SiGe HBT RFIC Power Amplifiers

This thesis presents the development of integrated ESD protection circuitry for two RFIC Power Amplifier designs. A prototype PA for 2.4 GHz Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) applications was redesigned to provide protection to the RF input and the PA Control pins. A relatively new technique known as the L-C tank approach was used to protect the RFinput while a standard diode ring approach was used to protect the control line. The protection techniques studied were subsequently extended to a completely protected three-stage PA targeting 1.9 GHz Digitally Enhanced Cordless Telephone (DECT) applications. An on-chip shunt-L-series-C input matching network was used to provide ESD protection to the input pin of the DECT PA. A much more area efficient (as compared to the diode ring technique) Zener diode approach was used to protect the control and signal lines. The PA’s RF performance was virtually unaffected by the addition of the protection circuits.
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