PARSAX An Informal Look at Radar Technology and Applications within TU Delft


Envelope-tracking technology can double efficiency of RF power amplifiers

This information, which can be interesting for further radar technology development, came from last MathWorks News & Notes.

Power amplifiers (PAs) ensure that the source radio frequency (RF) signal, such as a DVB, 3G, LTE, or 4G signal, is powerful enough for transmission. Because PAs use a fixed supply voltage, they draw maximum power whatever the amplitude of the signal, making them notoriously inefficient for amplitude modulated RF signals.

Envelope-tracking technology can double a PA’s efficiency from 30% to 60% or more by dynamically modulating the amplifier’s supply voltage according to the RF signal passing through the device.

Nujira’s High Accuracy Tracking (HAT™) technology, the first practical implementation of envelope tracking, is being used or evaluated for cellular infrastructure and terminals, broadcast transmitters, military communications and other applications. It is featured in three product lines: Coolteq.L for mobile handsets, Coolteq.h for cellular base stations, and Coolteq.u for DVB transmitters. We used MathWorks tools across the entire development life cycle of these product lines, from research, through modulator design, to verification and automated testing.


Envelope-tracking technology
Figure 1. Left: Power amplifiers with a fixed supply voltage.
Right: Supply voltage modulated using envelope tracking. 

Conventional PAs waste as much as 80% of the energy they consume as dissipated heat. The PAs in a cellular base station, for example, account for half the total power consumed.

Although it was first described more than 60 years ago, envelope tracking has not been applied commercially until recently, largely due to the difficulty of implementing a power supply modulator that meets the efficiency, bandwidth, and noise requirements of wideband signals such as multicarrier WCDMA, WiMAX, or DVB.

Nujira’s envelope tracking technology can double the efficiency of PAs and dramatically reduce power dissipation, which lowers energy bills and substantially reduces the amount of cooling required (Figure 1). It also enables higher device output power, allowing broadcasters to extend the range of existing broadcasting towers. Lastly, the wide-band operation of Nujira’s technology enables broadcasters to use fewer PA designs to cover their target broadcast spectrum.

Full information can be found using the link to MathWorks web-page or PDF file


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