Menlo Microsystems Introduces High Power Density RF SwitchJanuary 08, 2021 by Gary Elinoff
The 4-channel unit, housed in a tiny 2.5mm x 2.5mm WLCSP package, handles 25 watts at frequencies of up to 26MHz
Neither a solid state switch nor a classical RF mechanical relay methodology, Menlo Microswitch’s Ideal Switch Technology allows designers to eliminate the compromises they previously faced.
Functional diagram. Image courtesy of datasheet
The MM5130 offers the RF performance and power handling capabilities of specialized mechanical relays with the speed, size, and reliability of semiconductor-based switching
Image courtesy of Menlo Microsystems
The unit operates over a temperature range of -40 to +85℃
Menlo Microswitch’s Ideal Switch Technology is a MEMS-based process with inputs from GE alloy and semiconductor technology and Corning glass expertise. Corning is also an initial investor in Menlo’s efforts. The development and future of this technology is described in a video presentation.
“We are very excited to announce that the MM5130, and more importantly our Ideal SwitchTM manufacturing line, is ready for production,” said Menlo Micro co-founder and SVP Marketing, Chris Giovanniello. “With this milestone, companies will begin to realize our vision of massive reductions in the size, weight, and power across a wide variety of RF subsystems. With over 30 customer design-ins to date for the MM5130 in 5G, aerospace & defense, and test & measurement applications, the number of companies taking advantage of the unique performance benefits of the Ideal Switch continues to grow.”
At 6 GHz, the MM5130 can handle 25 watts continuously, and 150 watts peak. DC current rating is 500 mA, and hot switching at 0.5 volts is limited to 10 mA.
Single Pole Four Throw Mode
Referring back to the functional block diagram, biassing RFXGATE … RF4GATE connects one of RF1 … RF4 to RFC. In single pole four throw (SP4T) mode, only one of RF1 through RF4 is connected at a time to RFC.
Here’s where the versatility of the MM5130 really shines through. In this mode, any of the four channels (RF1, RF2, RF3 or RF4) can be connected to either of the other three channels or any two of the three channels. All four of the channels can all also be connected. It is done in the same manner as in the SP4T example, by appropriately biasing any two, three, or all four of the RfxGATEs.
The interested reader is referred to calculator.net for a complete discussion of applicable combination calculations. There are six possible combinations of connecting any one channel to any other channel, and four combinations of any two channels to any other channel. Those possibilities, and the option of connecting all four together, yield 11 possibilities for super-port.
Specifications for SP4T and Super-Port
The specs are actually somewhat better for Super-Port than they are for SP4T. For example, operating frequency for SP4T is from DC to 18 GHz, while the range for super-port extends to the full 26 GHz
|6 GHz||18 GHz||26 GHz|
|SP4T Insertion Loss (typ)||0.4 dB||1.3 dB||-|
|Super-Port Insertion Loss (typ)||0.6 dB||1.5 dB||2.6 dB|
|SP4T Input/Output Return Loss (typ)||15 dB||10 dB||-|
|Super-Port Input/Output Return Loss (typ)||25 dB||18 dB||17 dB|
|SP4T Isolation||25 dB||18 dB||-|
|Super-Port Isolation||28 dB||27 dB||18 dB|
- Beam steering antennas in both military communications as well as commercial networks.
- Test and measurement use cases requiring ultra-compact switch matrices.
- Step attenuators
- Low loss switched filter banks
- Tunable filters
Getting to Market Faster
Menlo Micro offers the MM5130EVK1 and the MM5130EVK2 that can be employed to explore the capabilities of MN5130 at frequencies below 12 GHz and at up to 18 GHz, respectively.
The MM5130EVK218 GHz Evaluation Board. Image courtesy of datasheet.
Also available is the MM5130EVK3 for 26 GHz Superport Mode.