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RF and Thermal Analysis of Packaged TGA4046 Q Band Amplifier
Keywords: thermal management, RF simulation, large chip packaging
This paper describes how Triquint Semiconductor’s TGA4046 Q band RF amplifier, a device that dissipates 12 W of heat, was hermetically packaged and tested through a funding effort by The Boeing Company. An alumina package with an integral heat sink designed by StratEdge, Inc., was modified for the purpose. The RF performance of the new package was analyzed using finite element analysis. Simulations of the RF transitions to and from the chip provided insight into trade-offs between wirebond length and heat sink configuration. The somewhat surprising results facilitated a significant reduction in the cost of the package. Furthermore, the package was modified to allow for transitions to the next-level printed wiring board that feature improved impedance control over the necessary band. The transitions are also less sensitive to build variations. Finally, finite element thermal analysis demonstrates the effectiveness of the attach method and its compatibility with the RF design. The result is a cost-effective package for a large, thermally challenging chip that operates at a difficult frequency, without the use of exotic materials or assembly. While this package is intended for use in a phased array antenna feed network, these design techniques are broadly applicable.
Bruce Blaser, Senior Microwave Engineer
Renton, WA

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