In the tech world, it takes just three simple letters to immediately invoke excitement: ‘CES.’ Over the years, CES has evolved beyond just consumer tech – although there are still plenty of super cool gadgets and gizmos to be seen at the show – and now serves as a stage for next-gen technological innovations of all kinds.More than 4,500 exhibitors showcased their wares across more than 2.9 million net square feet of exhibit space in Las Vegas at the show last month. Menlo was on hand to take in the sights of the show floor – and to meet with several customers and partners along the way. One topic of conversation during these meetings – and one that was much buzzed about at CES in general – was 5G.
Why was 5G on everyone’s minds? It’s the catalyst for all manner of new and exciting possibilities, including everything from self-driving cars to smarter homes and businesses. And, a 5G network can’t run without switches. Switches are critical to systems that transmit and receive radio frequencies (such as cell phone networks). That’s where Menlo Micro’s “Ideal Switch” comes in. There are 200,000 cell towers in the U.S. alone – and the cell tower infrastructure is full of power-hungry, bulky, high-loss switches. Our Ideal Switch operates up to 1000x faster than a typical mechanical switch, can handle hundreds of watts of power and is built in a structure smaller than a human hair. It also maintains signal power from the power source to the antenna; with the added benefit of being light and small. Because our Ideal Switch opens the path to new systems architecture and new capabilities, it’s safe to say that we are enabling 5G by miniaturizing critical RF infrastructure subsystems. Menlo’s Ideal Switch also meets 5G frequency requirements (from 3GHz to 40GHz); operating across that entire range with linearity higher than solid state switches and electromechanical relays.