Design

Reducing the RF MEMS Switch Design Cycle

July 20, 2021
Keysight PathWave Software Selected by Menlo Micro to Reduce Design Cycle for their latest Radio Frequency Microelectromechanical Switch

Menlo Micro selected Keysight Technologies’ PathWave Advanced Design System (ADS) and Electromagnetic (EM) Design software to accelerate their design and development efforts to create high-performance microelectromechanical system (MEMS) switches like the MM5130, an ultra-low-loss RF SP4T switch. The company needed to address issues relating to accurate 3D electromagnetic simulation along with integrated design, test and measurement workflows in a short design cycle of three to four months. Intended to address high-power switching applications up to 26 GHz, the MM5130 switch used the software early in the development process, implementing its own PCB de-embedding algorithms into Keysight’s PathWave ADS software.

“In choosing design tools, we needed to consider the whole flow, from the schematic to the 3D simulations,” said Dr. Xu Zhu, Menlo Micro’s director of technology. “Our engineers need to be familiar with the tools, and that is one of the reasons why we chose Keysight’s PathWave Advanced Design System as the core tool.” Menlo chose Keysight’s EM Design software, including EMPro and RFPro, integrated into the PathWave ADS platform, and a smooth workflow from circuit layout to 3D EM simulation was critical. Keysight’s EMPro and RFPro made smooth translations from the 2D layout to the 3D model files, and RFPro, with the SmartMount and Mesh Domain Optimization technologies, solved the mesh optimization challenges. 

"Menlo Micro designed a complex, multi-technology module comprised of a wide range of geometries from micron-scale MEMs to millimeter-scale PCBs,” stated Tom Lillig, general manager of Keysight’s PathWave Design business. “Leveraging Keysight’s fast, high capacity, 3D EM circuit simulators they achieved a successful implementation in one pass.”

The case study is available at https://www.keysight.com/us/en/assets/7121-1063/case-studies/Driving-Innovation-Shortens-Design-Cycle-by-65-for-First-to-Market-MEMS-RF-Switch.pdf. 

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