Innovative Manufacturing of Low-Cost RF MEMS
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3000 Custer Road Suite 270-400, Plano, TX, 75075
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AbstractThis proposal outlines the research and development advances in design, fabrication techniques, and packaging concepts required for the future production and manufacture of low-cost RF MEMS phase shifters at Ka-band. During this program, MEMtronics and its manufacturing partner will design, develop and produce lumped-element phase shifters optimized for operation at Ka-band with the smallest size and loss possible. Implementation of MEMtronics' proximity switch topology into phase shifter designs will substantially mitigate dielectric charging, allowing the demonstration of reliable actuation with "hot" switching up the one-watt level. Utilization of LC phase shifter topologies will create MEMS phase shifters with less than 2 mm2 die area and the minimum possible insertion loss. Application of a novel wafer-level microencapsulation strategy will eliminate die area being taken up by a seal ring and minimize packaging losses. These innovations will be combined to result in ultra-small phase shifters with excellent loss and power consumption. This represents a > 20x improvement in the available die per wafer compared to present-day MEMS phase shifter demonstrations. These ultra-small, low-cost phase shifters directly support the U.S. Army's efforts to develop inexpensive electronically scanned antennas for a variety of on-the-move communications and radar applications.
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