Taicaan Research and Semefab form strategic alliance for RF MEMS

27 Aug 2021

Taicaan Research and Semefab form strategic alliance for RF MEMS

Taicaan Research (Microfabrication Testing Services) based at the Southampton Science Park, recently visited Semefab to discuss a partnership programme to develop RF MEMS switching technology.

RF MEMS (Radio Frequency Microelectromechanical Systems) is by far the single largest segment in the MEMS market arena by sales volume yet there remains a fundamental problem to be solved. Today the majority of RF MEMS switching devices are capacitive by which there is no physical contacting occurring. The ideal switch is a relay which is extremely low on resistance once the contacts have been forced together. However, the issue with MEMS relays is their unreliability and welding together of the contacts which renders the device useless.

Prof. John McBride, founder of Taicaan Research and Professor of Electro-mechanical Engineering at Southampton University believes he has the answer to this problem and has already demonstrated 4 Bn contact switching cycles in the laboratory. Allan James, founder and CEO of Semefab and a Southampton University Physics graduate himself, believes this partnership could herald a new world beating capability and become a valuable new addition to Semefab’s diverse MEMS sensor capabilities.

The parties have applied for SMART feasibility funding which they hope will allow further development and commercialisation activity to commence during 2022 and beyond.