Analysis and Design of Capacitive Voltage Distribution Stacked MOS Millimeter-Wave Power Amplifiers

Stacked MOS power amplifiers (PA) are commonly used in SOI nodes but also have the potential to be realized in bulk CMOS nodes. In this paper they are analyzed in millimeter wave regimes. The study focuses on the key limiting factors and in particular the optimum number of transistors from which the key performance parameters such as maximum possible operating frequency output power and efficiency are achieved. Based on the analysis design trade-offs of stacked MOS PAs are presented. The frequency dependency of the optimum load presented to each stack is analyzed to express the overall performance of the mentioned PA topologies as a new optimization method. Additionally it is shown how the optimal load variations translate into amplitude-to-amplitude/phase (AM-AM/PM) conversion distortions. The validity of the analysis is examined against simulations. The simulations are performed based on 8M1P CMOS 28nm technology and electromagnetic simulations in ADS Momentum.