News | June 15, 2005

IMT Partners With MEMtroics On HERMIT RF-MEMS Switch Development

Santa Barbara, CA -- Innovative Micro Technology announced today that it will partner with MEMtronics Corporation on MEMtronics' second phase of a $3.69M, three-year development contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) entitled "Robust, Reliable RF MEMS Capacitive Switches." IMT, MEMtronics' manufacturing partner, will fabricate and package the high-tech, ultra-low loss RF switches. Also teaming with MEMtronics on this program are Lehigh University and Exponent Inc. The focus of this contract is to improve the environmental robustness and reliability of radio frequency microelectromechanical systems (RF MEMS) operating under extreme environmental conditions.

Part of the Harsh Environment Robust Micromechanical Technology (HERMIT) Program, the first phase of this contract recently culminated in the successful demonstration of a wafer-level packaging technology called "wafer-level microencapsulation." This packaging scheme protects MEMS switches from the adverse effects of moisture and particles. The microfabricated packages have extremely low loss to frequencies as high as 100 GHz and substantially reduce the packaging costs associated with RF MEMS switches. Details of this packaging technology will be presented this summer at the upcoming ASME InterPACK'05 conference in San Francisco. The second phase of this contract will concentrate on improving the lifetime and reliability of packaged MEMS switches. Together, the team will push switch reliability well past the current state-of-the-art lifetime of 100 billion cycles.

Chuck Goldsmith, CEO of MEMtronics commented, "IMT has been instrumental in the development of both our switch and the packaging technology required for long-term performance of our devices. We are expecting similarly outstanding efforts on Phase 2 of this program."

Commented John Foster, CEO of IMT, "We continue to be impressed with the MEMtronics RF-MEMS switch technology and are gratified by our continued successful collaboration. We are excited to be building these devices for them and plan on working through their Phase 2 program and into commercial production."

SOURCE: Innovative Micro Technology and MEMtronics Corporation