Welcome!

News Feed Item

Big Performance, Small Package: Akustica’s Newest MEMS Microphones Target Smartphones and Wearables

Akustica, Inc., a Bosch Group company and leading provider of MEMS microphones, has added four new high-performance analog microphones to its high definition (HD) voice product line, including the AKU346, the industry’s smallest MEMS microphone to achieve 64dB SNR. Designed to meet the size-performance constraints of smartphones and even the smallest wearables, the new HD voice microphones combine small footprint, high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), tight sensitivity matching, and a super-wideband frequency response to improve intelligibility and speech-recognition accuracy in consumer-electronic devices.

Akustica's new HD voice MEMS microphones deliver superior voice capture in smartphones and wearables ...

Akustica's new HD voice MEMS microphones deliver superior voice capture in smartphones and wearables (Photo: Business Wire)

New innovations in design and manufacturing enable an inherently guaranteed +/-1dB sensitivity matching between microphones. This microphone-to-microphone uniformity, along with the high SNR of the new HD voice microphones, fulfills a critical need for consumer-electronic device manufacturers who incorporate more than one microphone along with noise suppression algorithms into their devices. These algorithms generally rely on well-matched, high-performance microphones for optimization of noise cancellation and speech recognition accuracy.

Particularly challenging use cases for speech recognition are noisy environments and applications where the speaker is far away (>3 feet) from the microphones. In these situations, testing has shown that even a small improvement in SNR (1-2dB) can lead to dramatic improvements in command accuracy rates (>5%). A few percentage points of accuracy can make the difference between speech recognition ubiquity and obsolescence. This has led device manufacturers to continually look for higher performance and more uniform microphones that can meet the needs of their multi-microphone application without incurring the extra costs commonly charged today for binning and sorting after final test.

“The need for the highest-performing multi-microphone solutions is growing rapidly in the smartphone market, where the average number of microphones per phone has been steadily increasing for the last few years,” said Jérémie Bouchaud, director and senior principal analyst, MEMS & Sensors, IHS. “Today, the use of two microphones has become a standard feature for smartphones. Higher-end phones can have upwards of four microphones, further increasing the need for high SNR and tighter sensitivity matching like that provided by Akustica’s new microphones.”

Bouchaud also pointed out that MEMS microphones achieving ≥64dB SNR comprise the fastest-growing portion of the overall MEMS microphone market and are expected to generate 50% of the revenue of this important market segment by 2017.

AKU346 – Industry’s Smallest MEMS Microphone with 64dB SNR

With a footprint of just 6mm2 and an ultra-thin 0.93mm height, the AKU346 utilizes 33 percent less design space than a typical industry standard bottom-port microphone but still achieves a 64dB SNR--making it particularly well suited for use in small wearable accessories such as wired and wireless headsets, smartwatches and glasses.

AKU143, AKU345, AKU344

The AKU143, AKU345, and AKU344 are top- and bottom-port microphones with a higher SNR of 65dB, and are footprint and pin-for-pin compatible with previous generations of Akustica HD voice microphones. The industry standard form factors of all three microphones provide a straightforward path for upgrading performance of current designs.

All four of the new microphones can also support ultrasonic applications such as gesture recognition, gaming, pens and location detection.

In-house MEMS Design and Manufacturing Capability

Akustica’s new generation of HD voice microphones round out a complete portfolio of Bosch MEMS sensors supporting the human-machine interface (HMI) within consumer-electronic devices, and is another demonstration of Bosch’s commitment to consistently delivering high-performance, high-volume and high-quality MEMS sensors. With in-house design teams for MEMS, circuit design, and packaging, and more than 1000 MEMS patents and 20+ years of MEMS manufacturing experience, Akustica has quickly been able to introduce a new generation of HD voice microphones with higher performance, more uniformity, greater robustness, and smaller footprints. Additionally, Akustica’s customers now benefit from the additional economies of scale gained by manufacturing in Bosch’s advanced 8” (200mm) wafer fabrication facility in Reutlingen, Germany.

“In-house MEMS design and manufacturing speeds new product development and allows us to be a reliable and valuable partner for our customers,” said Horst Muenzel, CEO and general manager, Akustica. “We are committed to delivering new and compelling features to our customers while also adhering to stringent Bosch principles of quality and environmental responsibility. As a result, our customers know they can depend on us to deliver high volumes of MEMS microphones on time and in-spec with the high levels of performance, quality, and reliability that they have come to expect from Bosch.”

Availability

Samples of all four new HD voice microphones are available now for lead customers with mass production planned for Q2 2014. For customer pricing information, please visit http://www.akustica.com/contact.asp to find a local sales representative. For more information and datasheets for these products, please visit www.akustica.com.

About Akustica:

Akustica is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Bosch Group and a top supplier of silicon microphone products that are improving voice-input quality in a host of voice-enabled applications, from mobile phones, laptops and tablets to small wearable accessories like headsets. The company offers worldwide customer support services, from design-in services to post-production quality assurance. Akustica is a global organization with corporate headquarters in Pittsburgh, PA, regional offices in Taiwan and Shanghai, and a worldwide team of distributors. For more information about Akustica, go to: www.akustica.com.

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. According to preliminary figures, its roughly 281,000 associates generated sales of 46.4 billion euros ($61.6 billion) in 2013*. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its more than 350 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 60 countries. If its sales and service partners are included, then Bosch is represented in roughly 150 countries. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Automotive Technology, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. This worldwide development, manufacturing, and sales network is the foundation for further growth. In 2013, Bosch applied for some 5,000 patents worldwide. The Bosch Group’s products and services are designed to fascinate, and to improve the quality of life by providing solutions which are both innovative and beneficial. In this way, the company offers technology worldwide that is “Invented for life.” Additional information on the global organization is available online at www.bosch.com, www.bosch-press.com, and http://twitter.com/BoschPresse.

*Due to a change in legal rules governing consolidation, 2013 figures can only be compared to a limited extent with 2012 figures. Exchange rate: 1 EUR = $1.32812

More Stories By Business Wire

Copyright © 2009 Business Wire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Business Wire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Business Wire. Business Wire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
One of the bewildering things about DevOps is integrating the massive toolchain including the dozens of new tools that seem to crop up every year. Part of DevOps is Continuous Delivery and having a complex toolchain can add additional integration and setup to your developer environment. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Miko Matsumura, Chief Marketing Officer of Gradle Inc., will discuss which tools to use in a developer stack, how to provision the toolchain to minimize onboa...
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
It's easy to assume that your app will run on a fast and reliable network. The reality for your app's users, though, is often a slow, unreliable network with spotty coverage. What happens when the network doesn't work, or when the device is in airplane mode? You get unhappy, frustrated users. An offline-first app is an app that works, without error, when there is no network connection.
The principles behind DevOps are not new - for decades people have been automating system administration and decreasing the time to deploy apps and perform other management tasks. However, only recently did we see the tools and the will necessary to share the benefits and power of automation with a wider circle of people. In his session at DevOps Summit, Bernard Sanders, Chief Technology Officer at CloudBolt Software, explored the latest tools including Puppet, Chef, Docker, and CMPs needed to...
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, will provide an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profes...
Father business cycles and digital consumers are forcing enterprises to respond faster to customer needs and competitive demands. Successful integration of DevOps and Agile development will be key for business success in today’s digital economy. In his session at DevOps Summit, Pradeep Prabhu, Co-Founder & CEO of Cloudmunch, covered the critical practices that enterprises should consider to seamlessly integrate Agile and DevOps processes, barriers to implementing this in the enterprise, and pr...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Men & Mice, the leading global provider of DNS, DHCP and IP address management overlay solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The Men & Mice Suite overlay solution is already known for its powerful application in heterogeneous operating environments, enabling enterprises to scale without fuss. Building on a solid range of diverse platform support,...
Advances in technology and ubiquitous connectivity have made the utilization of a dispersed workforce more common. Whether that remote team is located across the street or country, management styles/ approaches will have to be adjusted to accommodate this new dynamic. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Sagi Brody, Chief Technology Officer at Webair Internet Development Inc., focused on the challenges of managing remote teams, providing real-world examples that demonstrate what works and what do...
With the proliferation of both SQL and NoSQL databases, organizations can now target specific fit-for-purpose database tools for their different application needs regarding scalability, ease of use, ACID support, etc. Platform as a Service offerings make this even easier now, enabling developers to roll out their own database infrastructure in minutes with minimal management overhead. However, this same amount of flexibility also comes with the challenges of picking the right tool, on the right ...
As enterprises work to take advantage of Big Data technologies, they frequently become distracted by product-level decisions. In most new Big Data builds this approach is completely counter-productive: it presupposes tools that may not be a fit for development teams, forces IT to take on the burden of evaluating and maintaining unfamiliar technology, and represents a major up-front expense. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Warfield, CTO and Co-Founder of Coho Data, will dis...
In most cases, it is convenient to have some human interaction with a web (micro-)service, no matter how small it is. A traditional approach would be to create an HTTP interface, where user requests will be dispatched and HTML/CSS pages must be served. This approach is indeed very traditional for a web site, but not really convenient for a web service, which is not intended to be good looking, 24x7 up and running and UX-optimized. Instead, talking to a web service in a chat-bot mode would be muc...
More and more companies are looking to microservices as an architectural pattern for breaking apart applications into more manageable pieces so that agile teams can deliver new features quicker and more effectively. What this pattern has done more than anything to date is spark organizational transformations, setting the foundation for future application development. In practice, however, there are a number of considerations to make that go beyond simply “build, ship, and run,” which changes ho...
Fortunately, meaningful and tangible business cases for IoT are plentiful in a broad array of industries and vertical markets. These range from simple warranty cost reduction for capital intensive assets, to minimizing downtime for vital business tools, to creating feedback loops improving product design, to improving and enhancing enterprise customer experiences. All of these business cases, which will be briefly explored in this session, hinge on cost effectively extracting relevant data from ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies adopt disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevO...
SYS-CON Events announced today that iDevices®, the preeminent brand in the connected home industry, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. iDevices, the preeminent brand in the connected home industry, has a growing line of HomeKit-enabled products available at the largest retailers worldwide. Through the “Designed with iDevices” co-development program and its custom-built IoT Cloud Infrastruc...