Sofant Technologies has overcome a significant challenge and achieved world-class cycle reliability, a major technical breakthrough. A leader in the development of RF MEMS technology, the Scottish-based company now expects to accelerate its commercial roadmap, bringing volume manufacture to market within the next two years.

The benefits of RF MEMS for radio applications have been understood by system designers for decades. However, the technology has historically suffered from reliability problems which caused devices to fail prematurely and prevented widespread adoption of the technology.

In its most recent testing period, Sofant’s development team achieved 25 billion cycles on production prototypes which were supplied by its volume foundry partner. The devices showed no signs of failure before the test was ended by the Sofant team.

Commenting on the milestone, David Wither, CEO of Sofant Technologies, said, “RF MEMS have been a promising technology for more than 20 years with hundreds of millions of pounds invested by companies from all over the world. However, the technology has struggled to reach the market with reliability being its single biggest hurdle.

“Our latest testing is a critical milestone for the commercialization of our technology, overcoming the final major technical risk. Solving the reliability problems that the market has faced for decades puts Sofant on a direct path to commercialization.

“Sofant had previously achieved reliability on devices from two separate development lots exceeding 15 billion and 20 billion cycles, respectively. The latest results demonstrate Sofant’s ability to produce a highly reliable RF MEMS device using conventional high volume semiconductor manufacturing processes. This means the technology will scale and places Sofant in a strong competitive position. We now expect to begin volume production within two years.”

Sofant Technologies has developed a highly reliable, low cost, radio technology which addresses several technical challenges facing the future of wireless communication. It aims to revolutionize satellite communications and to make ultra-broadband 5G a reality. Its technology promises to reduce power consumption by more than 70 percent and eliminate problems with overheating.