Browse Prior Art Database

Meso-MEMS Logic Family

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000033089D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Nov-24
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Nov-24
Document File: 3 page(s) / 164K

Publishing Venue

Motorola

Related People

Robert B. Lempkowski: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

This disclosure describes a method to generate simple logic functions on printed wiring boards (PWBs) through the use of meso-MEMS switch technology, a patented MEMS switch technology by Motorola Labs.

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Meso-MEMS Logic Family

Robert B. Lempkowski and Robert T. Croswell

Summary

This disclosure describes a method to generate simple logic functions on printed wiring boards (PWBs) through the use of meso-MEMS switch technology, a patented MEMS switch technology by Motorola Labs.

Problem

Currently, the only way to get simple logic functions on a PWB is to surface mount either one or more discrete semiconductor component(s) or an integrated circuit (IC).  However, at times, some simple, low frequency switching logic might be easier and/or more cost effective to integrate on the board rather than taking the cost of remanufacturing the IC or assembling the discrete parts.  The goal of this invention is to supply a logic family, extendable to simple static memories, which could replace some placed transistors on printed wiring boards.

Although MEMS, including switches, are commonly fabricated in silicon technology for the material’s ease of processing and mechanical characteristics, logic functions have not been implemented in Si MEMS because the MOSFET on that substrate is so much better suited for the task.  Other materials are not typically used for MEMS design.  One could build logic gates with organic semiconductors on PWB substrates, if such materials and processes are developed, but output levels from such devices are limited by the intrinsic properties of the semiconducting materials (principally, low mobility).  Motorola Labs has developed MEMS devices on a PWB substrate, and these devices can be used to form logic gates with “ideal” switching characteristics at relatively low switching frequencies.

Solution

If a switch such as meso-MEMS were available on the PWB, a simple variety of logic gates could be constructed.  The drawings disclosed here are for the “pull-down” variety of logic gates, ideally with integrated, embedded resistors.  This is not to limit construction to this variety of logic gate, but is for illustration of possible construction only.

Interestingly, the MEMs switch is better suited for logic than even the transistor, in the simplest sense, in that it produces an ideal transfer characteristic as illustrated in Figure 1.  The output swings only at the “threshold” voltage...