Irvine-based Menlo Microsystems Inc., one the of the better-funded companies linked to Orange County’s chipmaking industry, has joined the effort to return semiconductor production to the U.S.
The company’s CEO, Russ Garcia, promises a decision on the location of the firm’s new production facility for electronic switches by the end of this year. The plant, which will hold at least 160 jobs, is a much-sought prize with New York, Texas and Indiana in the running.
Garcia says no decision has been made yet, but “we’re getting close.”
Menlo Micro’s flagship product is called the Ideal Switch. Think of the Ideal Switch as a new, advanced iteration of the semiconductors used by local tech powerhouses like Broadcom and others to power smartphones, cellphone towers and other products, although Garcia says Menlo Micro doesn’t cleanly fall into the “chipmaker” segment of the tech industry.
The company claims the switch “will revolutionize energy distribution, wireless communications, defense and aerospace industries, and consumer electronics by making electronics smaller, faster, and more efficient and powerful.” The company says the Ideal Switch is 99% smaller, lighter, and more efficient than conventional switches and electromagnetic relays. The technology was spun out of General Electric’s Global Research Center.
Menlo Micro in March announced a new infusion of $150 million in a Series C round, bringing its total cumulative funding to over $225 million.