Load Modulation of Harmonically Tuned Amplifiers and Application to Outphasing Systems

Paolo Enrico de Falco, Prathamesh Pednekar, Konstantinos Mimis, Souheil Ben Smida, Gavin Watkins, Kevin Morris, Taylor Wallis Barton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)
146 Downloads (Pure)


Modulation of load impedance is an effective way to maintain efficient power amplifier (PA) operation over high dynamic range modulated signals. For high efficiency, a load modulation approach can be applied to inherently efficient classes of PAs such as those with harmonic tuning: Class J, Class F, and Inverse Class F. This paper presents an analysis of harmonically tuned (HT) amplifiers operating under load modulation conditions, deriving the optimal loading trajectories for these multiple classes of operation. Because these load trajectories are complex, it is then shown-through a series of analysis, simulations, and measurements-that HT amplifiers are better suited for outphasing systems, than conventional amplifiers such as Class B. A design methodology is proposed and validated through design and measurement of a 900-MHz outphasing system, comprising of two Gallium Nitride Class J branch PAs, delivering 44.6 dBm with 75% PAE at saturation, while maintaining PAE above 60% over a 7-dB output power back-off.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3596-3612
Number of pages17
JournalIEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques
Issue number10
Early online date9 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017


  • Continuous modes of operation
  • outphasing


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