Design of linear transmitters for wireless applications




Ock, Sungmin

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Wireless standards for high data-rate communications typically employ complex modulation schemes that have large peak-to-average power ratios (PAPR), along with a significant bandwidth requirement. Transmitters for such applications often employ off-chip power amplifiers (PAs), that are typically operated in back-off, such that the peak output power is less than the output 1-dB compression point (P1dB), in order to minimize distortion. In mobile systems, architectures that can enhance the linearity of the transmit chain are highly attractive since these can reduce the PA's back-off requirement, which helps to enhance efficiency. In this dissertation, linearization techniques for mobile transmitters are explored. A Cartesian feedback-feedforward transmitter is proposed for linearity enhancement. The transmit path in the architecture is placed in a Cartesian feedback loop. The feedback error signal is applied to a Cartesian feedforward path for further linearity improvement. Linearity of the feedback-feedforward system is analyzed by using a Volterra series representation. System simulations using two-tone signals and modulated signals are also presented and are used to verify the linearity enhancement provided by the proposed architecture. A prototype transmitter IC that employs the Cartesian feedback-feedforward approach is implemented in a 0.13 μm CMOS process. Design considerations for critical transmitter circuits are discussed. A proof-of-concept Cartesian feedback-feedforward architecture that includes the prototype IC and external components is demonstrated. The implementation allows for a 8.7 dB improvement in the adjacent channel leakage ratio (ACLR), compared to an open-loop transmitter, for an output power of 16.6 dBm at 2.4 GHz while employing a 16-QAM LTE signal with 1.4 MHz bandwidth. The linearity of the Cartesian feedback-feedforward system is found to depend primarily on the loop gain of the Cartesian feedback and the linearity of the Cartesian feedforward path, which introduces a trade-off with power consumption. To enhance the linearity of the Cartesian feedback-feedforward transmitter even further within the Cartesian feedback loop, two modified Cartesian feedback-feedforward architectures are explored. System simulations show that both modified configurations can help to enhance linearity compared to the above Cartesian feedback-feedforward transmitter.


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