MACOM Extends Diode Leadership with Three Integrated AlGaAs PIN Diode Switches



MACOM Technology Solutions Inc. (“MACOM”) has added three PIN diode switches to its AlGaAs family. Today’s multi-market customers are demanding more bandwidth, making high frequency operation more of a necessity. At the E & W bands, transmission loss and signal integrity are critical for efficient systems.

Due to the nature of AlGaAs technology for RF/uW applications the advent of PIN-based AlGaAs switches allow for signal losses to be minimal at these very high frequencies. Utilizing its AlGaAs technology to meet these demanding challenges, MACOM has designed the MASW-011094, a Ka-Band high power terminated SPDT PIN diode switch, MASW-011029, a wideband SP3T PIN diode switch and the MASW-011087, a Ka-Band SP4T PIN diode switch.

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/uW signal chain. While other technologies are available, AlGaAs-based switches have a clear advantage due to their power handling and low loss characteristics. A discrete heterojunction AlGaAs PIN diode switch demonstrates a factor of two reduction in high frequency insertion loss compared to other switches in its class which equates to reliable system performance at higher frequency bands.

Bandgap Engineering has been used to produce novel semiconductor structures in the microwave industry for over two decades. Utilizing the properties of multiple quantum wells, superlattices and heterojunctions, a new class of semiconductors grown by molecular beam epitaxy and metalorganic vapor phase epitaxy has been created. These band gap principles have been applied to the development of MACOM’s patented AlGaAs technology resulting in a significant advancement in the RF performance of PIN diodes.

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