Low Noise Amplifier (LNA)

At the earliest possible opportunity in an RF receiver it is extremely important to amplify a signal while adding the minimum possible extra noise. In RF amplifier design, optimal gain and low-noise performance cannot be achieved simultaneously. Thus a "low noise" amplifier (LNA) design compromises some gain performance in order to minimize the amount of internally generated noise added to the signal as it passes through the amplifier. Since gain is still an important factor, LNA designs are not necessarily optimized strictly for noise performance, but are a balance between the two requirements.

Self-study Guide: RF Small-Signal Amplifiers (LNA)

Back in the mid-1990's, Les Besser and I wrote a series of articles on RF amplifier design for Applied Microwaves and Wireless magazine (unfortunately this magazine is no longer in circulation). Since that time, Les Besser and Rowan Gilmore have written a two-volume textbook on RF circuit design that covers this topic as well as a great deal of background knowledge on working with RF circuits.

Practical RF Circuit Design for Modern Wireless Systems: Active Circuits and Systems


Rowan Gilmore and Les Besser

The second of two volumes, this is a comprehensive treatment of nonlinear circuits, introducing the advanced topics that professionals need to understand for their RF (radio frequency) circuit design work. It presents an introduction to active RF devices and their modelling, and explores nonlinear circuit simulation techniques. Design techniques are addressed for RF transistor amplifiers, oscillators, mixers and frequency multipliers.

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