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RF/Microwave Switching Solutions


Keysight RF/Microwave Switching Solutions

Keysight Technologies, Inc. has been providing RF/Microwave switch solutions for over 20 years. We have offerings from simple switch control to fully integrated solutions that are tested and document­ed. Keysight is in the unique position of supplying the highest quality RF and Microwave components, and the expertise to guarantee world-class path performance in a switching solution.

Keysight has a broad range of solutions for R&D and manufacturing engineers who develop design validation or functional test systems for a variety of applications. We offer RF/Microwave solutions with the broad range of supported switches up to 50 GHz and custom solutions to 67 GHz, future­proofing your investment for emerging commercial standards like WiMAXTM, LTE and UMB. Our solutions are designed for test applications in many areas including military radios, radar communica­tions or satellites in Aerospace/Defense or handsets, base stations, or radio components in wireless applications.

There are many issues one must consider when designing an RF switch matrix, which makes it a chal­lenging task. Some of these issues include the:

  • Electrical and mechanical constraints
  • Switch control architecture
  • Signal integrity and reliability
  • Cost effectiveness
  • Documentation and support

RF/Microwave Switching Solutions

This brochure describes how Keysight solutions can provide just the right switching solu­tions to give you the confidence you need in your measurements. It provides an overview of the many RF/Microwave switching solutions as well as how to best choose among several different types of approaches to RF switching and/or switch control.

Many of Keysight’s switching products come standard with these key features:

  • LXI Class C with standard LAN, USB and GPIB interfaces
  • Web interface for remote monitoring and control
  • Relay counter to track switch closures
  • Switch sequencer for faster switch setup and execution
  • Switch verification to ensure closures
  • SCPI code generator for ease of programming
  • Software drivers for most common development environments

RF/Microwave switching considerations

The choice of cables, connectors and switches can significantly impact overall system performance and reliability. The cables, connectors and switches create the signal path from the DUT to the measurement instruments. Ideally, there would be no signal degra­dation when routing from one point to another. For actual test systems, there is always some degradation of the signal in passing through these components. Signal degrada­tion is directly related to signal frequency and the quality of signal routing components. To ensure good signal integrity choose cables, connectors and switches where the insertion loss, VSWR, and isolation at the desired frequencies do not compromise the measurement.

Key factors in selecting RF/Microwave switches

When selecting RF/Microwave switches, be aware that the most common and readily available switches often present a minimum viable solution. The cost of the minimum solution may seem attractive; however, when using these products, the test system can give varying results over time and can often be difficult to troubleshoot. By adding a few switching options and features, you can significantly improve the repeatability, perfor­mance and usability of your switching solution.


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