Digital Power Amplifiers and Transmitters Based on RF Digital-to-Analog Converters

In the era of the Internet-of-Things (IoT) and 5G communication, small, linear, and power-efficient wireless Power Amplifiers (PAs) and transceivers are critical for the small form factor, high-data throughput, and extended battery life of many mobile devices. On the other hand, innovations in analog/RF circuits have been driven by rapidly-evolving semiconductor technology in line with Moore’s law. Digital PAs and transmitters (Tx), based on RF Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC) architectures, have shown great promise for Tx systems with small area and excellent energy efficiency. The digital PA and Tx architecture, mostly based on digital circuits and switches, directly benefits from the advances in state-of-the-art nanometer-scale CMOS technology. The future of digital PA/Tx in wireless systems is not far away. This talk will give an introduction to the digital PA, and also cover recent advances, directions, and benefits that the wireless digital PA/Tx will bring about. Recent design examples, like a polar switched-capacitor (SC) digital PA with efficiency boosting techniques such as class-G, Doherty, and time-interleaving, will be discussed.