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MEMS for RF


RF MEMS enables revolutionary improvements in:
  • Performance
    • Low RF loss
    • Low DC power
    • High linearity
  • Size
    • Microminiature size
    • Tunability->Parts reduction
  • Cost
    • Reduced IC costs
    • Significant system cost reduction!

MEMS for RF - The emergence of micromachining and MEMS for RF applications, RFMEMS, is one of the more recent applications of micromachining.  A product of development for high-end military electronics, this revolutionary new technology is on its way to having an impact on RF electronics.  Components built with MEMS and micromachining have demonstrated significant improvements in several areas.  MEMS switches have demonstrated ultra-low loss, beating any available silicon or GaAs technology for analog switching.  This makes routing of RF signals possible with much lower loss, giving RF systems better noise figure and sensitivity.  Most MEMS devices are electrostatically operated, which means they consume essentially no DC power.  This makes them an excellent candidate for battery or hand-held devices, as well as satellite and space systems.  RF MEMS devices also have extremely high linearity, which means that they create no harmonics or intermodulation products.  This makes them excellent candidates for broadband communications systems, especially those needing high dynamic range.  The microminiature size of MEMS, gives them reduced chip area with unmatched performance.  These devices have proven very effective at frequencies >50 GHz.  The ability of MEMS to tune enables them to significantly reduce the number of passive components on a circuit board by combining numerous switched parts into one tunable chip.  All of these performance advantages can be had with the cost benefits afforded by semiconductor batch processing.  All these advantages combined allow for a significant RF system impact.

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