PIN Diode Market: Rising Demand For RF Switching Applications

A PIN diode is a silicon semiconductor consisting of a highly resistive intrinsic layer between heavily doped P and N type material. The intrinsic layer of the PIN diode is either undoped or virtually undoped and provides the change in properties when compared to a normal PN junction diode. Its wide intrinsic layer makes it an inferior rectifier but highly suitable for photo detectors, attenuators, and high voltage power electronic applications.

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In forward bias, a PIN diode behaves as a variable resistor and its resistance decreases with forward bias voltage. In reverse bias, it behaves as a variable capacitor until it reaches swept voltage point, after which it works as a constant capacitor. At frequencies, up to 100 MHz, a PIN diode operates as a normal PN junction diode whereas above 100 MHz it behaves as a switch or resistor.

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Major factor driving the PIN diode market is its rising demand for RF switching applications. Size, cost and speed considerations are making it challenging for electromechanical switches to switch RF power in portable applications. Moreover, the RF switching challenge is rising owing to growing applications to switch the RF signal path to connect and route several, amplifiers, filters, and antennas.

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Furthermore, this necessity for added switching with superior performance is further growing with the advancement of multiband wireless devices and other advanced technologies, specifically for battery-powered and portable devices. PIN diodes provide certain exclusive advantages such as high speed and isolation potential which makes it a better alternative to other non-mechanical options such as MEMS structures and CMOS switches. Therefore, they are increasingly used for RF switching applications across the world.