MEMS microphone suppliers intensify product development to take advantage of demand from the strong telecom and PC sectors.
Ultrathin portable electronics drive Taiwan's MEMS line
The model SSSM200 digital CMOS MEMS microphone from 3S has omnidirectional sensitivity and 58dB S/N ratio.
MEMS microphone suppliers intensify product development to take advantage of demand
from the strong telecom and PC sectors.
The robust mobile phone and computing device sectors are spurring R&D on MEMS
microphones in Taiwan. Makers eye the first application as a strong market base, which
accounted for two-thirds of global sales of the component last year, according to iSuppli. In
particular, they are targeting smartphones, which require two or more units to reduce
background noise and enhance voice quality.
To this end, companies are elevating the S/N ratio, aiming for 66dB from 59 to 62dB, to
enhance the sound quality of smartphones and eliminate the need for headsets.
They are looking to do the same for power supply ripple rejection levels. A higher PSRR will
help simplify power and audio management, boosting the audio feature and enabling new
functions such as voice activation of the headset.
Suppliers are also developing more digital solutions despite the continued dominance of
analog CMOS models. Solid State System Co. Ltd or 3S said the former can reduce noise
interference, making it suitable for camera modules used in laptops. Digital versions have a
lower requirement for ICs, resulting in space-saving designs and cutting outlay in the long
term. At present, these are more expensive by 50 percent. To cater to various requirements,
3S offers both types.
The maker promotes CMOS MEMS because it permits production in a wafer foundry. CMOS
technology facilitates integration with similarly structured sensors and ASICs on a single
chip, reducing product dimensions and manufacturing costs. 3S’ digital units incorporate an
acoustic transducer and feature a circuit with adjustable gain to create a smaller microphone.
Compared with electret condenser types mainly used in computer, communications and
consumer electronics, MEMS variants boast higher S/N ratio, lower THD, and better anti-EMI
and RFI shielding. The latter outperform the older technology in terms of sensitivity
matching, frequency response, noise floor, temperature and humidity tolerance, and power
consumption. In addition, the dispersion of sensitivity, which is within ±3dB, allows
advanced functions such as noise suppression and cancelation, including of echo.
Besides these advantages, makers are counting on declining quotes to expand the line’s
Taiwan has fewer than five companies producing MEMS microphones. In addition to 3S,
Merry Electronics supplies the component, while Lingsen and Tong Hsing provide packaging
services. Lingsen’s ultrathin technology yields a wire-bonded and cap-sealed microphone
on a substrate.
Read the full report on Ultrathin portable electronics drive Taiwan's MEMS line. Global
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