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Akustica's MEMS microphones boast HD voice capabilities

Posted: 03 Dec 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:MEMS microphones?

A new family of high-definition (HD) micro-electro-mechanical-system (MEMS) microphones has been recently unveiled by Akustica Inc. Akustica is the Bosch Group's consumer microphone company. The company stated that its latest MEMS microphones will cater to a wide range of consumer electronics applications.

"Wireless carriers are driving the need to build HD voice capabilities into new handsets," said Stefan Finkbeiner, CEO at Akustica. "Conversations over low-noise wideband audio channels can enhance the user experience, making you feel almost like you're there."

The HD MEMS mics, offered in both analogue and digital versions, were described by Akustica at the�MEMS Executive Congress�here earlier this month. Target markets include ever segment of the consumer electronics market including smartphones, tablets, laptops and hybrid convertibles straddling the tablet/laptop fence.

So far, 20 carriers have announced support for wideband audio, including Sprint in the U.S. Most of the other 220 carriers worldwide are following suit, many in 2013.

 MEMS microphones

Figure: Akustica's new family of high-definition MEMS microphones have super-wide frequency response for crystal clear voice recognition and come in four varieties for every consumer electronics application.

HD audio channels are already widely used in audio conferencing devices and by voice-over-IP (VoIP) carriers. But with HD audio going global over conventional carrier voice channels, wideband capabilities will need to become standard equipment on future handsets.

"And for any electronic device, HD voice begins with the microphone," Finkbeiner said. "You need a wideband mic with very low noise for HD audio. And for effective noise cancelling and beam steering in microphone arrays, you also need tightly matched sensitivities."

Akustica has tried to meet needs of all the different types of HD audio devices with a line of four different models: two analogue mics for legacy designs, and two digital mics for next-generation handsets, tablets, laptops and convertibles. Whether designers choose analogue or digital, each can also be ordered with either top- or bottom-port configurations.

All four models (analogue/top, analogue/bottom, digital/top, digital/bottom) are plug-compatible with existing MEMS microphone pin-outs, making them drop-in replacements for redesigning HD wideband voice capabilities into existing handset models.

All four MEMS mics provide a 63 dB signal-to-noise ratio and flat frequency response from 50Hz to 14kHz. Multiple microphone arrays are matched to within plus or minus 2-dB. Packages are 3-by-4 and 2.95-by-3.76mmsmm for digital and analogue models, respectively.

- R Colin Johnson
??EE Times





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