Renesas Debuts Small PIN Diodes for Transmission/Reception Switching

6/4/2004 - Renesas Technology Corp. announced the HVL147 and HVL147M PIN diodes for transmission/reception switching use in products such as mobile phones and wireless LAN mobile devices. Sample shipments will begin in August 2004 in Japan.

Features of the HVL147 and HVL147M are summarized below.

  1. Low capacitance, low on-resistance, and low harmonic distortion
    The three major characteristics of capacitance, on-resistance, and harmonic distortion, among which there is a trade-off relationship, have been improved simultaneously by the use of a trench structure1 and epitaxial layer2 optimization. Compared with previous Renesas Technology products, capacitance has been reduced by 15% (at f = 1.8 GHz) and on-resistance by 40% (at IF = 1 mA), while harmonic distortion has been improved by 3 dB (at Pin = +35 dBm), resulting in higher system performance through low loss, lower current drive, and lower noise.
  2. Ultra-small, thin packages
    The HVL147 employs the same ultra-small EFP (Extremely Small Flat Lead Package) as previous products, with a body size of 0.8 mm 0.6 mm 0.5 mm (typ.), while the HVL147M uses a TEFP (Thin-EFP) that is even thinner than the EFP at 0.4 mm (typ.), enabling products to be made smaller and slimmer.

Product Background
High-frequency wireless communication products such as mobile phones and wireless LAN devices are rapidly increasing in popularity, and are bringing a demand for triple-band or similar multi-band operation and multifunctionality. In line with this, there is a growing demand for transmission/reception switches to be not only smaller and lighter, but also to offer improved transit loss, power-saving design, and improved extraneous emission characteristics, in order to support currents of 1 mA or less.

Renesas Technology currently mass-produces transmission/reception switch PIN diodes such as the HVL142A, but simultaneously improving the three major characteristics of capacitance, on-resistance, and harmonic distortion in order to meet the above needs has been extremely difficult with conventional technology. Renesas Technology has therefore developed the HVL147 and HVL147M offering simultaneous improvement of all three characteristics through a change of chip structure and process optimization.

Product Details
With these HVL147 and HVL147M PIN diodes, the three major characteristics of capacitance, on-resistance, and harmonic distortion have been improved simultaneously by switching from the planar structure3 used for previous products such as the HVL142A to a trench structure, and by optimization of the epitaxial layer and the process, which affect characteristics.

Specifically, capacitance has been reduced by 15% compared with the HVL142A, to 0.16 pF at a frequency of 1.8 GHz, on-resistance has been reduced by 40% to 2.1 at 1 mA, and harmonic distortion has been improved by 3 dB to -45.1 dBc at +35 dBm. These improvements offer the following benefits in transmission/reception switching applications.

  1. Lower off-time capacitance enables isolation and transit loss during transmission/reception to be improved, resulting in lower noise and higher efficiency.
  2. Reduced on-resistance makes possible low bias current drive, enabling power saving to be achieved through low power consumption design.
  3. Improved high-order harmonic distortion characteristics allow extraneous emission to be kept low even during strong field input, enabling noise to be reduced.

As well as being ultra-small and thin, the EFP package of the HVL147 and TEFP package of the HVL147M have leads provided on the outside of the package, enabling a visual check to be made for solder fillets after mounting.

Future development plans call for extension of the product lineup using this technology to handle a wide range of applications, including a version with the emphasis on isolation with the aim of further reducing capacitance, and a version focusing on low on-resistance to improve loss characteristics.

1. Trench structure: A structure in which a groove (trench) is formed around junctions
2. Epitaxial layer: A layer in which a monocrystalline coating of a predetermined thickness and density is formed by vapor phase epitaxy
3. Planar structure: A structure in which chip active parts (junctions) and their surrounding areas are made planar

Typical Applications
Transmission/reception switches for mobile phones, wireless LAN mobile devices, etc.

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