GE Ventures, Microsemi and Corning Partner to Launch Menlo Micro and Next Generation of Electronic Switching
GE Ventures announced the launch of Menlo Micro, a spinout from GE’s Global Research Center, which has re-invented one of the most fundamental building blocks of electronic systems – the electronic switch. The company’s Digital-Micro-Switch platform is strongly positioned to enable end products serving multiple industry verticals – from today’s mobile communications networks to future next generation 5G mobile networks and industrial IoT markets. Menlo Micro is also backed by strategic investments from semiconductor solutions provider – Microsemi Corp., materials science supplier – Corning, as well as Paladin Capital Group, who combined with GE Ventures, are investing $18.7 million in Menlo Micro.
The fundamental electromechanical relay hasn’t experienced significant innovation in the past 50 years. While superior high-power handling and electrical performance have allowed electromechanical relays to continue to flourish in many market segments, their limitations in size, speed, cost, and reliability present major challenges to system designers. Menlo’s approach to solving problems through advanced material science allows it to offer unprecedented power handling (kilowatts) and superior electrical performance in a micromechanical device with the size, speed, cost and reliability of a solid-state device. This enables dozens of high value applications including DC, AC and RF products, covering such diverse markets as battery management, home-automation, electric vehicles, medical instrumentation, and wireless base stations.
GE, with its expertise in advanced materials, MEMS processing, and high power system design, has invested over 12 years of R&D into the Digital-Micro-Switch technology, producing over 60 patent families, and a series of GE-qualified DMS products. Menlo Micro will focus on bringing this revolutionary technology to the broader market, expanding development of the technology and its reach across industries.
“Not only has it been proven to be reliable, with tens of thousands of units already shipped in the field, but it truly is a scalable design platform. This will give us the ability to address applications from milliwatts to kilowatts, and bring disruption to many different end markets,” said Russ Garcia, CEO of Menlo Micro.
Menlo Micro is led by Russ Garcia, chief executive officer; Chris Keimel, co-founder and chief technology officer; Chris Giovanniello, co-founder and senior vice president product development & marketing; and Jeff Baloun, senior vice president of manufacturing operations.