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Method and apparatus for amplifying a signal

Image Number 8 for United States Patent #6020787.

A unique method and apparatus modifies the load impedance at the output of a power amplifier by varying a voltage variable capacitor (VVC) (310) to maximize the efficiency of the power amplifier (304). A comparator (509) generates amplifier control signal (211) based upon a detected power output signal (216) and a reference signal. In addition to providing power control, the control signal is also coupled to a VVC circuit (506) to control the output impedance of the power amplifier. In an alternate embodiment, a separate VVC control signal (527) based upon a comparison of the power control signal and the battery voltage is coupled to a VVC. In another alternate embodiment, a second VVC can be coupled in parallel to the first VVC. The second VVC is preferably controlled by a signal (805) based upon the current in the power amplifier. Finally, an alternate embodiment incorporates a VVC circuit (506) at the input of the power amplifier to compensate for variations in input impedance to improve other power amplifier parameters such as IM, gain, output power and noise level.

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