RF MEMS and NEMS technology, devices, and applications



Will RF MEMS deliver on its promise to be one of the major MEMS businesses in the future? RF MEMS has now entered its second generation; high-volume production of both contacting and non-contacting switches and filters (based on bulk acoustic waves) was ramped up worldwide starting in 2003. In first-generation RF MEMS, discrete components were developed to demonstrate RF performance and reliability, and low-cost, high-volume chipand wafer-scale packaging eliminated the final barriers to high-volume production of discrete replacement components with MEMS. In this paper, we review the RF MEMS industry and the commercialization status of RF MEMS components. We also provide a detailed case study of mobile telephone basestations, demonstrating how RF MEMS can impact telecommunications. Finally, we look at research into third-generation RF MEMS and NEMS, in which integration, active devices, and new functionality will create opportunities for disruptive changes in RF subsystems, enabling such things as software-defined radio. © 2005 Lucent Technologies Inc.