UK-based phased array antenna technology developer Sofant Technologies has achieved cycle reliability, which is a major technical breakthrough in the RF MEMS technology.

Claimed to be a leader in the development of RF MEMS technology (radio frequency microelectromechanical systems), the company now expects to expedite its commercial roadmap, thereby bringing volume manufacture to market within the next two years.

Although the advantages of RF MEMS for radio applications have been understood by system designers for decades, this technology has been plagued by reliability issues, which subsequently caused devices to fail prematurely and prevented its widespread adoption.

During the most recent testing period, the firm’s development team achieved 25 billion cycles on production prototypes which were supplied by its volume foundry partner.

Furthermore, the devices did not indicate any signs of failure before the test was completed by the Sofant team.

Sofant Technologies CEO David Wither 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 commercialisation 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 commercialisation.

“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 low-cost radio technology that addresses many technical challenges facing the future of wireless communication.

It intends to revolutionise satellite communications and to make ultra-broadband 5G a reality.

The company claimed that its technology promises to reduce power consumption by more than 70% and removes problems with overheating.

In August, Sofant Technologies secured £2.3m in a pre-series A syndicated round led by EMV Capital. Kelvin Capital, Old College Capital, Wealth Club and Scottish Investment Bank also participated in the funding round.