'Ideal switch' nears high-volume production

October 14, 2020 // By Rich Pell
'Ideal switch' nears high-volume production
MEMS switching technology company Menlo Microsystems has announced the closing of a $44 million Series B funding round to advance its "milliwatts-to-kilowatts" electronic switch technology.

The company's "Ideal Switch" technology is offered as combining the benefits of electromechanical relays and solid-state switches into the best of both worlds, bringing massive reductions in size, weight, power, and cost to multiple industries. The latest funding, says the company, will help it expand production of what it describes as "the most revolutionary electronic component since the transistor" from engineering quantities in 2020 to millions of units in 2021.

"This is a major milestone for Menlo Micro and the deployment of the Ideal Switch," says Russ Garcia. "This round of financing will enable us to significantly accelerate our product development and the scaling of our production lines. It is an incredible validation that our investors are standing behind our truly disruptive technology and our team at a time of so much uncertainty around the world."

The company's switch operates up to 1000x faster than a typical mechanical relay, can handle kilowatts of power, and is built in a structure smaller than a human hair. By combining the key benefits of both electromechanical and solid-state technologies, says the company, the Ideal Switch provides users with a 99% or more reduction in key system-level metrics including performance, size, weight, power consumption, and cost, offering key benefits in applications such as the following:

  • Radio performance in critical defense, government, radar, and commercial communications networks
  • RF/Microwave switching with applications including 5G cell networks, radio, satellite, and Wi-Fi
  • The transition to 5G, reducing losses, improving efficiency, and supporting the deployment of new frequency bands and vital measurement equipment
  • Consumer cell phone usage, including fewer dropped calls, higher data rates (high speed/higher capacity), improved coverage, and longer battery life

Throughout the past year the company has sampled products from its new production line to over 30 lead customers in its core target market groups including 5G mobile networks, aerospace and defense, and test and measurement. The latest funding, says the company, will also enable it

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