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13 May 2013

Skyworks launches family of antenna switches supporting carrier aggregation

Analog semiconductor maker Skyworks Solutions Inc of Woburn, MA, USA has launched RF switching technology that aims to enable early adopters to implement carrier aggregation solutions.

Carrier aggregation allows mobile service providers to combine spectrum and increase data rate throughput by utilizing two or more bands simultaneously instead of the single-band method used currently, regardless of location. Skyworks’ devices support standardized inputs to popular industry chipsets (MIPI RFFE compatible) and address both transmit (Tx) and receive (Rx) switching paths.

“Skyworks’ carrier aggregation switching solutions, which are compliant to tier-one, carrier-driven specifications, offer dedicated receive diversity functionality to accompany the primary antenna-switch path,” says David Stasey, VP & general manager of analog solutions.

Skyworks says that mobile operators are driving carrier aggregation to help increase the efficiency and speed of saturated mobile networks, particularly as consumers download an ever increasing amount of mobile content via smartphones. With the limited availability in the wireless spectrum, carriers are seeking innovative RF solutions as a means to fully utilize their allocated spectrum.

Skyworks offers a broad selection of RF switching solutions based on silicon on insulator (SOI) and pseudomorphic high-electron-mobility transistor (pHEMT) wafer process technologies, complementing its silicon and gallium arsenide (GaAs) power amplifiers and front-end solutions. The firm’s switches are available in many different configurations including ultra-high linearity, low insertion loss, high isolation, broadband, reflective and non-reflective. In particular:

  • The SKY13456-11 is a double-pole, 14-throw (SP7T/SP7T) antenna switch module for primary antenna transmit. The switch features low insertion loss, high isolation, exhibits what is claimed to be excellent IMD performance and is designed to meet stringent requirements of B17 third harmonic. Switching is controlled with an integrated mobile industry processor interface (MIPI) decoder allowing the low-band and high-band sections to be independently controlled by two separate registers. No external direct current (DC) blocking capacitors are required. The switch is manufactured in a small, 2.8mm x 3.2mm, 26-pin multi-chip module (MCM) package.
  • The SKY13484 is a dual-pole, 12T (SP7T/SP5T), MIPI-controlled antenna switch designed specifically for Rx diversity in carrier aggregation applications. The SP5T switch is optimized for the low band, while the SP7T is for high band. Using advanced switching technologies, the device maintains low insertion loss and high isolation for all switching paths. The switch also exhibits what is claimed to be excellent IMD2/IMD3 performance. Packaged in a small 2.5mm x 2.9mm x 1.0mm, 22-lead MCM package, switching is controlled by a MIPI decoder and requires no DC blocking capacitors on the RF paths.

Tags: Skyworks Antenna switch modules


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