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RF and Microwave Switching Solutions

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Key Features

  •  High reliability and exceptional repeatability ensure excellent measurement accuracy 
  • Excellent RF specifications optimize your test system measurement capability 
  • Broad selection of switches provides configuration flexibility for various applications 

Keysight RF and microwave switches provide: 

  • Superior RF performance to optimize test equipment performance
  • Unmatched quality and reliability to minimize measurement uncertainty
  • Ultra broadband to meet the demands of today’s devices 

Keysight Technologies, Inc. has been a leading designer and manufacturer of RF and microwave switches in the global marketplace for more than 60 years. RF and microwave switches are used extensively in microwave test systems for signal routing between instruments and devices under test (DUT). Incorporating a switch into a switch matrix system enables you to route signals from multiple instruments to single or multiple DUTs. This allows multiple tests to be performed with the same setup, eliminating the need for frequent connects and disconnects. The entire testing process can thus be automated, increasing the throughput in high-volume production environments.

Keysight designs and manufacturers a comprehensive range of RF and microwave switches to meet your switching requirements. There are two mainstream switch technologies in use today: solid state and electromechanical. Keysight’s solid state and electromechanical switches operate across a broad frequency range and come in a variety of configurations. Designed with high accuracy and repeatability for automated test and measurement, signal monitoring and routing applications, Keysight switches have a proven track record for high performance, quality and reliability.

High performance 

Keysight’s high-performance electromechanical coaxial switches provide reliable switching in signal routing, switch matrices and ATE systems. With 0.03 dB insertion loss repeatability guaranteed up to five million cycles and exceptional isolation, Keysight high-performance switches provide the performance you need from DC to 50 GHz. 

Low cost 

Keysight’s low-cost switches offer high-performance capability at a fraction of the cost. For example, 40% cheaper than Keysight’s high-performance switches, the L Series offers 0.03 dB insertion loss repeatability guaranteed up to two million cycles and exceptional isolation, Keysight low-cost switches provide the performance you need from DC to 26.5 GHz.

Long operating life with guaranteed 0.03 dB insertion loss repeatability 

Keysight EM coaxial switches are produced with meticulous manufacturing processes and stringent quality assurance. The L Series is designed to guarantee specifications for two million cycles and typically operates up to five million cycles. The high performance series is designed to guarantee specifications up to five million cycles and typically operates up to ten million cycles. 

Keysight electromechanical switches have a guaranteed 0.03 dB insertion loss repeatability throughout their operating life of two or five million cycles. To achieve this repeatability specification, Keysight EM switches incorporate a unique design, which includes a wiping mechanism that cleans debris off the center conductor tip every cycle, eliminating the particle buildup that is prevalent in conventional EM switch designs. 

Keysight switches exhibit exceptional isolation performance required to maintain signal integrity. Isolation between ports is typically > 90 dB to 12 GHz and > 80 dB to 26.5 GHz, reducing the influence of signals from other channels and system measurement uncertainties. 

The repeatability of a switch has a direct effect on the measurement uncertainty of a test setup. Here, a PNA connected to a multiport test set is used to test multiple devices. 

Electromechanical switches are used in switch matrix systems for testing of telecommunication devices where low insertion loss is critical and power handling requirements are higher. Electromechanical switches are widely used in both basic signal routing and application specific switch matrices such as tree matrices or full access matrices. They are also useful for bypassing an active device in a measurement system or in a multisource/multi-device switching system. 

Flexible configurations for signal routing purposes 

Keysight EM switches can be used in large number of applications, increasing system flexibility and simplifying system design. One of the most common applications is to use the switches in a switch matrix automated testing system which routes multiple input signals to multiple outputs. Examples shown below are some possible configurations. You can also freely configure Keysight switches to meet your needs.  Solid state switches are more reliable and exhibit longer lifetimes than their electromechanical counterparts due to their superior resistance to shock, vibration and mechanical wear. They also offer faster switching times. However, solid state switches have higher insertion loss than electromechanical switches due to their higher innate ON resistance. Therefore solid state switches are preferred in systems where fast switching and long lifetime are essential. Solid state switches are often used in switch matrix systems for testing of semiconductor devices where high switching speed is critical and power handling requirements are lower.  

Low video leakage 

Video leakage refers to the spurious signals present at the RF ports of the switch when it is switched without an RF signal present. These signals arise from the waveforms generated by the switch driver and, in particular, from the leading edge voltage spike required for high-speed switching of PIN diodes. The amplitude of the video leakage depends on the design of the switch and the switch driver. Video leakage can damage sensitive devices, such as satellite transponders, which use low-power switching (–100 dBm ON/OFF) and instruments, depending on the amplitude of the video leakage. Keysight’s solid state switches are carefully designed to ensure extremely low video leakage. For instance, P940x PIN diode switches offer video leakage of 10 mV ~ 500 mV which is extremely low for a PIN diode switch, while U9397 and U9400 FET switches have less than 30 mVpp video leakage. 

Fast switching speeds 

Fast switching speed is important in ATE applications where testing throughput is critical. It is especially important in applications that require the stacking of multiple switches in series. Keysight solid state switches exhibit fast switching speed to enable high throughput.

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