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Analog Devices Makes MEMS Switch Technology a Commercial Reality

New MEMS Switches are up to 30 times faster than conventional relays

Analog Devices, has introduced a breakthrough in switch technology that provides a long-sought replacement for electromechanical relay designs first adopted by the electronics industry over 100 years ago. ADI’s new RF-MEMS switch technology is enabling faster, smaller, lower power, more reliable instrumentation equipment by resolving multiple performance limitations commonly attributed to relays, whose origins date to the earliest days of the electric telegraph. With the commercial release of products enabled by this technology, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) can significantly improve the accuracy and versatility of automatic test equipment (ATE) and other instrumentation tools to help their customers reduce testing costs, power and time to market. Future products within the MEMS switch series will replace relays in aerospace and defense, healthcare, and communications infrastructure equipment, allowing OEMs in those markets to pass similar size, power and cost savings along to their customers.

Click for Larger Image - Analog Devices Makes MEMS Switch Technology a Commercial Reality The first in a new product series, ADI’s ADGM1304 and ADGM1004 RF MEMS switches are 95 percent smaller, 30 times faster, 10 times more reliable, and use 10 times less power than conventional electromechanical relays.

Switch Breakthrough Extends ATE Equipment Lifetime and Channel Densities
The highly reliable ADGM1304 and ADGM1004 increase cold-switching lifetime by a factor of 10 compared to electromechanical relays, extending ATE system operating life and reducing costly downtime caused by relay failures. Additionally, the extremely small height of the ADGM1304 and ADGM1004 MEMS switch packages allow designers to surface-mount the devices on both sides of their ATE test boards to boost channel densities at reduced cost and without expanding equipment footprint. An integrated charge pump removes the need for external drivers, further reducing the ATE system size, while a multiplexer configuration simplifies the fan-out structure compared to equivalent DPDT relay designs.

MEMS Switch Technology Delivers 0-Hz (DC) to Wideband RF Performance
Unlike other switch alternatives such as solid-state relays, the ADGM1304 and ADGM1004 MEMS switches have superior precision and RF performance from 0 Hz (DC) to 14 GHz. ADI’s MEMS switch solution contains two die to maximize operational performance – an electrostatically actuated switch in a hermetically sealed silicon cap, and a low-voltage, low-current driver IC. The switching element has a highly conditioned, extremely reliable metal-to-metal contact that is actuated via an electrostatic force generated by the companion driver IC. The resultant co-packaged solution ensures best-in-class DC precision and RF performance, and makes the switch easy to use.

Features of the ADGM1304 MEMS Switch

  • Fully operational down to 0 Hz/dc
    • On resistance: 1.6 Ω (typical)
    • Off leakage: 0.5 nA (maximum)
  • −3 dB bandwidth
    • 11 GHz (typical) for RF1, RF4
    • 14 GHz (typical) for RF2, RF3
  • RF performance characteristics
    • Insertion loss: 0.26 dB (typical) at 2.5 GHz
    • Isolation: 24 dB (typical) at 2.5 GHz
    • IIP3: 69 dBm (typical)
    • RF power: 36 dBm (maximum)
  • Actuation lifetime: 1 billion cycles (minimum)
    • Hermetically sealed switch contacts
    • On switching time: 30 µs (typical)
  • Integrated driver removes the need for an external driver
    • Supply voltage: 3.1 V to 3.3 V
    • CMOS-/LVTTL-compatible
    • Parallel interface
    • IDD sleep mode current: 1 µA typical power consumption
    • Independently controllable switches
  • Switch is in an open state with no power supply present

More information on the ADGM1304 MEMS Switch can be found on the Analog Devices website at Analog Devices ADGM1304 Product Page

For information on the ADGM1004, this can be found at Analog Devices ADGM1004 Product Page

The Analog Devices website address is www.analog.com.
[Reprinted with kind permission from Analog Devices - Release Date, 8th November, 2016]