Integrated Self-Healing for mm-Wave Power Amplifiers

S. M. Bowers, K. Sengupta, K. Dasgupta, B. D. Parker, and A. Hajimiri

Self-healing as a technique for improving performance and yield of millimeter-wave power amplifiers (PAs) against process variation and transistor mismatch, load impedance mismatch, and partial and total transistor failure is described and investigated. A 28-GHz PA is presented with three types of sensors, two types of actuators, data converters, and a digital algorithm block that are all integrated on a single chip to show the validity of the technique. Two algorithms are implemented to either maximize output power or to minimize dc power for a desired output power. Measurements from 20 chips show increased RF output power up to 3 dB or reduced dc power by 50% in backoff with a 50-Ω load. Self-healing with up to 4-1 voltage standing-wave ratio load impedance mismatch is verified and linear operation under nonconstant envelope modulation is shown to improve with healing. Self-healing after laser cutter induced transistor failure is verified and increases RF output power by up to 5.4 dB. The aggregate yield of the PA across several representative specifications is increased from 0% to 80% with self-healing.