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MIKON 2024 Short Course

Microwave Power Amplifiers: from theory to design

The aim of this SC is to provide an overview of all aspects related to the design of basic microwave power amplifiers (PAs).

The SC is organized in two parts.

The first part is focused on the theoretical concepts required to understand the behavior of a PA. The definition of power match condition and the main issues involved in a PA design will be discussed. The main feature and theoretical performance attainable from a single active device will be analyzed, introducing the harmonic manipulation concepts for high efficiency designs (e.g., the class F, J, 2nd harmonic tuned, etc.). Several practical examples of PA designs will be shown highlighting the pros and cons related to the harmonic tuning strategies.

Then, in the second part of the SC, a practical example of the design through CAD tool of a monolithic microwave (MMIC) PA design will be presented, showing how the theoretical concepts are considered during the implementation. This part will also focus on the major challenges, such as stability (small and large signal) and how to address these in amplifier design.


Paolo Colantonio

University of Roma Tor Vergata, Roma, Italy

e-mail: paolo.colantonio@uniroma2.it

Paolo Colantonio graduated in Electronic Engineering (full honors) in 1994 and obtained the title of PhD in Telecommunications and Microelectronics in 2000, at the University of Rome Tor Vergata. He was first a Researcher (1999-2002), then an Associate Professor (2002-2018) and since 2018 he has been Full Professor of Electronics at the University of Rome Tor Vergata. His research activity has developed mainly in the field of microwave electronics, with particular interest in the areas: characterization and modeling of active and passive devices; analysis methodologies for nonlinear circuits; design methodologies for high efficiency power amplifiers.

Prof. Colantonio has published over 300 scientific contributions, a book (High Efficiency RF and Microwave Solid State Power Amplifiers, Wiley 2009), two book chapters and four contributions on the “Encyclopedia of RF and Microwave Engineering” (Wiley).

He has been Associate Editor of Int. J. of Microwave and Wireless Technologies since 2015 and since 2019 he is Associate Editor of IEEE Microwave and Wireless Components Letters (now MWTL).

Since 2023 he has been President of the GAAS Association, a non-profit European scientific cultural association to promote researchers in the field of microwave electronics.

Since 2024 he has been elevated to IEEE Fellow with the citation: ‘for contributions to microwave power amplifiers‘.

Chiara Ramella

Politecnico di Torino, Torino – Italy

e-mail: chiara.ramella@polito.it

Chiara Ramella graduated in Electronic Engineering (full honors) in 2009 and obtained the title of PhD in Electronic Devices in 2013, at Politecnico di Torino, Torino, Italy. From 2013 to 2018, she was Research Assistant at Department of Electronics and Telecommunications (DET) of Politecnico di Torino and at Department of Electronic Engineering of Università di Roma Tor Vergata (in 2015/2016), while since 2018, she is Assistant Professor at DET. She is also member of the Microwave Engineering Center for Space Applications (M.E.C.S.A.) consortium. Her research covered during the years different fields of analog and microwave electronics, such as photocurrent amplifiers, sensor acquisition systems and microwave instrumentation, but always focusing in particular on MMIC power amplifier analysis, design, characterization and modelling.