Conventional electrical engineers have traditionally had to pick between high-power switches that are inherently unreliable and sluggish against high-precision switches that cannot manage that much power. The Ideal Switch from Menlo Microsystems is a paradigm-shifting switch that flips the script on decades of electrical design. There is a new “greatest invention since the transistor” being developed by this corporation to further upend the status quo. It’s a big promise, but 150 million in new funding indicates that at least some investors believe the business is on to something.
Unless you’re a mechanical or electrical expert, it’s difficult to grasp just how significant the company’s breakthrough is, and how critical this technology may prove to be in the future. These switches have a huge influence, allowing some circuit types to be reduced by 100 times while increasing efficiency by 100 times. The electronics in smart light switches are massive, and fitting them into the wall requires physical force, vaseline, and a lot of shouting if you’ve ever had to do it. That’s because it’s powered on and off by a relay. The size and cost of today’s light switches might be drastically reduced thanks to this new technology. The company’s switches are likely to be used in every installation, building, and car you enter if the price of its technology falls even a little bit.
As well as having a much smaller physical footprint, the Ideal Switch is said to use much lower amounts of energy during operation, consuming less power overall (less than 10 microseconds), and being rated for billions of operations, whereas the typical switches it replaces typically fail after a few million activations (less than a milliwatt). As a result of all of this, we’re dealing with a whole new class of component. It’s also claimed that the component can take tens of thousands of watts of current.