Compact Dual-Core Drive Stage using Three-winding Transformer for CMOS Broadband Power Amplifier

We present a novel broadband power amplifier (PA) architecture designed to achieve both high output power and a compact chip size in CMOS. This architecture features a dual-core drive stage and a compact vertical three-winding transformer. Implemented using a 65-nm bulk CMOS process, precise measurements validate its feasibility. The measured 3-dB bandwidth (BW3dB) of the proposed PA is 8 GHz (7-15 GHz), with a fractional BW of 73%. In the 10-15 GHz range, it demonstrates 19-22 dB gain, 22-23.2 dBm PSAT, and 30-41.5% PAE (all under the same bias conditions). During testing at 10-15 GHz (fractional BW: 40%) with a 1-CC 64-QAM OFDM signal (all under the same bias conditions), the PA demonstrates an average output power of 15.6-17.1 dBm and an average efficiency of 11.8-18.4% at -25 dB EVMrms.