MEMS electrostatic relay switches 25W across dc to 18GHz

MM5120 will handle 25W (150W pulsed), according to the company, though its 5.2 x 4.2mm LGA package. Insertion loss is typically <0.6dB at 12GHz. IP3 linearity is said to be >95dBm.

Contact movement is though electrostatic attraction, with the necessary voltage generated by an integrated charge pump.

Also integrated is control logic for connection to a hose microcontroller through SPI bus (33MHz) and GPIO.

The logic needs a 5V supply, and consumption is the hundreds of microamps to 1mA region. Operation is over -40 to 85ºC.

Steering antenna beam in 5G network infrastructure is one potential application.

MenloMicro detail

The company technology is micromachined electromechanical relay using electrostatic attraction to create operating force, made using processes similar to chip making.

In the image (left), the second contact is in the relaxed open-circuit position, the others, hardly different visually, are pulled down by electrostatic attraction to make contact.


The parts use custom metal alloys and are made on 200mm wafers using a 14 layer process – the final structure is in a hermetic ‘through-glass via’ package (example right).

A 50 x 50μm switch cell is being used, which operated in ~10μs. Linear performance from DC to >50GHz is claimed for the switch mechanism.

MM5120 SP4T switch (data sheet here) evaluation boards and engineering samples are available. Production release is scheduled for Q1 2022.

The company is headquartered in Irvine California, and has just announced $150m in Series C funding – taking the total to >$225 million. Vertical Venture Partners and Tony Fadell’s Future Shape led the round. Menlo is exploring manufacturing locations in California, New York, Texas and Florida.

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