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It is important for the circuit designer to have a basic understanding of what is happening inside the semiconductor device to better understand its performance and the significance of circuit measurements. Much correlation exists between basic device parameters, which are easily measured prior to rf testing, and the characteristic performance of a device in its rf power-test circuit. With a reasonable knowledge of the basic relationships, the designer can estimate the performance of a given circuit for a distribution of device parameters. Much more work needs to be done to further characterize device parameters as related to circuit performance especially as it involves large-signal impedance measurements and hf breakdown characteristics as well as safe-operating area in an rf circuit. An attempt has been made in these three articles to show the relationships and trade-offs as they are understood today. The general ideas presented hold true for any device of the planar epitaxial type of construction regardless of the geometry or type.


Part 1:

John Tatum, “RF Large-Signal Transistor Power Amplifiers: Part I- Theoretical Considerations,” EDN, Cahners Publishing Co., (May, 1965).

Part 3:

E.O. Johnson, “Physical Limitations of Frequencies and Power Parameters of Transistors,” RCA Review, Vol. XXVI, No. 2, (June, 1965), pp. 163-173.

D.M. Smith and G.D. Vendelin, “High Frequency Silicon Power Transistors: Characteristics and Applications,” Texas Instruments Seminar Bulletin.

John Tatum, “RF Large-Signal Transistor Power Amplifiers: Parts I, II, III,” Electrical Design News, (May, June, and July, 1965).

John Tatum, “Circuit Improvements Utilizing the New Resistor Stabilized VHF Transistors,” Proceedings of the National Electronics Conference, Vol. XXI, (1965).

John Tatum, “UHF/SHF High Power Solid State Device Improvements,” Proceedings of the Southwestern IEEE Conference, (1965).

C.R. Turner, “Interpretation of Voltage Readings for Transistors,” RCA Application Note SM A-2, RCA Electronic Components and Devices.

H.E. Schauwecker, “Understanding Transistor Voltage Breakdown,” Electronic Design, (July 22, 1959), pp. 28-30.