MEMS goes into 10A power switches: Page 2 of 2

March 19, 2018 //By Julien Happich
MEMS goes into 10A power switches
After it spun out from GE and qualified its first MEMS-based RF switches built around a so-called Digital-Micro-Switch (DMS) technology, Californian startup Menlo Micro is commercializing a 200V/10A DMS smart power relay set to revolutionize the power industry.

A wafer with multiple MEMS switches implementations.

The company develops the switches at wafer-level but then cuts them in dies for assembly into differentiated products. On its roadmap, it is working on packing more switches for a given mm2 of die area. "For GE's healthcare products, we delivered 26 switches on a die, then our first RF product had 48 switches on a die. But before we spun out of GE, we did a die with 400 switches. To get a high current density per die, we could create 32x32mm dies, but for yield and efficiency of scale, it makes more sense to have smaller building blocks, around 10A at die level if we are going to have 5x5mm2 dies" explained Giovanniello. "Then building a 50A switch is just a matter of stacking more dies".

"We have ambitious plans for this year. We've already qualified three more switches for production before the end of this year for four different market segments. We are also in the process of moving out our manufacturing from GE, to scale it up in a commercial fab sourced at a lower cost.

Our transfer is close to 90% complete, moving from 4-inch wafers to an 8-inch wafer line which will be qualified by the second half of this year. It's all going very well" commented Giovanniello.

"We have four or five different customers designing their initial products with our devices for evaluation and we are shipping engineering samples. Until our production line is qualified, we won't be able to claim design wins but we are targeting a hand-full of design wins before the end of 2018" Giovanniello concluded.

Menlo Micro -

Related articles:

GE spins out MEMS startup: wants cheaper power switches

MEMS-based RF switch delivers over 10x performance gain

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