INDUSTRY KEYNOTE: Highly-Linear and Efficient mm-Wave GaN MMICs: Challenges in Model and Validation

Here, we will present the linearity and efficiency of graded-channel GaN HEMTs [1–7] with the linearity figure-of-merit, OIP3/PDC, of 20 dB at 30 GHz, well beyond the 10 dB rule of thumb. For power amplifier applications, a two-tone PAE of 62% was obtained experimentally at 30 GHz, which is a state-of-the-art result. We find that ~3 dB back-off from peak PAE is sufficient to achieve a carrier to third-order intermodulation (C/IM3) ratio of 30 dBc. Recent Ka-band and W-band MMICs with graded-channel GaN technology illustrate their potential for future linear and efficient mmW applications. We will talk about challenges associated with accurate linearity and efficiency modeling and validation at mmW MMICs.