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Bible for LNA design
on July 21, 2006
I am a Principal RF Engineer/ Program Manager, with a graduate degree in the field of RF / Microwave and more than a decade of experience working with it.
There are some books which are classics, pozar for basic microwave, Gerd Kaiser for basic optic fibers, balanis and K D Prasad for antennas, matthaei- young-jones for filters, Steve cripps for Power amplifiers and Guilermo Gonzales for low noise amplifiers.
This book treats the whole concept of desinging low noise amplifiers in a very comprehensive manner. It starts off by describing and establishing a understanding of the basics, such as S parameters, smith charts,etc. It doesnt assume anything, but strives to teach right from the begining. So it is a great reference book.
Then it progessively teaches you the various steps of amplifier design, right from determining the stability considerations, design as per gain, VSWR, noise figure etc. Each successive design is more complex than the previous, and it is a wonderful experience reading and understanding each and every minute detail about tansistors, matching networks, dc bias, etc. It deals with practical transistors and components as used in the industry and it gives thorough equations and design tips for a step by step procedure towards design amelioration.
The way you trade off the noise figure for VSWR and gain is a tricky business for LNA's. The way this book describes the method to do so on the smith chart with the Gain, VSWR and Noise figure circles is easy to understand and great to implement.
It has become a trend these days to blindly use simulation softwares. After reading this book, you will no longer be dependent on the trial and error method of microwave circuit design. But you will be able to move with confidence towards cutting down design time, NRE, and your designs will be more robust and repeatable.
I carry this one book with me whenever going on a technical meeting or conference. Be it a meeting with regards to antennas, or filters or any other microwave component or systems design issue. This book is so beautifully written you will find use for it as a reference even in these other fields.
The power amplifier section is not written too well, and the author merely touches on balanced amplifiers, push pull amplifiers, etc. The chapter about oscillators is good. But this book is primarily for those who wish to learn and establish expertise on Low Noise Amplifiers.
I would thoroughly recommend this book for graduate level school work, for beginners and experienced industry professionals and for hobbyists interested in learning about LNA design and creation.