RF SOI switches offer alternative to GaAs technology

22nd September 2014
Siobhan O'Gorman

The first RF SOI (Silicon On Insulator) switches to deliver an alternative to incumbent gallium arsenide (GaAs) technology have been released by Peregrine Semiconductor. The PE42542 and PE42543 are UltraCMOS, 18GHz, broadband RF switches. Due the switches' UltraCMOS technology, they have features which GaAs technology does not. 

The switches, which are SP4T, feature a frequency range between 9kHz and 18GHz and offer low-frequency power handling of 10dBm at 9kHz. Standard 1.8V and 3.3V input logic control and consistent performance across a 2.3V to 5.5V supply range is provided by the switches. At 120-microampere, the switches' power-supply-current consumption is significantly less than that required by competing GaAs switches.

A high linearity of 58dBm IIP3 and 118dBm IIP2, as well as a fast switching time of 3μs are offered by the PE42542. On all pins, a high ESD rating of 3.5kV HBM, 150V MM and 500V CDM is provided. The switch features a fast settling time of 7μs, eliminating gate lag in test-and-measurement equipment.

The PE42543 provides a fast settling time of 2μs and a high ESD rating of 2.5 kV HBM, 150V MM and 250V CDM on all pins. A high linearity of 59dBm IIP3 and 113dBm IIP2, as well as a fast switching time of 500ns are also offered. 

The PE42542 and PE42543, which are RoHS compliant and offered in 29-lead 4x4mm LGA packages, are sold in 10K-quantities and priced at $18.15 each. Samples, evaluation kits and volume-production parts are also available.  

“Peregrine is reaching high-frequency performance levels previously considered unachievable in RF SOI,” says Kinana Hussain, senior marketing manager. “Our in-house, high-frequency design expertise coupled with our UltraCMOS technology has enabled Peregrine to break the 13GHz RF SOI barrier last year and expand our high-frequency portfolio to 18GHz today with a roadmap to many more high-frequency components.”

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