Today, GE Ventures announced the launch of Menlo Micro, a new 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 disruptive Digital-Micro-Switch platform is strongly positioned to enable end products serving multiple industry verticals – including 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 Corporation (Nasdaq: MSCC), materials science powerhouse - 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 unique 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’s transformation to become the world’s premier digital industrial company requires innovation at many levels, from software and analytics to sensing and connecting the physical and digital worlds,” said Risa Stack, General Manager of New Business Creation for GE Ventures. “With the creation of Menlo Micro, and the scale-up of the Digital-Micro-Switch technology, GE will be able to accelerate its digital initiatives across multiple businesses, from Healthcare to Aviation to Energy Management and beyond.”
GE, with its broad 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. Now, Menlo Micro will focus on bringing this revolutionary technology to the broader market, expanding development of the technology and its reach across industries.
“Menlo Micro’s DMS technology allows us to create something which is as close as possible to the ‘ideal switch.’ 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. “This is truly an exciting time, and we are excited to get this unique technology into the hands of the world’s most creative system designers, to see what amazing products they can create, enabling the future power of IoT, communications and beyond.”
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. The company can be found online at www.menlomicro.com and @menlomicro on Twitter.
About GE Ventures
GE Ventures identifies, scales and accelerates ideas that will help make the world work better. Focused on the areas of software, advanced manufacturing, energy and health care, GE Ventures combines equity investing, new business creation, licensing and technology transfer to deliver an innovation platform designed to drive growth for partners and GE. For more information, visit http://www.geventures.com, or follow on Twitter (@GE_Ventures) and LinkedIn.
About Menlo Micro
Headquartered in Irvine, California, Menlo Micro is reimagining one of the most fundamental building blocks of electronic systems – the electronic switch. The company’s Digital-Micro-Switch platform is a game changer for those who design electronic systems, serving multiple industries including next generation 5G mobile networks, industrial IoT markets, battery management, home-automation, electronic vehicles and medical instrumentation. Menlo Micro is backed by GE Ventures, with investments from Corning, Microsemi Corporation, and Paladin Capital Group.