PA performance degradation possibilities - RF Cafe Forums
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Post subject: PA performance degradation possibilities
Posted: Fri Jul 07, 2006 10:38 am
Wed Jul 06, 2005 5:54 pm
I would really appreciate any comments in this regard..
are the possibile causes for degradation in PA's performance over time?
PA performance degradationPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2006 6:10 pm
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2006 3:51 pm
For a PA's performance to degrade, something has to change.
That something can either be the active device(s), the bias circuitry,
or the input/output matching circuitry.
Normally, the bias circuitry
doesn't change unless it's underdesigned (for example, running 1/2 Watt
dissipation into a 1/4 W resistor).
The tuning of the input or
output matching circuitry can vary due to vibration, if adjustable devices
are used and vibration is present. This condition is relatively easy
However, the most likely change is in the active device,
as a PA section usually runs hot. Heat is the enemy of semiconductors.
Another issue with some active devices is "metal migration" - as current
density in the metallization on the active device increases, the time
to failure decreases.
Some devices/manufacturers are worse than
others as far as degradation over time goes.
Post subject: Posted: Mon Jul 10, 2006 7:49
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 2:02 pm
As fred47 suggested,
the worst enemy of semiconductors is heat. Heat over time causes internal
damage to the transistor's junction and degrades the output power capabilities
P.S: If you will operate a PA
over time you will see that the Ids increases and also the output power,
this is a drift of the Ids with temperature.
You will see in
many applications that there is a temperature compensation network in
the Gate made of thermistor. This forms a negative feedback that reduces
Vgs and hence decreasing Ids.
Posted: Mon Jul 10, 2006 10:26 am
Wed Jul 06, 2005 5:54 pm
Thanks Fred and IR.