Menlo Micro
Mm5120 Evk 61e97208ad109

MEMS-Based SP4T RF Switch Claims Industry's Highest Power Density

Jan. 20, 2022
Menlo Micro's MM5120 integrates a charge-pump driver, reducing the cost and complexity of high-power RF designs while saving space compared with EMRs.

The Overview

Based on Menlo Micro's Ideal Switch technology, the MM5120 is a high-power, single-pole/four-throw (SP4T) DC-to-18 GHz switch for RF switching applications. It offers ultra-low insertion loss, 25-W power handling, and extremely high linearity. The device also features a custom-designed, built-in high-voltage charge pump, integrated into a miniature 5.2 mm x 4.2 mm LGA package, eliminating the need for external components and simplifying PCB layouts.

Who Needs It & Why?

Menlo Micro's MM5130, released in 2021, the MM5130, is similarly an SP4T switch with a wide bandwidth of DC to 26 GHz. And, like the new MM5120, it does the job of large RF electromechanical relays (EMRs) but in a much smaller form factor and with much greater linearity and lower insertion loss. However, the MM5130 required a gate bias voltage of some 90 VDC to control the four switch throws. Thanks to its integrated charge-pump driver, the MM5120 eliminates the compromises that developers face when deciding between electromechanical relays or solid-state switches for RF designs. Claimed as the highest power density SP4T switch on the market, the MM5120 can handle RF power levels of up to 25 W continuous and 150 W pulsed with typical insertion losses of < 0.6 dB at 12 GHz. As such, it's a good candidate for applications in wireless communications, avionics and defense, and test and measurement.

Under the Hood

The MEMS-based MM5120, which is housed in a chip-scale glass package, includes flexible SPI bus and GPIO digital interfaces, allowing easy control from any host processor or test system. The switch’s highly integrated design reduces cost and complexity and simplifies the development of numerous RF systems, including RF filters and front ends, device interface boards for semiconductor test, and beamforming antennas used in advanced radio architectures and radar systems. The high-channel density and low losses also make the MM5120 ideal for ultra-compact switch matrices for RF and microwave test and measurement applications.

The MM5120 also features best-in-class IP3 linearity greater than 95 dBm, enabling significant reductions in distortion that are critical for applications such as beam-steering antennas used in 5G network infrastructure. Like all Menlo Micro Ideal Switch products, the MM5120 helps designers achieve 99% reductions in size, weight, cost, and power loss while providing more than three billion switching operations with no degradation in performance.

Evaluation boards and engineering samples of the MM5120 SP4T switch are now available. Production release is scheduled for early Q1 2022.

About the Author

David Maliniak | Executive Editor, Microwaves & RF

I am Executive Editor of Microwaves & RF, an all-digital publication that broadly covers all aspects of wireless communications. More particularly, we're keeping a close eye on technologies in the consumer-oriented 5G, 6G, IoT, M2M, and V2X markets, in which much of the wireless market's growth will occur in this decade and beyond. I work with a great team of editors to provide engineers, developers, and technical managers with interesting and useful articles and videos on a regular basis. Check out our free newsletters to see the latest content.

You can send press releases for new products for possible coverage on the website. I am also interested in receiving contributed articles for publishing on our website. Use our contributor's packet, in which you'll find an article template and lots more useful information on how to properly prepare content for us, and send to me along with a signed release form. 

About me:

In his long career in the B2B electronics-industry media, David Maliniak has held editorial roles as both generalist and specialist. As Components Editor and, later, as Editor in Chief of EE Product News, David gained breadth of experience in covering the industry at large. In serving as EDA/Test and Measurement Technology Editor at Electronic Design, he developed deep insight into those complex areas of technology. Most recently, David worked in technical marketing communications at Teledyne LeCroy, leaving to rejoin the EOEM B2B publishing world in January 2020. David earned a B.A. in journalism at New York University.

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