From Skyworks Solutions, Inc.
Solid state switches are ubiquitous
in modern RF/microwave systems.
They are utilized to control signal
flows, select signal sources and for many
other applications. These switches are
implemented either with positive-intrinsicnegative
(PIN) diodes or with field effect
transistors (FETs) such as pseudomorphic
high electron mobility transistors
(pHEMTs), each of which offers relative
advantages and disadvantages. Part 1 of
this article includes an overview of RF/
microwave switches, theory of operation
for PIN diodes and some representative
PIN diode switch circuits. In Part 2 we
will discuss more PIN diode switch configurations,
the theory of operation for
FETs, some representative RF/microwave
FET switch topologies, the relative advantages
of PIN and FET switches and some
criteria by which one of these technologies
may be selected over the other for switch
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