Akustica’s MEMS microphones for smartphones and wearables

-April 15, 2014

Akustica 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.  These devices were 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 wideband frequency response to improve intelligibility and speech-recognition accuracy in consumer-electronic devices.

This product is featured in EDN's Hot 100 products of 2014. See all 100 here.

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.

Industry analysis from Akustica states 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

The AKU346 is an HD voice quality bottom port, analog output microphone with MEMS acoustic sensor, IC pre-amp, charge pump, and supporting circuitry

Small size

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.


AKU346 block diagram

A coupon board is available for the AKU346

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.

AKU143, AKU345, AKU344 block diagram

Coupon boards are also available for these solutions

AKU143 and AKU345

The AKU143 & AKU345 are fully matched top- and bottom-ported analog-output microphones in an industry standard 2.95mm x 3.76mm form factor. Designed specifically to deliver superior performance for multi-microphone noise suppression in handsets and other mobile devices, the AKU143 & AKU345 offer a high 65dB signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and an inherently uniform sensitivity matching of just +1dB between microphones. Both microphones deliver a matched wideband frequency response with less than 5dB variations from 50Hz to 14kHz for uniform audio capture across a broad audio spectrum. The packaging of the AKU143 & AKU345 provide a high degree of RF and EM immunity, allowing for easy integration into wireless devices.  

The AKU143 is an HD voice quality top port, analog output microphone with MEMS acoustic sensor, IC pre-amp, charge pump, and supporting circuitry

The AKU345 is an HD voice quality bottom port, analog output microphone with MEMS acoustic sensor, IC pre-amp, charge pump, and supporting circuitry


The AKU344 is an HD voice quality bottom port, analog output microphone with MEMS acoustic sensor, IC pre-amp, charge pump, and supporting circuitry


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

Akustica has an important advantage in the industry with in-house MEMS Design and Manufacturing Capability

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.

For more information please visit the Akustica website

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