Student Competitions


Student Design Competition Submission Form
for IMS2016 in San Francisco, CA 22-27 May 2016

High Power Amplifier Components and Techniques Committee

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High Efficiency Power Amplifier Student Design Competition (HEPA-SDC)
IMS2016 San Francisco, CA,May 24th, 2016
12th High Efficiency Power Amplifier Student Design Competition

MTT-5 (High Power Amplifier Components and Techniques Committee) is pleased to
announce the twelfth High Efficiency Power Amplifier (HEPA) Student Design
Competition (SDC) will take place at the 2016 IEEE MTT-S International Microwave
Symposium (IMS) in San Francisco, California on Tuesday, May 24th, 2016. This
competition is open to all students, both undergraduate and graduate, registered at
a recognized educational establishment. This year’s contest will focus on PAs
having both high efficiency and linearity. The competitors are required to design,
construct, and measure a high efficiency PA with linearity at a frequency of their
choice between 1 GHz and 10 GHz. To qualify for the linearity test, the PA must
produce an output power of at least 4 watts, but no more than 100 watts, when
excited by a single carrier at the frequency of test. All linearity testing will be
conducted using two equal amplitude carriers spaced 5 MHz apart. To qualify for
the linearity measurement, with 0 dBm per tone input, carrier-to-intermodulation
ratio (C/I) must be greater than 30 dB*.
The winner will be the PA that demonstrates the highest frequency weighted power
added efficiency (PAE), when producing a two-tone carrier-to-intermodulation ratio
(C/I) of 30 dB*.
A representative of the design group must be present at the testing to assist with
the evaluation. Each team is limited to a maximum of two entries.

Prizes: 1st place team $2,000.
1st, 2nd and 3rd Place teams presents from the industry (Modelithics & NI, EMC
Technology / Florida RF Labs)
Specifically: The winner will receive a prize of $2,000, and will be invited to submit a
paper describing the design for the MTT-S Microwaves Magazine.

Modelithics, Keysight (Formerly Agilent) and National Instruments (formerly AWR
Corporation) offer design software assistance to the competitors.
EMC Technology / Florida RF Labs offer a high frequency passive component kit consisting
of couplers, terminations, resistors, and attenuators to each student team.
CREE and Freescale offers free PA samples to participating teams.
RFMW offers discounts for PAs and components to the student competitors.
Modelithics, will give their high precision PA model software awards to the top 3 PA
National Instruments (formerly AWR Corporation) will award 1-year complimentary licenses
of its NI AWR Design Environment software to the top three placing teams. In addition, NI will
offer the faculty adviser of the First Place Team an American Express gift card ($2500 for
international travel, $1500 for domestic travel) to defray the cost of travel by the adviser and
one or more team members to attend and present their design (in poster form) at NI Week's
Academic Day in Austin, Texas in August 2016.

2016 HEPA Student Design Competition Rules:
1. The power amplifier (PA) design may use any type of technology, but must be
the result of new effort, both in the amplifier design and fabrication.
2. The PA mechanical design should allow for internal inspection of all relevant
components and circuit elements. The RF ports should be SMA female
connectors. Bias connections should be banana plugs. A maximum of two dc
power sources are allowed.
3. The PA must operate at a frequency of between 1 GHz and 10 GHz, and have
an output power level when excited by a single carrier of at least 4 watts, but
no more than 100 watts at the frequency of test.
4. All PAs should require less than 24 dBm of input power to reach their
maximum output level when excited with a single carrier.
5. All PAs should require less than 22 dBm per tone of input power to reach their
maximum power level when excited with two carriers.
6. The PA should require a maximum of two dc supply voltages for operation.
7. PA entries should be submitted with measured data, including frequency of
operation, maximum output power (single carrier), dc voltage and current
supply requirements for maximum output power, RF drive for maximum output
power level, output power for a C/I of 30 dB*, and PAE defined as (RFout-
RFin)/dc. Linearity measurements will be under CW operation with two equal
amplitude carriers spaced 5 MHz apart at room ambient conditions into a 50
ohm load. Only the power at the two fundamental carrier frequencies will be
included in the measurement of output power.
8. The winner will be based on the amplifier’s PAE measured during official
testing, multiplied by a frequency weighting factor having the form
9. A student group may enter a maximum of 2 PAs, but can receive an award for
only one PA.
10. The decision of the judges will be final. Awards from IMS and industry will be
presented at the Student Awards Luncheon.
11. Student contestants must notify the MTT-S committee by e-mailing to Dr. Kiki
lkossi <> of their intention to compete in the contest before
April 1st, 2016. This notification should include information on the University
or educational affiliation of the entry, the name and contact information of the
group’s adviser, and the PA’s approximate power level, dc voltage
requirements and frequency of operation. Dr. lkossi may also be of
assistance in obtaining device samples.
* C/I is based on the ratio expressed in dB between the amplitude of either
carrier and the highest intermodulation product. PAE will be measured at the
first output power with increasing Pin from 0 dBm where this ratio falls below
30 dB.