ECE Ph.D. student Anuj Madan (c) is pictured with his advisor John Cressler (l) and ECE School Chair Gary May at a previous awards presentation.

Professor John Cressler and his Ph.D. student Anuj Madan–both of the Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering–and their collaborator at IBM received the Best Student Paper Award at the 2010 IEEE Bipolar/BiCMOS Circuits and Technology Meeting (BCTM).

The paper, “A High Linearity Inverse Mode SiGe BiCMOS RF Switch,” was presented at the conference, held in early October in Austin, Tex., and published in the conference proceedings. The BCTM is the premier international conference dealing with bipolar and BiCMOS technology, devices, and circuits.

Power handling and distortion in RF and microwave switches is a key bottleneck in many monolithic RF system applications implemented in silicon-based technology. The research presented centered on the use of a SiGe HBT operating inverse mode (effectively, upside down) to boost power handling significantly, while at the same time decreasing signal distortion.

This approach is something that had not been previously attempted in RF switch design. The performance of the improved RF switch was demonstrated, and the understanding of why it works so well was presented. Further work on integration of such switches in RF system design are currently in progress.