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Open Access Research Article

Using MEMS Capacitive Switches in Tunable RF Amplifiers

John Danson*, Calvin Plett and Niall Tait

Author Affiliations

Department of Electronics, Carleton University Ottawa, ON, Canada, K1S 5B6

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EURASIP Journal on Wireless Communications and Networking 2006, 2006:016518  doi:10.1155/WCN/2006/16518

Published: 16 May 2006


A MEMS capacitive switch suitable for use in tunable RF amplifiers is described. A MEMS switch is designed, fabricated, and characterized with physical and RF measurements for inclusion in simulations. Using the MEMS switch models, a dual-band low-noise amplifier (LNA) operating at GHz and GHz, and a tunable power amplifier (PA) at GHz are simulated in m CMOS. MEMS switches allow the LNA to operate with 11 dB of isolation between the two bands while maintaining dB of gain and sub- dB noise figure. MEMS switches are used to implement a variable matching network that allows the PA to realize up to 37% PAE improvement at low input powers.