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Design Notes

LNA Measurement Setup

This project shows a simple 2.45 GHz Low Noise Amplifier designed with the AWR Generic Silicon Process Design Kit. It also shows the basic LNA measurements e.g. S-parameters, NF, Stability, Gain and Noise circles, 1dB compression and OIPN.


The project is divided into multiple schematics. Each schematic is a test bench for different measurement types. The Schematics are named like “A schematic_name” and graphs “A measurement_1”, “A measurement_2” to be easier associate the schematic with graph.

Schematic “A S params” is the setup for linear frequency sweep to measure LNA linear behavior. Sweep range (1 to 5 GHz) is defined in Project Options. Open the Graphs name beginning with A to see LNA input impedance, S-parameters, Noise Figure and stability.

Schematic “B Circles” is the setup for simulating noise and gain circles. As we are only interested in these figures at the operating frequency, we will setup the simulation frequency locally to this schematic. Right click the schematic name “B circles” and select options, uncheck the “use project options” and set the frequency to 2.45GHz. Open the graph “B circles” to see the results.

Schematic “C 1dB compression” is the setup for nonlinear 1-TONE power sweep and noise. To be able to feed the power to input we have to modify input port. Right click the port, select options. Go to the Port tab and set the ”Port type” to “Source”  and enable the “Swept Port” check box. To calculate nonlinear noise, we need to add NLNOISE component to schematic. Open the graph C 1dB compression to see output power vs. input power and C Nonlinear Noise to see noise figure vs. input power. To learn more about nonlinear noise and source pull simulation see example "Npars_from_NL_model".

Schematic “D OIPN” is the setup for nonlinear 2-TONE power sweep. Input port is changed to feed two independent frequencies with small Δf and same power to measure intermodulation products. Open the D OIPN to see OIP2 and OIP3 measurements, and D power at intermod harmonics to see input power vs. intermod product power. There is also garaph D Specrum where you can see the spectral growth when the input power gets higher.

To get more information of any of the above measurement just double click the measurement and click the “Meas Help” button to open the manual.

Schematic - LNA

Schematic - D_OIPN

Schematic Layout - LNA

Graph - D power at intermod harmonics

Graph - A input impedance on Smith chart

Graph - D Spectrum