Infineon: New CMOS RF switches on Si equal GaAs performance

Feb. 4, 2008 – Infineon Technologies says it is shipping in volume RF switches manufactured in a CMOS-based process on silicon wafers, achieving equivalent performance of RF switches manufactured in gallium arsenide (GaAs) process technology that previously has required use of dedicated, more expensive sapphire wafers.

The first CMOS RF switch of a whole new family, the BGS12A, is available in a fine-pitch wafer-level package with dimensions of 0.79mm x 0.54mm, which the company says is ~60% less printed circuit board (PCB) space compared to the smallest packaged GaAs RF switch on the market. Target markets are low- and medium-power applications (up to 3GHz).

In many wireless products, including cellular phones, WLAN, WiMAX, GPS navigation systems, Bluetooth accessories or remote-keyless entry, RF switches are typically used to implement switching functions for receiving and transmitting (Rx/Tx) data, band select or antenna diversity applications and also enable worldwide roaming. On average, mobile devices are typically equipped with one RF switch. However, some multiband multimode mobile phones are fitted with up to four RF switches.

Michael Mauer, senior director, silicon discretes at Infineon Technologies, noted in a statement that the CMOS-based RF switches require no further external components, such as level shifters. He cited data from Strategy Analytics projecting the market for RF switches to double to ~4B pieces from 2006-2011, replacing currently used PIN diodes.

Reporting by SST sister publication Advanced Packaging.


Easily post a comment below using your Linkedin, Twitter, Google or Facebook account. Comments won't automatically be posted to your social media accounts unless you select to share.