USB-powered, single-pole double-throw coaxial switch covers DC to 18 GHz

June 19, 2012 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Agilent Technologies has announced a USB-powered, single-pole double-throw coaxial switch, operating from DC to 18 GHz. The first-to-market microwave switch driven by a USB port, the Agilent U1810B will provide system-design and manufacturing engineers a long-operating-life solution with convenient RF switching.

The U1810B USB coaxial switch will support the standard plug-and-play functionality of typical USB devices, eliminating the need for additional power adapters or drivers, and simplifying setup. A button on the switch will enable users to toggle the signal path between two output ports without using the software interface. These new capabilities will help engineers design switch matrices for telecommunications and electronics/semiconductor manufacturing applications.

Similar to Agilent’s other microwave switches, the U1810B will deliver excellent performance: guaranteed 5-million-cycle operating life (though users can expect 10 million cycles to be typical), and guaranteed 0.03 dB insertion loss repeatability. The long operating life will help reduce the cost of test and ensures reliability of the test system throughout its life. The switch’s exceptional insertion loss repeatability will help minimize system measurement uncertainty, while maximizing test throughput.

The U1810B’s front panel provides an alternative software control interface. Users will also be able to control the switch using various software platforms such as C, LabVIEW or VEE.