SAN JOSE, Calif. Innovative Micro Technology (IMT) said that it will partner with MEMtronics Corp. on the second phase of a $3.69 million, three-year development contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa).
Under the terms, IMT, MEMtronics' manufacturing partner, will fabricate and package ultra-low loss RF switches. 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.
Also teaming with MEMtronics on this program are Lehigh University and Exponent Inc.
Part of the Harsh Environment Robust Micromechanical Technology (HERMIT) Program, the first phase of this contract recently culminated in the 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 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.