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RF Switch applications | Uses of RF Switch

This page covers most common RF Switch applications or RF switch uses. It describes applications or uses of the RF switches used in RF microwave industry.

We know that switches are used in electrical, mechanical, electronics and communication industries for switching of signals. The signals are in different frequency bands starting from DC to KHz to MHz to GHz. Based on number of input and output requirements, RF switches under various topologies are used such as 4x1 MUX, 8x1 MUX, SPST, SPDT, SP3T etc.

RF Switches are choosen for particular application based on number of technical parameters viz. operating frequency, isolation, insertion loss, return loss, switching time, switching speed, handling power, life cycle, number of ports etc. Refer RF Switch Selection Guide for more information.

RF Switch applications or RF switch uses

➤The most common application of RF switch is in using single RF antenna for transmission and reception. This is shown in the figure-1.
rf switch
➤The other application of RF switches are in switch over units used in VSAT or Hub station. The typical switch over units are modem switch over (SWO) units , RF up converter/down converter SWO units, LNA switch over units etc. As shown there are two LNAs in the circuit LNA1 (in circuit mode) and LNA2 (hot standby mode). In case of failure of LNA1, LNA SWO unit brings LNA2 in the circuit and vice versa.
rf switch
➤MEMS RF Switches are used in space based communication systems. MEMS switches are popular for their high isolation, low insertion loss, low power, high linearity, smaller size and light weight.
➤Coaxial switches and waveguide switches are used in avionic industry for switching operations in aircraft, airborne and radar systems.
➤RF switches are also used in test and measurement of various RF and baseband parameters in automation test suits.
➤They are also used during pre-compliance testing and production testing.


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RF Switch Types
RF Switch working with circuits
Absorptive vs Reflective RF Switch


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