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Innovative Micro Technology Wins 2014 R&D 100 Award for MEMS RF Switch
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SANTA BARBARA, Calif., 23 September 2014 – Innovative Micro Technology, the largest pure-play Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) foundry in the US, announced that R&D Magazine has selected Curled Micro Electro Mechanical Switch (CMEMS) as a winner of 2014 R&D 100 Awards. Recognized as the leader in custom MEMS, IMT optimized the process for high volume production by incorporating Cu-filled through silicon vias and hermetic wafer-level packaging. Stiction, dielectric charging, and particle contamination that limit the performance and reliability of past RF MEMS switches have essentially been eliminated, while improving the device insertion loss and linearity for real world applications.

Originally developed at MIT Lincoln Labs, CMEMS is a capacitive switch based on a curled, corrugated cantilever beam design. The switch technology has demonstrated over 100 billion cycles in the laboratory environment. Because of the technology’s innovative design and potential commercial and military applications, MIT Lincoln Labs partnered with IMT to refine the manufacturing process to improve robustness and to scale for volume production. Innovative Micro Technology’s Single Pole Double Throw (SPDT) devices – Innovian™ MEMS switch technology platform – has been tested to 40 GHz with 0.5 dB insertion loss.

“Recognition from R&D is an honor. RF MEMS switch technology has been elusive, and many companies have failed along the way. We fully support this technology and plan to partner with industry leaders to bring the switch to the market,” said Craig Ensley, Chief Executive Officer of IMT. “The maturity of the technology has finally reached commercialization.”

Samples of Innovian MEMS switches are available for evaluation. If interested in obtaining samples or in learning more about custom MEMS foundry services, please contact Innovative Micro Technology.

Key technologies incorporated in Innovian platform are wafer-level packaging and Cu-filled through silicon vias, all core capabilities at IMT. These building blocks are modules in IMT process portfolio that can be adapted to other applications. In this application, lid wafers are fabricated with a cavity and a gold bondline that hermetically bond to the switch wafers with a matching gold bondline. Furthermore, Cu-filled through silicon via technology is combined to allow electrical signals to be routed through the thickness of the switch wafer, shortening the path and improving the RF performance.

About Innovative Micro Technology, Inc.

Innovative Micro Technology, Inc. is the largest pure-play MEMS foundry in the US. With a 30,000-square-foot class 100 clean room in Santa Barbara, Calif., IMT is easily accessible to Silicon Valley, the heart of MEMS innovation. IMT scientists and engineers are technology experts in silicon optical benches, magnetics, micro-mirrors, microfluidics, sensors, wafer-level packaging, and through silicon vias. For more than fourteen years, IMT has been working closely to develop and mass produce breakthrough MEMS products for Fortune 500 companies and startups in the optical communications, biotechnology, infrared, RF, and navigation industries. IMT is well positioned to support the exponential growth of MEMS as they become ubiquitous throughout electronics.

IMT contact: Theodore Chi Director of Marketing and Sales, IMT (805) 681-2852(805) 681-2852, ted@imtmems.com