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This paper addresses the fundamentals of RF switches providing a comparison between semiconductor and RF MEMS switches. The basis of comparison is introduced by defining a figure of merit that is a function of the off-state capacitance and the on-state resistance. A simple transmission line model is presented to illustrate the impact of the switch off-state capacitance on the switch isolation and frequency range of operation. The figure of merit analysis given in this paper demonstrates that RFdoi:10.1109/icmens.2004.1509004 dblp:conf/icmens/GrantDM04 fatcat:bczvlojspfbrzkxcbuts3fvp6i