Wolfson Microelectronics plc is integrating digital signal processing on the same die as its MEMs microphones and moving production to 8in (200mm) wafers in the first to make the move.
The boom in audio-enabled devices for noise cancellation and voice control is driving more microphones in devices, says Allan Hughes, chief operating officer of the Edinburgh mixed signal silicon designer. This is driving integration and higher volumes.
“One of the things we feel quietly confident about is integrating the separate transducer and the ASIC,” he said. “We can combine these two chips (left) into a single chip microphone and we know of no one else that can do that.”
“We still have to productionize it but we think it will be 50 % the size and 25% of the power,” said Hughes. “We are not overly concerned about capacity and production will be in the hundreds of millions of units. We get thousands of die per wafer already but we are transitioning from 6in to 8in [with a 180nm process],” he said.
The higher volume is driven by the increase in microphones in mobile phones and tablets, up from an average of two to three. “Next year’s phones have four to six microphones in them so there’s multiple microphones per product,” said Hughes.
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