Making the switch

After shipping beta samples to customers, Microlab has now selected the French company PHS MEMS to produce its magnetic latching RF MEMS switch in high volume.

RF MEMS technology is taking a step forward into reality.

After shipping beta samples to customers, Microlab has now selected the French company PHS MEMS to produce its magnetic latching RF MEMS switch in high volume.

Microlab’s RF MEMS switch itself operates on a magnetic actuation principle. The switch, which is the first product in the company’s ‘MagLatch’ product line, operates from DC-6GHz with insertion loss of <0.5dB and isolation of >40dB. Switching time for the device is about 100microsec, making it much faster than conventional mechanical relays.

Because the device is latching and uses magnetic forces to hold a switched state, it consumes no stand-by power. Another benefit of the magnetic actuation, not typical of electrostatically actuated devices, is that the MagLatch uses 5V to operate.

‘Our relationship with PHS MEMS will allow Microlab to quickly ramp production volumes starting 1st quarter 2003 to meet anticipated demand,’ stated Bill Sheppard, Chief Executive Officer of Microlab.

The switch is suitable for high performance applications such as test and measurement equipment, ATE, wireless communications as well as portable RF electronics.

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