An Octave-Range, Watt-Level, Fully-Integrated CMOS Switching Power Mixer Array for Linearization and Back-Off-Efficiency Improvement

S. Kousai and A. Hajimiri

The power mixer array is presented as a novel power generation approach for non-constant envelope signals. It comprises several power mixer units that are dynamically turned on and off to improve the linearity and back-off efficiency. At the circuit level, the power mixer unit can operate as a switching amplifier to achieve high peak power efficiency. Additional circuit level linearization and back-off efficiency improvement techniques are also proposed. To demonstrate the feasibility of this idea, a fully-integrated octave-range CMOS power mixer array is implemented in a 130 nm CMOS process. It is operational between 1.2 GHz and 2.4 GHz and can generate an output power of +31.3 dBm into an external   load with a PAE of 42% and a gain compression of only 0.4 dB at 1.8 GHz. It achieves a PAE of 25%, at an average output power of  +26.4 dBm, and an EVM of 4.6% with a non-constant-envelope 16 QAM signal. It can also produce arbitrary signal levels down to -7 dBm of output power with the 16 QAM-modulated signal without any RF gain control circuit.