Monday, March 05, 2007

US Patent 7184717 - MEMS antenna switch

One of the key advantages of mechanical switches over electrical switches is that when a mechanical switch is off there is a physical disconnection which prevents current flow while transistors or other electrical switches have a degree of leakage current. While typical mechanical switches are large compared to transistors, MEMS switches can be fabricated at a sufficiently small scale to be competitive. This patent from Intel presents a broad claim for a MEMS switch for a wireless communication system. Claim 1 reads:

1. A portable communication device comprising: a first transceiver; a first microelectromechanical system (MEMS) switch to couple the first transceiver to an antennae, wherein the first MEMS switch has an input node directly connected to the antennae; and a field effect transistor switch coupled to an output of the first MEMS switch.

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