Infineon Technologies has shipped more than one billion RF switches used in smartphones and tablet products. It is expected that the demand for RF switches will show double-digit growth over the next years mainly driven by the increased number of LTE bands integrated in the next generation of smartphones and tablets.
The design of the RF front-end part in 4G/LTE cellular phones is becoming increasingly complex and demanding due to the increasing number of frequency bands and modes that the phones need to operate in. Along with various band or mode selection applications antenna switches represent critical main components of the RF front-end. These antenna switches either select which transmitter (TX) / receiver (RX) path can be connected to the 4G/LTE main antenna or define which bands shall be received from the diversity antenna.
Infineon provides a broad portfolio of antenna and general purpose RF switches for smartphones. In comparison to highly specialised and expensive SOI technologies Infineon’s Bulk RF CMOS technology enjoys a larger economy of scale and greater flexibility in production by deploying standard equipment, materials and manufacturing processes. Compared to other vendors using Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) technologies Infineon’s Bulk RF CMOS (130nm) offers several advantages, as the CMOS process enables the driver and MIPI/GPIO control circuitry to be integrated on the same die with the switch. This simplifies the design process and reduces the parts count. Infineon RF switches provide low insertion losses, high isolation and low harmonics generation.
Infineon offers a wide variety of RF general purpose and antenna switches ranging from low throw count RF switch variants to complex high throw count configurations that include additional filtering functionality. The RF switches are delivered either as discrete, space saving flip-chip-in-package TSLP or TSNP components or as Chip-Scale-Packages (CSP) for module manufacturers. Additionally, Infineon recently expanded its portfolio introducing a family of antenna tuning solutions and an Antenna Switch Module for LTE Carrier Aggregation applications.