The main way to increase the 1 dB compression point in a mixer, and hence maximum allowable input power, is to use higher barrier diodes. Physically, mixer compression arises when the input RF signal begins to challenge the turn-on potential of the diodes. When this happens, the mixer fails to act as an LO controlled “switch” and the desired mixer behavior degrades. In order to prevent the RF signal from acting as the LO, the diode barrier must be increased such that the RF signal is too weak to switch the diodes ON and OFF.
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