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Who is MEMtronics?
MEMtronics is a leading provider of MEMS(microelectromechanical systems) for RF applications, including wireless, radar, communications, and imaging systems.  MEMtronics is developing innovative solutions for reliable, packaged MEMS components and subsystems.  MEMtronics and its manufacturing partners offer competitive technology at affordable prices.
What is the history of MEMtronics?
MEMtronics was formed in 2001 to develop and commercialize reliable, packaged MEMS technology for use in microwave and millimeter-wave applications.  The management team at MEMtronics has many decades of experience in electronics technology development and MEMS technology.  This team has the benefit and experience of many years of U.S. government and corporate R&D funding.  Their goal is to provide high performance, reliable technology to leverage cost and performance benefits in their customer’s systems.

Does MEMtronics have patented intellectual property (IP)?
MEMtronics has three granted patents and several others pending.  These patents are focused on improving RF MEMS reliability and environmental robustness through innovative device design.  There are also patents on MEMS applications such as innovative designs for phase shifters and tunable filters.  As is common in MEMS technology, there are many development materials and techniques which are not publicly announced through the patent process.  The many years of experience and know-how of MEMtronics technologists leverages this experience to provide as much benefit as their publicly patented ideas.

What products will be available, when, and at what price?
Currently, MEMtronics does not have a catalog of parts available for sale.  All products are developed to unique requirements provided by our customers.  MEMtronics does not sell individual MEMS switches.  Instead, our switch process is part of a monolithic microwave integrated circuit (MMIC) process used to develop custom circuits and subsystems for our customers.  We are always interested in hearing of requirements from potential customers and discussing whether MEMtronics technology is a proper fit for their needs.

How do I submit specifications for review?
To submit specifications for review, you can contact MEMtronics directly via e-mail or by filling out the quick form here.

What technology does this replace?
MEMtronics switching and tuning technology is designed to replace electronic transistor (GaAs MESFET and HBT) and p-i-n diode switching technology. The ultra-high figure of merit, no power consumption, high linearity, and small size makes MEMtronics’ switch technology an attractive alternative to conventional electronic switching devices.

What frequencies do MEMtronics switches operate?
MEMtronics’ switches are essentially switched capacitors.  They have a low off-capacitance and a substantially higher on-capacitance.  As tuning elements, these devices are able to effectively and efficiently switch reactances from DC to 50 GHz+.  The lack of metal-metal contact resistance gives MEMtronics switches a significant advantage in achieving high quality factor (Q) at all frequencies.  As switching elements, MEMtronics switches provide ultra-low insertion loss and good isolation from 2 GHz to 50 GHz and beyond.  In general, the higher the frequency, the more competitive MEMtronics switches become.  Like FET and diode switches, MEMtronics switching devices can be implemented into shunt and series-shunt combinations to provide any desired insertion loss and isolation specification required.

Why is packaging so important for RF MEMS?
Packaging is important for MEMS devices because these free-standing mechanical devices are super-strong on the micro-scale but fragile to the macro-world.  An effective package prevents contact of the movable structure, as well as preventing particles and contaminants from hindering their operation.  The difficulty in RF MEMS packaging, is achieving low-loss and low-cost commensurate with that of the MEMS devices themselves.  Typically, hermetic microwave packages are both lossy and expensive.  MEMtronic’s patent pending microencapsulation technology is well suited for providing low cost protection with excellent RF characteristics.  Initial RF measurements show individual switch packages to have less than 0.1 dB of loss through 110 GHz!

Where does MEMtronics produce its parts?
MEMtronics produces its parts in conjunction with its manufacturing partners.  Its MEMS manufacturing partner is Innovative Micro Technology (IMT), located in Santa Barbara, CA.  MEMtronics has a very close working relationship with IMT.  MEMtronics makes full use of IMT’s extensive list of established processes, and works intimately with it in co-developing processes to meet new requirements.  As such, MEMtronics is not “fabless” but better identified as “fab-lite.”    The main advantage in utilizing IMT for MEMS fabrication is that all work is completed in a production, process-controlled environment.  This eliminates a host of issues associated with transitioning from laboratory and manufacturing.  As MEMtronics is a merchant suppliers of RF MEMS technology, this technology is not held captive in large defense companies only for their systems.  It is available to meet your needs and applications.

 

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