Technology

HOW WE MADE IT.
WATCH THE SWITCH IN ACTION

Why we created the Ideal Switch

Today’s switching technologies have lots of compromises

ELECTROMECHANICAL

SOLID STATE

  • RF
  • POWER
  • HIGH POWER RF COAX

  • RF SURFACE MOUNT

  • HIGH POWER RF COAX

  • RF SURFACE MOUNT

  • RF
  • POWER
  • PIN DIODE

  • CMOS

  • AC/DC SSR W/HEATSINK

  • DC SSR W/HEATSINK

  • Large moving parts limit switching speed and cause reliability problems
  • Need to drive a coil to actuate which requires lots of power
  • Physically large, takes up lots of precious board space
  • Are sensitive to mechanical shock, vibration and humidity
  • Manufacturing inconsistencies can cause variation from batch to batch
  • It’s a “semi” conductor. When “on” there are higher losses than a mechanical relay.
  • It’s never truly “off”, there are leakage currents that can flow
  • Non-linear effects can distort RF signal integrity, limiting data rates
  • Very difficult to handle lots of power due to thermal constraints

Our Ideal Switch technology addresses the major issues with solid state and mechanical switches and relays.

HIGH POWER

Switch KW in a chip-sized package =
smaller, lighter things: more portable (military radios), more efficient to move (cars), easier to place and manage remotely (building circuit breakers).

LOW LOSS

Low resistance when “ON” =
no heat, no heatsinks, longer battery life.

HIGH LINEARITY

Linear performance from 0Hz to >50GHz =
higher bandwidth, faster speeds, more simultaneous phone calls, fewer dropped calls.

LOW POWER NEEDS

Very little power needed for switching =
longer battery life, smaller batteries.

HIGH RELIABILITY

Longer lifetime =
lower parts costs, no relay replacement downtime.

AIRGAP ISOLATION

No leakage when “OFF” =
energy savings.

FAST SWITCHING

Switching faster =
saves energy, saves test time (with high volume test equipment), protect equipment (faster protection, reduce fault currents).

SMALL SIZE & WEIGHT

Semiconductor packaging =
size and weight of a chip, but without the bulky heatsink.

Ideal Switch vs. Electromechanical Relay

These improvements aren’t incremental. They’re paradigm shifts.

Ideal Switch vs. Solid State

If nano-second switching speed isn’t required, Menlo’s Ideal Switch is always the better option.

HOW WE MADE IT

Revolutionary materials and processes combined with standard, scalable semiconductor manufacturing techniques.

WAFER-LEVEL MANUFACTURING

Wafer-Scale Manufacturing

On 8 in (200mm) glass

The Unit Cell

Menlo’s “mechanical transistor” - 50μm x 50μm

Multiple Arrays of Unit Cells

Infinite combinations to scale up to 1000V+ and 10A+

Through Glass Vias

Miniaturized packaging with highest performance

Wafer-Level

Chip - scale - package from 16mm2 to <1mm2

APPLICATION - SPECIFIC CONFIGURATIONS

Core Switch

Simplest, smallest building block for multiple power or RF applications

Switch with Integrated Controls

Simpler control for high channel counts, decreased need for external components

Multiple Switch Die, with Routing & Control

For matrix and high-density switching systems

RF System-on-Glass

Integrate passives and other structures directly on glass to create miniaturized RF subsystems

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