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Published March 2016 | public
Journal Article

An MMIC low-noise amplifier design technique


In this paper we discuss the design of low-noise amplifiers (LNAs) for both cryogenic and room-temperature operation in general and take the stability and linearity of the amplifiers into special consideration. Oscillations that can occur within a multi-finger transistor are studied and verified with simulations and measurements. To overcome the stability problem related to the multi-finger transistor design approach a parallel two-finger unit transistor monolithic microwave integrated circuit LNA design technique, which enables the design of wideband and high-linearity LNAs with very stable, predictable, and repeatable operation, is proposed. The feasibility of the proposed design technique is proved by demonstrating a three-stage LNA packaged in a WR10 waveguide housing and fabricated using a 35-nm InP HEMT technology that achieves more than a 20-dB gain from 75 to 116 GHz and 26–33-K noise temperature from 85 to 116 GHz when cryogenically cooled to 27 K.

Additional Information

© 2016 IEEE. Manuscript received October 24, 2015; accepted December 22, 2015; date of publication February 11, 2016; date of current version March 03, 2016. This work was supported in part by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The work of M. Varonen was supported by Oak Ridge Associated Universities under the NASA Postdoctoral Program (NPP), by the Academy of Finland, and by the Alfred Kordel Foundation. The authors thank M. Soria and H. Owen, both with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA, for assembly expertise.

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