Robert Smith, consultant engineer at Plextek RFI, will present a paper entitled “Design of a Broadband L-band 160W GaN Power Amplifier using SMT Packaged Transistors” at a seminar at the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) in London, UK, on Monday May 8.

The IET “Active and Passive RF Devices” seminar will address the design challenges for RF and microwave devices for a range of applications. Although RF technology is all around us, and has become a technology we very much take for granted, it is still an area of intense scientific and industrial research as mobile phones continue to evolve to 5G and transistors replace the magnetron in microwave ovens.

Smith’s presentation will describe the design of a broadband 160-W GaN PA using a commercially available transistor in a low-cost SMT plastic package. The PA covers 1.2 and 1.8 GHz and is suited to L-band radar and wideband communications applications. The presentation will describe the design of the PA, including load-pull measurements and EM simulation of input and output matching networks and present details of the measured performance of the PA. Particular consideration is given to the thermal challenges involved in using high-power GaN transistors in SMT packages.

Smith has several years of GaN power-amplifier design experience. Prior to joining Plextek RFI he was with Thales Nederland, where he designed subsystems for active phased-array naval radar. He obtained a Ph.D. at Cardiff University, sponsored by Roke Manor Research, during which he investigated the design and implementation of broad-bandwidth, high-efficiency RF PAs.

Plextek RFI’s Smith to speak at IET seminar on RF devices
Rick Nelson
Rick became Executive Editor for EE in 2011. Previously he served on several publications, including EDN and Vision Systems Design, and has received awards for signed editorials from the American Society of Business Publication Editors. He began as a design engineer at General Electric and Litton Industries and earned a BSEE degree from Penn State.