Hysteresis and oscillation in high-efficiency power amplifiers
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Hysteresis in power amplifiers (PAs) is investigated in detail with the aid of an efficient analysis method, compatible with commercial harmonic balance. Suppressing the input source and using, instead, an outer-tier auxiliary generator, together with the Norton equivalent of the input network, analysis difficulties associated with turning points are avoided. The turning-point locus in the plane defined by any two relevant analysis parameters is obtained in a straightforward manner using a geometrical condition. The hysteresis phenomenon is demonstrated to be due to a nonlinear resonance of the device input capacitance under near optimum matching conditions. When increasing the drain bias voltage, some points of the locus degenerate into a large-signal oscillation that cannot be detected with a stability analysis of the dc solution. In driven conditions, the oscillation will be extinguished either through synchronization or inverse Hopf bifurcations in the upper section of the multivalued curves. For an efficient stability analysis, the outer-tier method will be applied in combination with pole-zero identification and Hopf-bifurcation detection. Departing from the detected oscillation, a slight variation of the input network will be carried out so as to obtain a high-efficiency oscillator able to start up from the noise level. All the tests have been carried out in a Class-E GaN PA with measured 86.8% power-added efficiency and 12.4-W output power at 0.9 GHz.