SPDT switch targets outdoor unit WiFi access points

29th August 2014
Siobhan O'Gorman

An SPDT (Single-Pole Double Throw) switch, optimised for 802.11ac carrier and enterprise WiFi access points, has been released by Peregrine Semiconductor. Compared to the PE42423, the PE42424 is claimed to be 75% smaller and features a 60% increase in power handling and a 350% faster switching speed.

To provide consistent quality of service, carriers are offloading mobile data traffic to WiFi networks, which are increasingly integrating 802.11ac into their cells. Indoor units were the first WiFi access points to adopt the 802.11ac standard, and Peregrine’s PE42423 switch was optimised for high performance within those devices. Outdoor unit WiFi access points are now also adopting this standard, and their performance and environmental requirements are much more intensive. To meet these requirements, the company developed the PE42424. 

To accommodate the higher transmit power of the access-point radios, the switch has been deisigned to handle 8W of power. A switching speed of 145ns is also featured, enabling higher throughput and data rates in high-density, bring-your-own-device (BYOD) environments. To reduce signal leakage between transmit and receive paths, the SPDT switch provides port-to-port isolation of 48dB at 2.4GHz and 35dB at 6GHz. The PE42424 also features temperature support up to 105°C, withstanding harsh environments and reducing thermal constraints. To provide engineers with design options, the switch was designed with a 1.5x1.5mm footprint. 

Featuring a linearity of 61dBm IIP3, the SPDT switch enables system designs with lower supply rails and prevents linearity degradation through maximum power levels. Through a ESD rating of 2500V (on RF pins), product reliability is also increased. Due to the switch's footprint, the need for external components, such as DC blocking capacitors, is removed. The PE42424 also features control logic support for 1.8 and 3.3V and a wide power supply range from 2.3 to 5.5V, providing design flexibility. 

The switches, which are RoHS compliant, are available in samples, evaluation kits and volume-production parts and priced at $0.49 each for 10,000 quantity orders and $0.44 for 25,000 quantity orders.

“WiFi is by far the cheapest way to deliver mobile data, so, at a worldwide level, the deployment of WiFi access points is accelerating,” says Joe Madden, Founder and Principal Analyst, Mobile Experts.” More than 1.8m 802.11ac access points will be deployed next year, including both indoor and outdoor applications. In addition, most indoor small cells will also include WiFi access-point hardware for seamless integration of WiFi with mobile services. The wide bandwidth, high power and demanding linearity requirements of these access points drives a strong need for higher RF-component performance.”

“Peregrine is extending its WiFi RF switch line to address the tough challenges faced by designers of next-generation 802.11ac access points,” says Kinana Hussain, Senior Marketing Manager. “Our UltraCMOS technology and patented design techniques preserve the unmatched isolation performance of PE42424’s predecessor while increasing the power-handling capability, improving switching speeds and reducing the form factor."

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