Vesper is a privately held piezoelectric MEMS company which began at the University of Michigan; it has improved the acoustic experience with a wide range of consumer products via a patented piezoelectric MEMS platform. These products include smartphones, smart speakers, Internet of Things (IoT) devices and connected automobiles.
Vesper has now demonstrated the first commercially available quiescent-sensing MEMS device, providing designers the possibility of acoustic event-detection devices at virtually zero power draw at 3 µA of current while in listening mode. This piezoelectric MEMS microphone — VM1010 — will allow designers to advance voice and acoustic event monitoring in their systems. See Figure 1 for the pin out of this IC.
Figure 1. The pin out of the VM1010 (Image courtesy of Vesper)
Matt Crowley, Vesper CEO told me that this quiescent-sensing MEMS microphone is the only device that uses sound energy itself to wake a system from full power-down. It is known that even when fully powered-off, batteries in smartphones and smart speakers naturally dissipate 40-80 µA, which is far more current than this device needs. So a design using this technology will see no difference in battery-life for a system using the VM1010 in listening mode and a fully powered-down conventional system. See Figure 2 for specifications.
Figure 2. Key specifications for the VM1010 (Image courtesy of Vesper)
Even in sleep mode, this microphone preserves its very high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) — which is needed for a wider acoustic range. In fact, there is absolutely no SNR penalty from going into low power, extending the distance of far field voice control in battery-powered systems. Watch the following YouTube video ( here) which shows the actual performance and capabilities like wake-on-sound.
When a designer embeds this device into a voice-powered TV remote control or smart speaker, it could allow you to turn on your device from across the room without having to