Efficient EM Simulation of GCPW Structures Applied to a 200-GHz mHEMT Power Amplifier MMIC
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The behaviour of grounded coplanar waveguide (GCPW) structures in the upper millimeter-wave range is analyzed by using full-wave electromagnetic (EM) simulations. A methodological approach to develop reliable and time-efficient simulations is proposed by investigating the impact of different simplifications in the EM modelling and simulation conditions. After experimental validation with measurements on test structures, this approach has been used to model the most critical passive structures involved in the layout of a state-of-the-art 200-GHz power amplifier based on metamorphic high electron mobility transistors (mHEMTs). This millimeter-wave monolithic integrated circuit (MMIC) has demonstrated a measured output power of 8.7 dBm for an input power of 0 dBm at 200 GHz. The measured output power density and power-added efficiency (PAE) are 46.3 mW/mm and 4.5 %, respectively. The peak measured small-signal gain is 12.7 dB (obtained at 196 GHz). A good agreement has been obtained between measurements and simulation results.
KeywordsMillimeter-wave MMIC (monolithic millimeter-wave integrated circuit) mHEMT (metamorphic high electron mobility transistor) Power amplifier GCPW (grounded coplanar waveguide) Electromagnetic simulation
The authors would like to thank the Technology Department staff at the Fraunhofer IAF for MMIC processing. They also would like to thank Dr. R. Weber and H. Massler, respectively, for the layouts and measurements of the passive test structures, and Dr. T. Merkle for the useful discussions. The support of Dr. M. Schlechtweg, Prof. Dr. O. Ambacher and Dr. J. Kühn to keep this research cooperation between the Fraunhofer IAF and the Universidad de Extremadura is highly appreciated. They also would like to thank two reviewers for comments and suggestions which have highly improved both the readability and the content of this paper.
This research has been partially supported by the Regional Government Junta de Extremadura/ERDF (European Regional Development Fund), project GR15052 and by the Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad, Spain (TEC2013-46282-C2-2-P).
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