RF Switch Basics & Selection
An RF Switch is a device that is used to route high frequency signals through one or more signal paths. Switches are available in a number of configurations which specify the number of input and output signal paths. Switches are used in almost every RF and Microwave system from mobile devices to test and measurement equipment.
Selecting RF Switches
When selecting a RF switches it is important to know the parameters that you need to specify. Below are a list of the key parameters to look out for when selecting a switch:
Type: There are a few types of RF and microwave switches – Solid State Switches, Pin-Diode Switches, Electro-Mechanical Switches and USB Controlled Switches.
Configuration: This is the parameter which specifies the number of input and output paths the switch will regulate. Some examples of switch configurations are Single Pole Double Throw (SPDT or SP2T) which means there is one input and two available output signal paths. The number of “Throws” can be 3,4,5,6…n – which is the number of output paths that the signal can be routed to. If the configuration is Double Pole N Throw – This means that there are two input routing paths and n number of output paths.
Insertion Loss: The signal lost from the input to the output of the switch after routing is called insertion loss.
Isolation: The isolation is a measure of how much of the signal gets to one of the non-active signal paths in a switch.
Power: This is the power level that the switch can handle while maintaining its electrical characteristics.
everything RF has the largest database of RF & Microwave switches from the leading manufacturers. There are over 10,000 switches listed and they have been standardized and added to the RF databased through which they have been made searchable by parameters. Use the filters provided to narrow down on products from over 50 Manufacturers. Download datasheets, compare products across companies and request quotations. Quotation request will be directed to the manufacturer and relevant distributors who will get back to the user directly.