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The relationships between device feature size and device performance figures of merit (FoMs) are more complex for radio frequency (RF) applications than for digital applications. Using the devices in the key circuit blocks for typical RF transceivers, we review and give trends for the FoMs that characterize active and passive RF devices. These FoMs include transit frequency at unity current gain fT, maximum frequency of oscillation fMAX at unit power gain, noise, breakdown voltage, capacitor density, varactor and inductor quality, and the like. We use the specifications for wireless communications systems to show how different Si-based devices may achieve acceptable FoMs. We focus on Si complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS), Si Bipolar CMOS, and Si bipolar devices, including SiGe heterojunction bipolar transistors, RF devices, and integrated circuits (ICs). We analyze trends in the FoMs for Si-based RF devices and ICs and show how these trends relate to the technology nodes of the 2003 International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors. We also compare FoMs for the best reported performance of research devices and for the performance of devices manufactured in high volumes, typically more than 10 000 devices. Certain commercial equipment, instruments, or materials are identified in this article to specify adequately the experimental or theoretical procedures. Such identification does not imply recommendation by any of the host institutions of the authors, nor does it imply that the equipment or materials are necessarily the best available for the intended purpose.