Technology analysis weighs strengths and weaknesses of magnetic switches

CHICKASHA, Okla., 10 April 2006. Experts at Hermetic Switch Inc. in Chickasha, Okla., have completed a technology analysis that weighs the strengths and weaknesses of four magnetic switching technologies -- electromechanical reed and MEMS, and solid-state Hall and giant magnetoresistive (GMR) switches.

The analysis shows that although one technology may provide an advantage over others in a specific area, in general all of the technologies offer a variety of capabilities; design engineers should evaluate each technology based on application-specific design requirements.

Electromechanical reed switches have several strengths, according to the study. First, they do not consume power in the off mode, making them suitable for applications where conserving battery power is critical as in pacemakers, defibrillators, and hearing aids.

These switches have hermetically sealed contacts, which increases their appeal for dirty, hostile-environment applications. The reed switch family is resists the effects of electrostatic discharge (ESD), and provide switching and sensing functions in one package, which saves on overall cost and labor.

Reed switches use an established technology that dates back to 1936, and have a long and proven history of reliability. Limitations to the reed switch included relatively high cost per unit and relatively large size.

The strengths of microelectromechanical (MEMS) switches, meanwhile, include small footprint; magnetic sensitivity, high shock resistance, and relatively low cost, making them suitable for high-volume, low-cost commercial applications.

Limitations of MEMS switches, however, include ESD sensitivity, vulnerability of electrical contacts to contamination and malfunctions, and high contact resistance.

Solid-state hall effect switches, on the other hand, are relatively inexpensive and are suited for high-volume, low-cost commercial applications. Hall effect switches have long life expectancy, no contact bounce, and are resistant to shock and vibration.

Limitations of hall effect solid-state switches include their requirement for constant power, which can compromise the reliability of battery powered devices. Hall effect switches also cannot switch loads directly therefore loads must be switched using additional components, adding cost and labor. Hall effect switches are also very ESD sensitive, and should not be used in applications exposed to ESD since they could be easily damaged.

Sold-state GMR, in turn, are true solid-state devices and so have no moving parts. GMR switches have a small footprint, are very magnetically sensitive, and operates in a wide temperature range, from -40 to 150 degrees Celsius.

GMR switch limitations include the requirement for constant power, which can compromise battery life. GMR switches are susceptible to ESD damage, and are based on a relatively new technology and thereby entail some degree of risk.

For more information on the analysis, contact Hermetic Switch online at www.hermeticswitch.com.


Get All the Military Aerospace Electronics News Delivered to Your Inbox or Your Mailbox

Subscribe to Military Aerospace Electronics Magazine or email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest information on:


  • C4ISR
  • Cyber Security
  • Embedded Computing
  • Unmanned Vehicles

Military & Aerospace Photos

Most Popular Articles

Related Products

XPand6020 | Small Form Factor (SFF) System Featuring XPedite5205 Running Cisco IOS® and XPedite7450

The XPand6020 is a Small Form Factor (SFF) system that features an XPedite5205, which runs Cisco ...

XPort6105 | XMC Secure 512 GB Solid-State Drive (SSD) with Self-Encrypting Drive (SED) Technology

The XPort6105 is a secure self-encrypting drive (SED) / Solid-State Drive (SSD) XMC module that p...

XChange3013 | 3U VPX Gigabit Ethernet Switch with Optional Layer 2 Switching and Layer 3 Routing Management Support

The XChange3013 is a conduction- or air-cooled, 3U VPX Ethernet switch module. The XChange3013 pr...

XPm2222 | MIL-STD-704A/E/F and MIL-STD-1275D 28 VDC VITA 62.0 3U VPX Power Supply with MIL-STD-461F EMI Filtering

The XPm2222 is a VITA 62.0 form factor 3U VPX power supply. The XPm2222 takes in a MIL-STD-704A/E...

XPand3200 Series | Sub-½ ATR, Conduction-Cooled Systems Supporting Conduction-Cooled Modules

The XPand3200 Series redefines the limits of power, performance, and functionality in a sub-½ ATR...

XCalibur4444 | Intel® Core™ i7 Processor-Based Conduction-Cooled 6U VPX Module

The XCalibur4444 is a high-performance, multiprocessing, 6U VPX, single board computer that is id...

XChange3018 | 3U VPX 10 Gigabit Ethernet Switch with Optional Layer 2 Switching and Layer 3 Routing Management Support

The XChange3018 is a conduction- or air-cooled, 3U VPX, 10 Gigabit Ethernet switch module. The XC...

XPedite7470 | Intel® Core™ i7 Processor-Based Conduction- or Air-Cooled 3U VPX-REDI SBC

The XPedite7470 is a high-performance, low-power, 3U VPX-REDI, single board computer based on the...

XPand4200 Series | ½ ATR Lightweight Forced-Air-Cooled Chassis for Conduction-Cooled Modules

The XPand4200 Series redefines the limits of power, performance, and functionality in a sub-½ ATR...

XPort3200 | Freescale QorIQ P1020 Processor-Based Conduction- or Air-Cooled XMC/PMC IEEE 1588v2 Grandmaster Clock Module

The XPort3200 is a rugged, IEEE 1588v2 Precision Time Protocol (PTP) ordinary clock with grandmas...

Related Companies

A-FLEX

Provides customized Printed Circuit Board fabrication in California. The entire process can be customized according t...

Velmex Inc

Manufactures linear and rotary motion-control positioning equipment for scientific, research, photonics, machining an...

TASC Technical & Assembly Services Corporation Electronic Equipment Manufacturing

Electronic Manufacturing sub-contractor. Circuit Board assembly, Cable Assembly, Wire Harness Assembly, Box Build Ass...

Dataforth Corp

Manufactures high-quality, signal conditioning, and data communications products for industrial markets. Products inc...

Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions

About Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions (CWDS) is a long established techno...

DDC-I Inc

Offers complete solutions for embedded software developers with a focus on mission- and safety-critical applications....

Harris Corporation

Harris provides advanced, technology-based solutions that solve government and commercial customers' mission critical...

United Electronic Industries Inc

UEI is a leader in the PC/Ethernet data acquisition and control, Data Logger/Recorder and Programmable Automation Con...

Crane Aerospace & Electronics

When failure is NOT an option...rely on Crane Aerospace & Electronics. We supply high-density, high-reliability c...

Aerospace Optics Inc

Aerospace Optics has long been recognized as an innovator in the aerospace industry. The company's VIVISUN line of ru...
Wire News provided by   

Press Releases

Model INCX-4001

The INCX-4001 consists of a high quality audio transceiver specifically designed to implement a complete fiber optic intercom.

Model PS-1210

The PS-1210 is a 1A, 12VDC stand-alone or rack mountable non-switcher (no RF noise) power supply.

Model OS-3121

Optical switches are utilized to disconnect, bypass and reroute fiber optic communications. All of these optical switches are purely optical path, there is no optical to e...

Webcasts

New Design Tools That Help You Develop Radar That Sees the Un-seeable and Detects the Undetectable

Xilinx EW/ISR System Architect, Luke Miller, has new tricks and he’s going to tell you all about them in a new Xilinx Webinar—for free. His Webinar will cover new ways to implement Radar functions including ...
Sponsored by:

All Access Sponsors


Mil & Aero Magazine

June 2015
Volume 26, Issue 6
file

Download Our Apps



iPhone

iPad

Android

Follow Us On...



Newsletters

Military & Aerospace Electronics

Weekly newsletter covering technical content, breaking news and product information
SUBSCRIBE

Cyber Security

Monthly newsletter covering cyber warfare, cyber security, information warfare, and information security technologies, products, contracts, and procurement opportunities
SUBSCRIBE

Defense Executive

Monthly newsletter covering business news and strategic insights for executive managers
SUBSCRIBE

Electronic Warfare

Quarterly newsletter covering technologies and applications in electronic warfare, cyber warfare, optical warfare, and spectrum warfare.
SUBSCRIBE

Embedded Computing Report

Monthly newsletter covering news on embedded computing in aerospace, defense and industrial-rugged applications
SUBSCRIBE

Unmanned Vehicles

Monthly newsletter covering news updates for designers of unmanned vehicles
SUBSCRIBE