SP4T switch cuts cost of high power designs

January 20, 2022

Mick Elliott for Electronic Specifier

A high-power single-pole/four-throw (SP4T) DC-to-18 GHz switch that is said to provide the industry’s highest performance, reliability and integration for RF switching applications has been introduced by Menlo Micro. Based on Menlo Micro’s Ideal Switch technology, the MM5120 SP4T switch offers ultra-low insertion loss, 25W power handling and the high linearity, significantly outperforming, says the company, conventional solid-state switches and electromechanical relays (EMRs). The switch features a custom-designed built-in high-voltage charge pump, integrated into a miniature 5.2mm x 4.2mm LGA package, eliminating the need for external components and simplifying customer layouts. It eliminates the compromises developers face when deciding between electromechanical relays or solid-state switches for RF designs.

Offering the best of both options, the switch outperforms EMRs across all application-critical metrics while offering the size, reliability, and speed benefits of a solid-state switch. The highest power density SP4T switch on the market, the MM5120 can handle RF power levels of up to 25W continuous and 150W pulsed with typical insertion losses < 0.6dB at 12GHz. Flexible SPI bus and GPIO digital interfaces are included, allowing easy control from any host processor or test system. The switch’s highly integrated design reduces cost and complexity and simplifies the development of numerous RF systems, including RF filters and front ends, device interface boards for semiconductor test, and beamforming antennas used in advanced radio architectures and radar systems.

The high-channel density and low losses also make the switch ideal for ultra-compact switch matrices for RF and microwave test and measurement applications. Menlo Micro says the device also features best-in-class IP3 linearity greater than 95 dBm, enabling significant reductions in distortion which is critical for applications such as beam-steering antennas used in 5G network infrastructure. Like all Menlo Micro Ideal Switch products, the MM5120 helps customers achieve 99 % reductions in size, weight, cost and power loss while providing more than three billion switching operations with no degradation in performance.

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