Copyright: 1996 - 2024
BSEE - KB3UON
RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling
2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed
formulas and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit
design engineer. The World Wide Web (Internet) was largely an unknown entity at
the time and bandwidth was a scarce commodity. Dial-up modems blazed along at 14.4 kbps
while tying up your telephone line, and a nice lady's voice announced "You've Got
Mail" when a new message arrived...
All trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other rights of ownership to images
and text used on the RF Cafe website are hereby acknowledged.
My Hobby Website:
Linear RFPA: push-pull vs. single-ended - RF Cafe Forums
RF Cafe Forums closed its virtual doors in 2012 mainly due to other social media
platforms dominating public commenting venues. RF Cafe Forums began sometime around
August of 2003 and was quite well-attended for many years. By 2010, Facebook and
Twitter were overwhelmingly dominating online personal interaction, and RF Cafe
Forums activity dropped off precipitously. If the folks at
phpBB would release a version with integrated
sign-in from the major social media platforms, I would resurrect the RF Cafe Forums,
but until then it is probably not worth the effort. Regardless, there are still
lots of great posts in the archive that ware worth looking at.
Below are the old forum threads, including responses to the original posts.
|-- Amateur Radio
Gripes & Humor
-- CAE, CAD, &
Test & Measurement
Post subject: Linear RFPA: push-pull vs. single-ended
postPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2004 3:05 am
have actual experience in push-pull PA design? What is the expected
improvement in linearity compare to AB class single ended?
Unread postPosted: Thu
Jun 03, 2004 3:24 pm
Your question is a bit vague.
you design PA, you have 2 requirements which are contradicted, linearity
vs. efficiency. One comes on the account of the other. Most often there
is no PA as a stand alone unit, unless your linearity requirements are
very mild. Your PA will probably be integrated with some kind of linearizer,
of some topology depends on the bandwidth you have to deliver.
Most push-pull transistors are intended for high power levels (Mostly
above 100W PEP) like Motorolas' MRF21180. For low and medium power levels
most transistors available are single-ended. The approach for designing
a PA is to get the best efficency by an operating point towards saturation,
and improving the linearity to meet the requirements.
need to provide more details about your application: Power levels, frequency
of operation etc; please do so and I will be keen to help you.
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2004 2:21 am
Thank you for your
post Itay, yet it does not answer my question, which is very straightforward,
is a push-pull amplifier more linear compare to single-ended one? Provided,
that both are AB class driven with equal conducting angles. Everything
you have mentioned including Gemini packaging and necessity of linearization
around amplifier is of secondary concern, my question is about amplifier
There are tones of publications available about push-pull
amplifiers, but I found only one (http://www.fcsi.fujitsu.com/products/MWpdf/an014.pdf)
scrutinizing the issue with the final conclusion: No, the push-pull
is no more linear than single-ended. This puzzles me.
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 07,
2004 9:24 am
If by push/pull you mean a balanced amplifier,
then yes, a balanced amplifier can be more linear. A balanced amplifier
has much, much less 2nd harmonic distortion than a single ended class
AB. So, if your RF band of interest is wider than an octave, there is
a distinct advantage to using a balanced amplifier. But, if you're only
concerned with a narrow band of frequencies, and the 2nd harmonic will
be knocked down by filtering, then there's really no difference in linearity.
One other nice thing about a balanced amplifier is that if you lose
one transistor, you still have output. This is good in some high reliability
applications where diminished output is better than no output.
Hopefully this was what you're looking for?
Mon Jun 07, 2004 10:50 am
Thank you for your
input, although I do not understand which topology you are describing.
Could you clarify please what exactly balanced amplifier means within
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2004 1:01 pm
Balanced amplifier means 2 different amplifiers connected in the
input and output with hybrid quadrature couplers. The advantage of this
amplifier is that it gets half the input power level (-3dB) at each
input, thus allowing it to work in a greater backoff and become more
linear. At the output, the powers are being combined and you get twice
the power as you would get with a single amplifier, this gives you a
higher P1dB (theoreticaly 3dB higher, practically less due to the hybrid
coupler insertion loss). The disadvantage of this topology is of course
the power dissipation, which is twice than single ended amplifier.
To your question, absolutely Push-Pull amplifier is more linear
than single ended one because you utilize the entire cycle of the input
signal, namely the amplifier delivers the entire cycle without cutting
it and by this you produce a linear amplifier with less distortions.
You use class A-B or class B transistor amplifiers and combines them
in Push-pull so at any given time one of them conducts, this can be
done in a balanced amplifier topology or in the push-pull topology.
postPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2004 5:28 pm
of topology for balanced amplifier coincides with yours, but I am afraid
not with Darrin's. Yet since you are on a position to comment Darrin's
posting, would you explain please the issue of second harmonic suppression
in balanced amplifier? I am accustomed to idea that this feature does
not belong to balanced amplifier inherently.
Furthermore, I quote
your statement “You use class A-B or class B transistor amplifiers and
combines them in Push-pull so at any given time one of them conducts,
this can be done in a balanced amplifier topology or in the push-pull
topology.” How this can possibly be done in a BALANCED topology?
I'd vote with both my hands for the idea of enhanced linearity of RF
push-pull amplifier due to conducting angle expanded to 360deg. This
is well-known fact at audio field. The problem is that for some reason
this seems not to work at RF, presumed that linearity concerns spectrum
re-growth close to carrier rather than second harmonic suppression (http://www.fcsi.fujitsu.com/products/MWpdf/an014.pdf).
Not even a single source I found mentions that RF AB class push-pull
amplifier is more linear than single ended counterpart. Can anyone explain
why, or prove opposite?
Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2004 5:41 pm
balanced amplifier is different from differential amplifer, the later
can be constructed by 180 degree balun or hybrid.
In most cases
the 2fo can not be eliminated as Darin said since they are out of band.
However 2fo can used rather than cancelled,and it is still very interesting
to have push-pull for high power delivery and ease to match(higher impedance).
Another insteresting developement is for Differential LNA design above
2 GHz, since this structure absorbs some noise sources which exist in
common mode and not need GOOD rf ground.
If talking same power
level, it is clear there is 3 dB power back off, good? If not, at least
the linearity is not worse then single-ended, OK?
amplifier is not limited by the concept of push-pull anymore. It can
be wokring at calss A, AB, C, E...
Old Tele man
Post subject: re: RFPA linearity
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2004 1:28 am
Joined: Sun Oct 17, 2004 1:07 am
a very good book on this subject is:
Steve C. Cripps,
RF Power Amplifiers for Wireless Communications, 1999;
House (microwave library), Inc.; Norwood, MA;
Devil sez: "...Yes, but it's a DRY heat!"