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RF Switch

This page describes RF Switch basics with applications and rf switch manufacturers. It describes use of RF switch in modem switch over unit and LNA switch over unit used in VSAT.

It is used in many applications which includes Tx/Rx switching, for automation testing of simultaneous multiple devices, multiple redundant systems used in critical applications such as VSAT Hub station (MUX switch over units, modem switch over units, LNA switch over units, RF Power amplifier switch over units etc.), for switching between different frequency bands and so on. They are used in all the wireless technologies e.g. WLAN, WiMAX, GSM, CDMA, HSPA, LTE, satellite, VSAT, zigbee etc. PIN diodes and FETs are usually used for switch design.

rf switch

Figure mentions Single pole double throw switch (RF switch) used to couple single antenna for both Tx and Rx path.

rf switch

Above figure describes LNA Switch over unit designed using RF switches and used in VSAT Hub station. This switch over unit allows two LNAs to be in operation in hot standby mode. Hence in case of failure of one LNA another will be automatically brought back in the circuit.

Modem switch over unit is also very useful system used in vsat hub station and is connected with multiple modems. out of these some are in the circuit and one will be in hot standby. In case of failure of one of the normal in circuit modems switch allows standby modem to take control and replace with faulty modem,hence prevent loss of traffic operations for more time. For example 8+1 modem switch over units are connected with 8 normal in circuit and 1 standby modem. IF switches are used in modem as normal modem operates either around 70MHz or 140MHz. similarly up converter,down converter and power amplifier switche over units are in use. These switch over units will have small microcontroller software to continuouly check all the devices form c contacts to determine healthy condition and take action accordingly.

Similarly RF switches are in use in production (manufacturing) testing wherein multiple devices (WLAN router, LTE router etc.) are to be tested using single RF VSG (Vector signal generator) and RF VSA ( vector signal analyzer). In this type of setup one by one device are brought into the circuit with VSG and VSA automatically using RF switch and testing need to be preformed and test log is to be recorded in the system.

RF switch manufacturers

Following are few of the popular RF switch manufacturers.
1.Dow-Key Microwave Corporation.
2.JFW industries.
3.Analog devices.
4.National Instruments.
5.Skyworks Solutions Inc.
6.Agile Microwave Technology Inc.
7. Agilent technlogies

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