19 Feb 2018

First prototype of RF Capacitive Switch proves High Reliability

Despite the big research effort done by companies, universities and research centers for more than a decade to design a compelling tunable RF device, today the solution does not exist yet. This is a big demand from mobile handset companies, due to what has been known as the wireless band explosion. The problem is that the number of bands that a smartphone needs to operate in is increasing exponentialy. This requires a large bank of RF filters, and the complexity is proportional to the factorial of the number of filters due to all their cross couplings. Combining this with the requirements for small size, low cost and fast time to market, we are approaching to an unsolvable problem in a few years.

The difficulty comes from a triple challenge that such a tunable RF device needs to satisfy. It needs to have excellent RF performance, outstanding reliability and ultra low cost. Although there have been many proposals, none has been able to fulfill the 3 challenges at the same time.

Nanusens has done an important step forward with a first prototype for a RF Capacitive Switch, having ultra-low cost, because it is done in standard low-cost CMOS processing, and proving excellent repeatability up to 400k cycles. We are now extending the measurements up to 1B cycles, and working on new designs to improve capacitance ratio and RF performance.