Startup Menlo Micro announced the closing of its $44 million Series B funding round Wednesday morning. The company said the funding would allow it to begin producing "millions" of switches every month starting in 2021.
And that, according to some of the company's high-profile investors, will have significant ramifications for 5G and other high-tech industries.
"For 40+ years, the industry has been searching for a switch that has the perfect combination of the electromechanical relay and the silicon transistor," said Tony Fadell, a principal at Future Shape, in a release from Menlo Micro. Future Shape is one of the investment companies participating in Menlo Micro's latest round of funding. "Menlo Micro's Ideal Switch is a tiny, efficient, reliable micro-mechanical switch with unmatched RF-performance and, counterintuitively, high-power handling of 1,000s of Watts. As our world moves to the electrification and wireless of everything, Menlo Micro's deep innovation is already triggering massive cross-industry upheaval."
Fadell's words carry weight – he designed the iPod and helped design the iPhone over the course of a decade at Apple. He then founded Nest – subsequently acquired by Google – before joining Future Shape.
Menlo Micro CEO Russ Garcia told Light Reading that the company's new "Ideal Switch" is "very, very special." He explained that it's a mechanical switch that can turn communications on and off much more efficiently than current technologies, which he said will have major implications for wireless communications, including 5G specifically. He said the company is already in discussions with a range of customers, and that Menlo Micro's new switch will be initially targeted at 5G infrastructure vendors like Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung.