editor's blog
Subscribe Now

12-Way MEMS Switch

MEMS is entering yet another space traditionally done with electronics: RF switching. The switching comes as a result of the ridiculous number of bands (currently 26, by DelfMEMS’s count) that vie for love and attention. Transistors have typically been used for these switches.

That’s fine when the transistor is on, but when it’s off, well, it leaks and behaves non-linearly – especially at high frequencies.

So DelfMEMS (we looked at some cap arrays of theirs before) thought that a micromechanical switch would be better. Instead of an electrical channel created in a FET, they use a membrane that, depending on its position, opens or closes a mechanical connection. So when it’s open, it’s open – no leaking.

And what size switch to make? DelfMEMS says that, in particular in Asia, 12 ways is typical – it’s one of the first questions they get. The high and low bands are typically split first, after which the 12-way switch takes care of the rest (yeah, I know… 26/2>12… details…). Technically this is a single-pole, 12-throw switch (one circuit with 12 choices).

SP12T-Test-Board_ret.jpg 

(Image courtesy DelfMEMS)

For a digital guy like me, this looks a lot like a demux. Or a mux, if you turn it around. Except that, with standard digital logic, you can’t simply turn a mux around and use it as a demux. But this isn’t digital logic; these are switches, and yes, you can turn them around and use them either to mux 12 signals into one or to take one signal and send it one of 12 ways.

You can find more info in their announcement.

Leave a Reply

featured blogs
Jul 10, 2020
[From the last episode: We looked at the convolution that defines the CNNs that are so popular for machine vision applications.] This week we'€™re going to do some more math, although, in this case, it won'€™t be as obscure and bizarre as convolution '€“ and yet we will...
Jul 10, 2020
I need a problem that lends itself to being solved using a genetic algorithm; also, one whose evolving results can be displayed on my 12 x 12 ping pong ball array....
Jul 9, 2020
It happens all the time. We'€™re online with a designer and we'€™re looking at a connector in our picture search. He says '€œI need a connector that looks just like this one, but '€¦'€ and then he goes on to explain something he needs that'€™s unique to his desig...

Featured Video

Product Update: DesignWare® Foundation IP

Sponsored by Synopsys

Join Prasad Saggurti for an update on Synopsys’ DesignWare Foundation IP, including the world’s fastest TCAMs, widest-voltage GPIOs, I2C & I3C IOs, and LVDS IOs. Synopsys Foundation IP is silicon-proven in 7nm in more than 500,000 customer wafers, and 5nm is in development.

Click here for more information about DesignWare Foundation IP: Embedded Memories, Logic Libraries & GPIO

Featured Chalk Talk

Powering Your Innovation: Intel Enpirion Power Solutions

Sponsored by Mouser Electronics and Intel

Providing clean power for today’s complex FPGAs is a bewildering challenge. These devices can pose serious difficulties for conventional solutions based on buck converters. In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton chats with Jenanne Vaccaro from Intel about the new Intel Enpirion EC2650 6 amp power solution that offers significant advantages in powering complex FPGA and ASIC designs.

Click here for more information about the Intel Enpirion® EC2650QI DC-DC Voltage Bus Converter