Omron has achieved the exceptional small size of this high performance device through its expertise in MEMS design techniques and the manufacturing of 3 dimensional MEMS devices in volume, technologies in which it has a track record of ten years. In details, a silicon spring structure has been creating through etching; this spring is capable of extremely flexible movement, like an eagle's wings. By careful choice of materials and geometry this eliminates many of the contributing factors that come into play at micron dimensions; such as electrostatic attraction, surface tension, adhesion forces and cold welding. In addition, monocrystalline silicon is very tough and withstands repeated exposure to vibration and pressure. Therefore, as proven in sensors and actuators, this material enables reliable performance to be maintained over long periods of time. As a result the Omron MEMS relay mechanism provides smooth on/off switching with almost unlimited reliability while keeping dimensions to a minimum.
The energy required to trigger the switch is measured in nano-joules and, unlike the traditional electromagnetic approach, no power is theoretically required to hold the switch in it closed or open state. In practice, however, a small amount of energy is needed to recharge electrodes because of leakage.
During manufacturing the movable spring is created on a silicon wafer. This is then sandwiched between a base and cap constructed as glass wafers and these are bonded together to provide wafer-scale packaging. Its an approach that ensures exceptional reliability, with lifetimes of 100,000,000 cycles or better. Omron has successfully placed two MEMS switches in one package, by placing two form A switches in an LGA12 package to implement one SPDT RF MEMS switch solution.
The Omron Type 2SMES-01 switch has an insertion loss of just 1.0 dB at 10GHz, typically, at matching impedance of 50 ohms. It has a rated operating temperature of -20 to +85 degrees centigrade and typical power consumption of only 10µW