||The humble reed relay has been a staple component for electronic switching since the 1930s. Graham Dale, technical director at Pickering Electronics, in an article titled "Reliability Fundamental to the Reed Relay's Long Success" discusses many factors that have contributed to the longstanding popularity of these components. He discusses how, when used correctly, reed relays are near-perfect switching devices with low-resistance metallic switch paths and inherent isolation between the control voltage and the switched signal.
Because the only moving parts are their blades, and the blades are sealed behind glass in inert gas or a vacuum, the reed relay has an exceptionally long mechanical life. Dale goes on to describe other devices that that have since evolved. The solid-state relay refers to a type of switch based on a semiconductor device. Electromechanical relays are also a lower-cost alternative to conventional reed relays, with slower operation speeds and shorter lifespans. Finally, MEMS switches are under development that, if perfected, promise to offer very low operating power consumption and fast response.
This article was first published in the December 2017 issue of U.S. Tech. Click the link to read: "Reliability Fundamental to the Reed Relay's Long Success"