Design procedure for integrated microwave GaAs stacked-FET high-power amplifiers

Gijs van der Bent*, Peter de Hek, Frank E. van Vliet

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
8 Downloads (Pure)


The application of stacked-FETs in power amplifiers allows for a supply voltage higher than supported by the breakdown voltage of a single transistor. Potential benefits of the increased supply voltage are reduced supply currents and a lower matching ratio at the output of the amplifier. Furthermore, an increased output power per chip area is obtained due to the reduction in passive structures resulting in more area-efficient power combining. In this paper, the procedure for the design of integrated microwave stacked-FET is discussed. Several options for the correct distribution of RF voltage and current swings are investigated and the relationship between the number of stacked transistors and bandwidth is addressed. The procedure is demonstrated by the design of an S-band GaAs stacked-FET containing three transistors. This stacked-FET is applied in an S-band HPA that has a PAE of more than 40% at an output power of 20 W, which is more than twice the output power of any previously reported GaAs stacked-FET HPA.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8778700
Pages (from-to)3716-3731
Number of pages16
JournalIEEE transactions on microwave theory and techniques
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2019


  • Microwave-integrated circuits
  • Nonlinear circuits
  • Power-integrated circuits
  • Radio frequency (RF) signals
  • Transmitters
  • n/a OA procedure


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