Akustica unveils new analog MEMS microphone

March 29, 2012 // By Paul Buckley
Akustica, Inc ., which developed the first single-chip complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) micro-electromechanical systems ( MEMS) microphone, is expanding the company’s microphone product portfolio with the addition of a new analog MEMS microphone.

Designed specifically to meet the requirements of mobile handset manufacturers, the AKU340 is a high-performance analog microphone that utilizes established surface-micromachining MEMS technology developed by Bosch. The AKU340 measures 2.5 x 3.35 x 1.0 mm and claims excellent acoustic performance with 63 dB signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and superior low frequency recording with a reduction in sensitivity of less than 5 dB at 50 Hz. In addition, with its tight sensitivity matching of just +/-2 dB between microphones, the AKU340 is ideal for use in microphone array applications where more uniform microphones lead to increased performance of noise suppression algorithms.

The MEMS microphone market is growing quickly, both in overall size and in product variety, since some consumer electronics device manufacturers require smaller microphones while others prioritize higher acoustic performance.  Akustica offers two different MEMS technologies that can address both ends of the spectrum.

The MEMS microphone market is expected to reach US$493.5 million in 2012, up more than 30% from 2011, according to Jérémie Bouchaud, director and principal analyst, MEMS and Sensors, IHS. “Driven by Apple, Samsung, LG Electronics, Motorola and Nokia for use in handsets, headsets and tablets, the MEMS microphone market is very robust and also very diverse,” said Bouchaud. “End-user applications are not ‘one-size-fits-all’, and microphone suppliers need to offer a range of products to meet varying customer requirements.”

In addition to in-house MEMS design, Akustica has always maintained an in-house ASIC and package design team. This is unlike other MEMS microphone manufacturers who may buy any or all of their MEMS, ASIC and package design from a third party. With its acquisition by Bosch in 2009, Akustica has also added in-house MEMS process development and manufacturing to its list of capabilities.

The combination of Akustica’s microphone expertise and CMOS MEMS technology with Bosch’s 25 years of MEMS IP, process development and manufacturing experience brings a new level of product innovation that allows Akustica to rapidly develop