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custom MMIC design-spdt switch


SPDT switch MMIC enables highperformance Ka-band Tx/Rx module Commercially available components are often insufficient for the most demanding high-frequency applications. In these instances, customizing an advanced MMIC solution can enable higher-level system performance beyond what is possible using standard microwave or millimeter-wave devices. S ystem integrators have long recognized that high-frequency subsystem design is not a “one size fits all” arena. Increasing demands on spurious suppression, switching speed, power handling, and reduced form-factors have put pressure on module suppliers to push the envelope of their legacy designs. Having a variety of diverse semiconductor options at one’s disposal is proving to be a key enabler to efficiently configuring optimal subsystem solutions. One example of how semiconductor design experience can be leveraged as part of the design of higher-level systems is the development of a Kaband PIN diode SPDT switch MMIC by Endwave’s internal semiconductor team. This custom chip design was undertaken to support the development effort for a cost-effective, high-power, extremely compact, Ka-band multichannel radar transceiver module. The upfront portion of the design process focused on the evaluation and, ultimately, the exclusion, of other available switch technology and topology options. Subsequently, when no commercially available solution in that technology flavor was available, a high-power, fast-switching Tx/Rx MMIC switch was custom-designed and characterized. This chip provides well over 4 W of power-handling capability, exhibits nanosecond switching speed, and paves the way for a condensed module footprint, making it ideal for emerging Ka-band transceiver applications. Millimeter-wave technologies are increasingly called upon for advanced defense electronics, homeland security and telecommunications applications. This is due in large part to their unique ability to carry large amounts of data, to provide higher resolution for radar systems, to penetrate certain structures and to provide solutions that are small, lightweight, and high performance. Millimeter-wave time division duplex (TDD) transceiver systems require a means to alternately connect the antenna to the transmitter output and the receiver input. Examples of such systems include radar, half-duplex data links, Internet-protocol-based (IP-based) wireless LAN’s, and millimeter-wave imagers. The preferred method of establishing these connections in space-constrained and cost-sensitive applications is usually through the use of a Tx/Rx switch,

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