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Analog Devices Makes MEMS Switch Technology a Commercial Reality

MEMS Switch Technology

For OEMs, new switch technology enables next-gen instrumentation equipment with increased channel density and extended speed, operating lifetime and reduced power consumption. 

Analog Devices (ADI) makes a breakthrough in switch technology announces new RF-MEMS switch technology. The new technology is sought to replace electromechanical relay designs first adopted by the electronics industry more than 100 years ago.

The new device touts to enable faster, smaller, lower power, more reliable instrumentation equipment. It resolves multiple performance limitations commonly attributed to relays, whose origins date to the earliest days of the electric telegraph.

The commercial release of products enabled by this technology to leverage original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) improve the accuracy and versatility of automatic test equipment (ATE) and other instrumentation tools helping 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.

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.

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 extremely easy to use.

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 ATE system size and while a multiplexer configuration simplifies the fan-out structure compared to DPDT relay designs.

Pricing and Availability

Part NumberSample AvailabilityProduction AvailabilityPrice Each in 1,000 UnitsPackage
ADGM1304NowNow$36.5824-lead

5mm × 4mm × 0.95mm LFCSP

ADGM1004NowFebruary 2017$39.3424-lead

5mm x 4mm x 1.45mm LFCSP

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