This paper presents a novel 4-bit phase shifter using distributed active switches in 0.18-mum RF CMOS technology. The relative phase shift, which varies from 0deg to 360deg in steps of 22.5deg, is achieved with a 3-bit distributed phase shifter and a 180deg high-pass/low-pass phase shifter. The distributed phase shifter is implemented using distributed active switches that consist of a periodic placement of series inductors and cascode transistors, thereby obtaining linear phase shift versus frequency with a digital control. The design guideline of the distributed phase shifter is presented. The 4-bit phase shifter achieves 3.5 plusmn 0.5 dB of gain, with an rms phase error of 2.6deg at a center frequency of 12.1 GHz. The input and output return losses are less than -15 dB at all conditions. The chip size is 1880 mum times 915 mum including the probing pads.