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Published April 2015 | public
Journal Article

A mm-Wave Segmented Power Mixer


The segmented power-mixer array based mm-wave power generation architecture is demonstrated to be an energy-efficient technique for generating high-speed nonconstant envelope modulations. High output power levels are achieved by efficiently combining power from several power mixers using an area efficient dual-primary distributed active transformer. The segmented scheme leads to back-off efficiency improvements while simultaneously providing direct envelope modulation eliminating the need for high-speed high-efficiency supply modulators. The power mixer is implemented in a 32-nm silicon-on-insulator CMOS process and provides a peak output power of 19.1 dBm at 51 GHz with a drain efficiency of 14.2% and a peak power-added efficiency of 10.1%. High-speed constant (binary phase-shift keying, quadrature phase-shift keying), as well as nonconstant envelope modulations ( m-amplitude shift keying, quadrature amplitude modulation) show the versatility of the architecture towards spectrally efficient modulation schemes. Reliability against segment breakdown over long periods of time at 30% higher supply voltages has also been demonstrated.

Additional Information

© 2015 IEEE. Manuscript received September 07, 2014; revised January 07, 2015; accepted February 22, 2015. Date of publication March 13, 2015; date of current version April 02, 2015. This work was supported by the Air Force Research Laboratory. This paper is an expanded version from the IEEE RFIC Symposium, Tampa Bay, FL, USA, June 1–3, 2014. The authors would like to thank B. Abiri, S. M. Bowers, A. Safaripour, and B. Hong, all with the CHIC Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, for technical suggestions and S. Raman, formerly of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and T. Quach, Army Research Laboratory (AFRL), for support.

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