MACOM Technology Solutions Inc of Lowell, MA, USA (which makes semiconductors, components and subassemblies for analog RF, microwave, millimeter-wave and photonic applications) has has added three PIN diode switches to its aluminium gallium arsenide (AlGaAs) family.
Multi-market customers are demanding more bandwidth, making high-frequency operation more of a necessity, notes the firm. At the E & W bands, transmission loss and signal integrity are critical for efficient systems. Due to the nature of AlGaAs technology for radio-frequency/microwave (RF/μW) applications, the advent of PIN-based AlGaAs switches allows for signal losses to be minimal at these very high frequencies. Utilizing its AlGaAs technology to meet these demanding challenges, MACOM has designed a 24-37GHz Ka-band high-power terminated single-pole double-throw (SPDT) PIN diode switch (MASW-011094, with insertion loss of 0.6dB @ 28-34GHz and isolation of >26dB @ 26-37GHz), a 60-110GHz wideband single-pole triple-throw (SP3T) PIN diode switch (MASW-011029, with insertion loss of 1.3dB and isolation of >33dB @ 75-100GHz), and a 14-38GHz Ka-band single-pole four-throw (SP4T) PIN diode switch (MASW-011087, with insertion loss of 0.9dB and isolation of >32dB @ 16-35GHz).
The low loss translates to less noise generated, while maintaining transmit and receive signal integrity. In addition, the lower power loss allows for less compensation needed further down the RF/μW signal chain. While other technologies are available, AlGaAs-based switches have an advantage due to their power handling and low-loss characteristics, says MACOM. A discrete heterojunction AlGaAs PIN diode switch demonstrates a factor of two reduction in high-frequency insertion loss compared with other switches in its class, equating to reliable system performance at higher frequency bands, the firm adds.
“These parts complement our existing series of broadband AlGaAs switches,” says Jack Kennedy, senior VP & general manager, Aerospace & Defense Solutions, at MACOM. “We’ve also designed bias network chips, the MABT-011000, MA4BN1840-1 and MA4BN1840-2 for the existing MA4AGSW broadband series, altogether providing a breadth of AlGaAs offerings for a wide array of broadband applications.”