Innovative engineering often continues with or without the blessing of management. In the case of package supplier StratEdge (San Diego, CA), even the loss of venture capital did not deter the company's progress in hermetic high-frequency packaging, as evidenced by the introduction of a line of discrete semiconductor packages for applications from DC to 18 GHz. Ideal for two-terminal semiconductor devices, these low-cost hermetic surface-mount housings are also well suited for devices based on RF microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) technology.

A variety of package lead configurations are available, ranging from tiny two- and three-lead packages to larger 52-lead housings suitable for logic circuits, digital-to-analog converters (DACs), and multiplexers. The smallest of the new housings compete with micro-X style housings for discrete transistors and other two-terminal devices.

The packages, which can be supplied with lead profiles meeting JEDEC standards, are capable of meeting MIL-STD-38535 requirements for demanding military and aerospace applications, although low enough in cost to meet many commercial requirements. As an example of the new line, the model G1111M-1 housing was developed for an RF MEMS single-pole, double-throw (SPDT) switch with heterojunction-bipolar-transistor (HBT) gain stage. The six-lead (three RF connections and three power-supply connections) package measures 3 × 3 mm (0.118 × 0.118 in.) with an internal cavity of 0.88 × 0.88 mm (0.035 × 0.035 in.).

Similarly, the G1010M-9 package is designed for silicon bipolar or field-effect-transistor (FET) transistors. This package measures 2.5 × 2.5 mm (0.098 × 0.098 in.) with an internal cavity of 0.76 × 0.76 mm (0.030 × 0.030 in.). Both two- and three-lead versions of the G1010M-9 are available. Additional members of the low-cost hermetic surface-mount package line include the eight lead model G1616M-1 (4.2 × 4.2 mm), the 32-lead model G2121M-7 (5.4 × 5.4 mm), and the 52-lead G4040M-5 (10 × 10 mm).

The introduction of these packages comes during a management buyout of the company. Founded in 1992 and previously funded by a venture capital firm, StratEdge is now owned by its managers. According to Tim Going, former vice-president of sales and marketing and new president of StratEdge, "The new structure will result in a more stable and customer-driven organization." P&A: $2.00 (1000 qty.)(two- or three-lead package); stock. StratEdge, 4393 Viewridge Ave., San Diego, CA 92123; (858) 569-5000, FAX: (858) 560-6877, e-mail: sales@stratedge.com, Internet: www.stratedge.com.