Continue to Site

Welcome to

Welcome to our site! is an international Electronics Discussion Forum focused on EDA software, circuits, schematics, books, theory, papers, asic, pld, 8051, DSP, Network, RF, Analog Design, PCB, Service Manuals... and a whole lot more! To participate you need to register. Registration is free. Click here to register now.

RF PIN diode switch explaination

Not open for further replies.

Antenna (^.^)

Member level 3
Jul 6, 2015
Reaction score
Trophy points
Activity points
Hi everybody,

Could someone please explain,

What is the difference between a PIN diode switch and a tuned PIN diode switch?

I did some googling, cant find any specific reference text to a tuned pin diode switch

do you have a reference ?

Tuned means involving a resonant circuit or a transmission line stub matching the operation frequency.

Tuned means involving a resonant circuit or a transmission line stub matching the operation frequency.

yeah, was thinking that and that is the case for the majority of times pin diodes are used for TX/RX switching to an antenna

Back in the day....when all microwaves used WAVEGUIDES and diodes were in tall ceramic packages with pretty large package was hard to get those packaged diodes to reflect signals when they were forward biased. Then some bright guy thought "Hey, could I use a coaxial bias network to add an effective series capacitance, reactive cancelling-out the package inductance, and get a near perfect short circuit across my waveguide? That would give me at least 35 db isolation per diode!". and that is what he did, he "tuned out" the package parasitics.

But, like anything matching out a reactive part, it had limited bandwidth. That is why today we use pin diodes with the absolute minimum package reactances, and no longer try to "tune them up".

You might still run into this in a high power waveguide switch...especially if it uses stacked pin diodes to handle high power.

Uhh.. so "tuned" pin diodes are used as a impedance matching circuit? or its a switch with no reactance (imaginary part of impedance)?

Not impedance want the shunt pin diode to look as much as an open circuit as possible when it is reverse biased.

But you use the bias structure to "tune out" the package parasitic inductance, so you get less signal leaking past the forward biased pin diode.
pin sw.jpg

The slugs are moved up and down the bias pin until maximum isolation is achieved with the diode forward biased.

Not open for further replies.

Part and Inventory Search

Welcome to