EECS Special Seminar: Taylor Barton (MIT) - "Energy-Efficient Techniques for RF and Microwave Power Circuits"


Event Speaker: 

Taylor Barton

Event Location: 

Grier A, 34-401A

Event Date/Time: 

Monday, April 7, 2014 - 3:00pm


This talk will present design strategies for highly efficient RF and microwave power circuits, leveraging the properties of available and emerging device technologies for high performance. The growing importance of high-efficiency RF and microwave power circuits is tied to increased demand for wireless transmission of both data and power, relating to the mass proliferation of wireless devices. While direct substitution of new technologies such as Gallium Nitride (GaN) transistors in existing circuit topologies provides modest performance benefits, new circuit architectures are needed that can fully realize the potential of these devices for high-efficiency performance.

The primary focus of this talk is a new power amplifier architecture for communications that addresses the linearity/efficiency tradeoff of conventional designs. This architecture achieves high efficiency over a wide range of output powers with the principle of outphasing, i.e. phase-based output power control using multiple switched-mode GaN power amplifiers. In contrast to conventional outphasing techniques such as Chireix outphasing, this new power combining system provides nearly resistive load modulation, and thus considerably improved loading conditions for the power amplifiers. The strategies employed in this design are then shown to extend to a range of other applications and technologies, including for example application to far-field wireless energy transfer.


Dr. Taylor Barton received the Sc.D degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2012 for her research in energy-efficient power amplifiers for wireless communications. She also holds Sc.B, M.Eng., and E.E. degrees from MIT's department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. In 2007 she joined the MIT Microsystems Technology Laboratory where she is currently a postdoctoral associate. Her research interests and background are in the areas of analog and RF circuits, particularly applied to microwave communications, and classical control theory.

Dr. Barton received the Goodwin Medal for effective teaching at MIT and the Analog Devices Outstanding Student Designer Award in 2011.  Her extracurricular pursuits including building autonomous sailing robots.