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Akustica High Definition MEMS Microphones Aimed at Smartphones

On November 28, 2012 Akustica announced a new family of high definition (HD) MEMS microphones.  There are 4 versions with two analog and two digital and a top and bottom port for each.  The company touts the new microphone family’s high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of 63 dB, super wideband frequency response, and tightly matched +/- 2dB sensitivity. Akustica’s HD MEMS microphones are drop in replacements for most of the commonly used MEMS microphones.  The company is offering a wide audio range up to 7KHz when transmitting, but it can record with a wider range of 14KHz.  A key point is that Akustica offers top port versions.  This is a new packaging technology from Akustica.  Other top port microphones have lower performance than a bottom port microphone.  Akustica’s top port has the same performance as the bottom port version.  A bottom port microphone requires a hole in the PCB or flex circuit for mounting to the case.  A top port mounts on the other side of a board and is directly against the case.  According to Akustica customers are willing to pay a premium for a top port microphone if it can offer this level of performance. Akustica was acquired by Bosch Sensortec a few years ago.  The microphones are manufactured by Bosch, thus leveraging the company’s high volume capability, quality and reliability offered in the rest of its MEMS portfolio.  The AKU142, AKU342, AKU240 and AKU440 are currently sampling to lead customers, and will be ramping to mass production in Q1 2013. Semico Spin There is growing demand for high quality MEMS microphones from the wireless carriers, mobile chipset suppliers and the mobile device manufacturers.  User generated content, such as videos, are growing in popularity.  The audio quality is valued by consumers.  The HD MEMS microphones enable better noise cancellation for both transmission and recording. The first devices to feature Akustica’s MEMS microphones are smartphones.  Most smartphones now feature two microphones.  Some, such as Apple’s iPhone have three.  Tablet PCs and notebooks (ultraportables) have one mic, but are trending to more. Semico foresees MEMS microphones as a fast growing market.  In 2011, Semico estimates just over one billion units shipped in all applications.  By 2016, Semico projects this market will exceed five billion units. Tony Massimini Chief of Technology