Two teams of DARPA performers have achieved world record power output levels using silicon-based technologies for millimeter-wave power amplifiers. RF power amplifiers are used in communications and sensor systems to boost power levels for reliable transmission of signals over the distance required by the given application. Further integration efforts may unlock applications in low-cost satellite communications and millimeter-wave sensing.
The first team, composed of performers at the University of Southern California and Columbia University, achieved output power levels of nearly 0.5 W at 45 gigahertz with a 45 nanometer silicon complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) chip. This world record result for CMOS-based power amplifiers doubles output power compared to the next best reported CMOS millimeter-wave power amplifier. The chip design used multiple stacked 45 nanometer silicon-on-insulator CMOS devices for increased effective output voltage swing and efficient 8-way on-chip power-combining. Results will be reported at the 2013 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Radio Frequency Integrated Circuits Symposium.
Read more at: Phys.org