This week at electronica, Menlo Micro, a California-based company which claims re-inventing the electronic switch, announced that its Digital-Micro-Switch (DMS) technology platform has been successfully ported from an R&D facility to a commercial 8” wafer manufacturing line.
In partnership with Corning Incorporated, known for its Through Glass Via (TGV) packaging technology, and Silex Microsystems, recognized as pure-play MEMS foundry, Menlo is now sampling products from this new manufacturing line and will begin scaling up the production of its unique micro-mechanical switches before year’s end.
Having already shipped over 100,000 production units from its existing manufacturing line, this step puts Menlo in position to significantly scale up its manufacturing and business operations and allows for the proliferation of its high-performance RF and power products into a much broader array of end markets. Menlo plans to use this advanced manufacturing capability to produce micro-mechanical switches that will bring step-function improvements in performance for systems in medical equipment, military communications, test and measurement instrumentation, industrial automation, 5G communications networks and more.
Menlo’s new wafer manufacturing line is the result of the company transferring its DMS process, developed at GE Global Research, to Silex Microsystems. According to Chris Keimel, CTO for Menlo Micro, “In less than two years, we’ve been able to successfully transition our robust and reliable MEMS switch process from a research environment to a true production fab. In this period of time, we have also achieved several key technical milestones, most notably the integration of Corning’s TGV substrates with Menlo’s MEMS switch process to deliver a miniaturized, chip-scale-package solution for our products. Scaling the process to an 8” production line is a significant step that brings size, cost, performance, and manufacturability improvements to Menlo’s DMS products – and demonstrates that the technology can indeed be scaled to commercial levels.”