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The important RF Amplifier Specifications

RF amplifiers are mainly electronic devices that accept a changing input signal and generate an output signal that differs in a similar way as the input but has a bigger amplitude.

RF amplifiers play a vital role in producing a completely new output signal depending upon the input. When it comes to contemporary wireless communication systems, the signals are very complex because of complex modulation schemes.

For several engineers, selecting an RF amplifier is difficult because of various essential RF Amplifier Specifications. Depending upon the load of the output circuit, one or more RF pre-amplifiers might be required in order to boost the signal and send output flawlessly to an RF power amplifier.

For wireless communication, an RF amplifier is an essential part of the RF front end as well as a signal chain in your product. In case, you are just starting as an RF engineer then knowing the specifications of RF Power Amplifiers is necessary.

RF amplifiers in the RF front end and back end

When we talk about an RF front end, there are several components that appear and this mainly refers to all the circuitry that is visible between the receiver antenna and the digital processor as well.

The front end of a wireless product might appear as a set of distinct components, a set of ICs, an integrated module/SoC, or anything else in between. You need to know that RF amplifiers appear inside the Rx and Tx sides of an RF system.

For a high power transmitter, a power RF amplifier is utilized on the Tx side, while the Rx side makes use of an RF LNA that might be incorporated in the receiver.

With the range of electronic components as well as ICs on the market, the options are almost endless.

Significant RF Amplifier Specifications

When it comes to selecting an RF Power amplifier, it is necessary to pay attention to the specifications as these features are going to influence the quality of the received signal.

In this RF amplifier selection guide, the four most crucial specifications will be focused on that are required for any RF system operating over a broad frequency range. Remember these specifications are going to form the beginning point for selecting the right RF amplifier.

Bandwidth and Gain

Both bandwidth and gain are the most essential specifications that you must consider when choosing an RF amplifier. Keep one thing in mind, RF amplifiers are generally advertised in terms of their gain at a particular frequency, or their bandwidth.

Also, these terms can be condensed as a gain-bandwidth product just with a cut-off frequency. Even if the bandwidth is much bigger than the preferred frequency range, you can still cut off the noise in the system as well as reduce the bandwidth with a band-pass filter.

3IP Point and 1 dB Compression Point

The 3rd-order intercept point (OIP3) applies to any frequency-modulated signal and is associated with the 1dB compression point. This specification turns out to be essential in power amplifiers as the amplifiers usually operate very near fullness.

The nonlinear nature of the amplifier is going to create intermodulation products, with the 3rd order products being the most significant. At some input power in the saturation regime, the 3rd order products would induce the same intensity just as the desired sidebands.

However, before starting the use of the RF amplifier, it is necessary to understand the RF amplifier working principle to attain maximum benefits.

Noise Figure

You must keep one thing in mind noise is inevitable in any electronic system including the RF signal chains. The noise in an RF amplifier generally tells you how to input noise is amplified when there is a gain in the amplifier.

There is going to be some decrease in the signal-to-noise ratio which is present between the input and output. However, this is something that cannot be avoided.

Also, this will become some function of the bandwidth in the system. As a result, bandwidth with a higher-order bandpass filter is limited.

Gain flatness

When compared to gain and bandwidth alone, gain flatness is a little different but still related. In case, you are designing something like a dual-band system or a system that requires sweeping across a different range of frequencies then you have to assure that the gain curve is flat moderately throughout the desired bandwidth.

In other words, an amplifier’s gain is an act of frequency due to which the noise figure is also a function of frequency. Gain flatness is often identified as a +/- variance or simply in dB.

Some of the other vital specifications of an RF amplifier include operating temperature, footprint/package, ESD protection, phase flatness, and linearity in the preferred bandwidth.

Remember the specifications mentioned in this article might differ for different components that are present in the market. Therefore, if you wish to use modern RF amplifiers and looking for the best or topmost RF Manufacturer then you must definitely contact Elite RF once.

Elite RF is a well-known name in the market when it comes to buying RF amplifiers. Here you can get the best solution and quality amplifiers that too within your budget.

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