Stability analysis of power amplifiers under output mismatch effects
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Novel criteria are presented for small- and large-signal stability analysis of microwave circuits under output mismatch effects. They are based on concepts from bifurcation theory, which enable the derivation of general equations for the stability boundaries that depend on the termination load. The boundary calculation does not require any optimization of the circuit parameters. Instead, it is based on the direct calculation of an admittance function obtained through circuit linearization about either the dc solution, in the small-signal stability analysis, or the periodic solution, in the large-signal one, with low computational cost. As will be demonstrated both with homotopy and bifurcation concepts, the Hopf locus obtained in this way delimits a stable region and a potentially unstable one. In a large-signal stability analysis, the sidebands that influence the stability properties are identified, which depend on the particular amplifier topology and its filtering effects. The stability boundaries are then calculated with the conversion matrix approach for all load impedance values at the relevant harmonic and sideband frequencies. For the derivation of absolute stability conditions, a new scattering type matrix is proposed describing the circuit response from the output reference plane with respect to the two sidebands about the input carrier. The new methodologies and formulations have been validated by independent simulations using pole-zero identification, and by measurements.