efficient transmitter module is established. Finally, the research in this dissertation provides low-cost, high-power handling, and efficient CMOS RF transmitter module for wireless applications.