MEMS power switches to shrink with through glass vias packaging

June 13, 2018 // By Julien Happich
MEMS power switches to shrink with through glass vias packaging
In cooperation with investing partner Corning, two-year-old power switch startup Menlo Micro announced a major milestone in the development of its MEMS-based Digital-Micro-Switch (DMS) technology platform.

The two companies have now demonstrated the integration of Through Glass Via (TGV) packaging technology, allowing the MEMS power and RF switches to be stacked at the wafer scale for increased channel density and size reduction. Taking its products to ultra-small wafer scale packaging allows Menlo to shrink the components by more than 60 percent compared to traditional wire-bond packaging technologies while also slashing production costs.

Menlo Micro 8” RF MEMS wafer with a
wafer-level-bonded TGV cap wafer from Corning.

By eliminating wire bonds and replacing them with short, well-controlled metallized vias through the glass substrate, Menlo says it is also able to reduce package parasitics by more than 75 percent, which allows its MEMS switches to support higher frequencies.

“The initial decision we made to develop our DMS technology as a metal-to-metal contact switch on a glass substrate was critical to ensure performance,” said Chris Keimel, CTO at Menlo Micro.

“Our switch is extremely broadband – able to operate from DC to beyond 50GHz – but packaging has always been a limitation. By moving to TGV we have eliminated the unnecessary interconnects that had been limiting performance. More importantly, as our partner and investor, Corning delivered a high-performance via in glass, and our hermeticity and reliability requirements are also achieved. This will allow us to push our product roadmap into new markets. We are substantially increasing performance and reducing overall size and cost to levels that will be truly transformative to many applications.”

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