Akustica digital microphone uses smallest fully integrated MEMS

March 30, 2011 — Akustica Inc. debuted a single-chip digital MEMS microphone for high-quality voice applications in laptops, tablets and netbook PCs. The AKU230, Akustica’s 4th-generation MEMS microphone, is the company’s first product that leverages Bosch’s MEMS fabrication capabilities and global supply chain.

Akustica chose to move production of their newest complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) MEMS microphone to the Bosch foundry in Reutlingen, Germany because of Bosch’s MEMS manufacturing experience and the rigorous standards of quality that have allowed Bosch to ship more than 1.6 billion MEMS sensors worldwide. "Bosch ships more than 200 million MEMS sensors annually," said Dr. Stefan Finkbeiner, CEO and GM of Akustica.

The AKU230 leverages Akustica’s patented monolithic CMOS MEMS platform, a technology which integrates the mechanical function of microphones and other sensors with analog and digital electronics in a single chip. Akustica maintains a complete in-house MEMS, ASIC, and package design team. As part of Bosch, Akustica has added in-house foundry capabilities. This combination allows the company to rapidly develop both tailored solutions for customers and compelling features for new products, it reports.

Close collaborations between the design and manufacturing teams for the AKU230 enabled Akustica to shrink the size of the monolithic AKU230 die so that the microphone die, which contains the microphone membrane, amplifier and sigma-delta converter, is 0.84 x 0.84mm.

The AKU230′s form factor, interface circuitry and performance were designed to industry standards, making it easy for equipment manufacturers to design Akustica’s digital MEMS microphone into high-volume camera modules or
mass-market mobile computers. With a footprint of 3.76 x 4.72mm, and 1.25mm height, the AKU230 package is also 30% thinner than the previous generation of digital microphones, and suits thin form-factor integrations.

The AKU230 features:

  • -26 dBFS +/-2dB Sensitivity
  • 56 dB typical SNR
  • -57 dBFS Power Supply Rejection
  • An industry-standard, ultra-small, ultra-thin package which fits inside the bezels of even the smallest tablet computers
  • Highly-matched sensitivity control and stereo-microphone data multiplexing, ideal for dual microphone arrays that create directionality and noise suppression to enhance audio quality
  • Immunity to radio frequency and electromagnetic interference, further improving voice capture

Akustica supplies silicon microphone products that aim to improve voice-input quality in a host of voice-enabled applications, from mobile phones to Internet telephony on notebooks and PC camera modules. More information about Akustica is available at www.akustica.com.

The Bosch Group manufactures and markets automotive original equipment and aftermarket products, industrial drives and control technology, power tools, security and communication systems, packaging technology, thermotechnology, household appliances, solar energy and healthcare products. The company acquired Akustica in 2009. For more information, visit www.boschusa.com.

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