Chalcogenide Phase-Change Material Switches for RF Switching and Tuning Applications

A review of the state of the art chalcogenide phase-change materials switches for RF applications will be presented. As the technology matures towards a commercially available level, the correlation between material properties and RF device performance (including Ron, Coff, power handling, linearity, power consumption and switching speed) is needed for circuit and system designers to understand the ideal usage in their systems. Device operation and fundamentals, along with a brief overview of the different process generations in literature will be discussed in relation to the RF switching specifications. State of the art switch and circuit performance will be reported, along with examples of novel circuits and applications that take advantage of the unique features of this switching technology. Finally, future performance advantages will be shown as a function of the packaging and integration, with a focus on the monolithic integration for analog system-on-chip applications.