A major driver of this growth are smartphone manufacturers who have stopped looking at MEMS microphones as just a lower-cost, lower-profile replacement for electret condenser microphones (ECMs), and have begun to leverage the many benefits of MEMS microphone technology in an effort to provide end-users with improved speech recognition accuracy and the more natural-sounding conversation that can be delivered across wideband wireless networks.
Akustica introduced its first MEMS microphone products in 2006 and was acquired by Bosch in 2009, joining a global, $60B+ company with a proven track record of delivering high volume, high quality MEMS sensors for the automotive and consumer electronics markets. Akustica’s first microphones were manufactured using its unique and patented CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) MEMS technology in which the mechanical functionality of the microphone is integrated with analog and digital electronics on the same silicon die.
Since the acquisition, Akustica has leveraged Bosch’s world class capabilities and experience in MEMS design and high volume manufacturing to add Bosch MEMS surface micromachining technology to its toolbox, allowing newer microphones to utilize a high performance 2-chip approach in which the microphone and the ASIC are on different silicon die within the microphone package.
Important milestones in the history of Akustica supporting improved voice quality in consumer devices.
Akustica is the only MEMS microphone manufacturer with two completely different MEMS technologies in high-volume production, giving the company the unique advantage of being able to address different market segments with the most suitable technology. Today, CMOS MEMS is more appropriate for applications where small size is the top priority. Conversely, 2-chip surface micromachining MEMS technology is better for products where performance is more valued, such as with Akustica’s recently announced high performance HD voice microphones. Both technologies remain in Akustica’s product development path and will continue to be used to deliver new and innovative microphones.
Comparison of Akustica’s unique monolithic CMOS MEMS microphone technology to their two-chip approach.
Akustica’s customers have benefited from its acquisition by Bosch by more than just the addition of a second MEMS technology to its product portfolio. While Akustica has always maintained a complete in-house design team for MEMS, ASIC, and packaging, the acquisition also added in-house MEMS manufacturing – making Akustica the world’s only MEMS microphone supplier with such complete in-house capabilities. This combination of microphone expertise with the 20+ years of experience in high-quality, high-volume manufacturing has given Akustica’s customers the benefits of improvements in performance, throughput, quality, and costs for all of its microphone products.
“Akustica’s new HD voice MEMS microphones designed to deliver superior voice capture in smartphones and wearable devices”
Also, since Bosch is both the world’s number one supplier of MEMS sensors and has a complete portfolio of consumer MEMS sensors, Akustica’s customers are able to improve the efficiency of their supply chain by purchasing microphones and all of the MEMS sensors supporting the human-machine-interface (HMI) from Bosch.
Different new applications such as automotive, Internet of Things, medical, and wearable devices are emerging and will boost the MEMS microphone market with strong new opportunities.
Yole Développement report MEMS Microphone market, applications and business trends will provide you a clear understanding of the competitive landscape with detailed company profiles, as well as applications analysis and market forecast. More about the report here.
Marcie Weinstein, Marketing Strategist, Akustica
Dr. Marcie Weinstein is the Marketing Strategist at Akustica. Dr. Weinstein received a Ph.D. in Solid State Physics from Lehigh University. She started her career as a Senior Member of the Technical Staff in the MEMS group at the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory. She joined Akustica in 2002 and has held various positions in her many years with the company including Product Manager, Director of Product Marketing, Director of Strategic Marketing, and her current position of Marketing Strategist.
Frédéric Breussin, Business Unit Manager, MEMS & Sensors, Yole Développement
Frédéric Breussin is responsible for the MEMS and Sensors activity. He has supported many companies in their innovation and product development strategy in making the bridge between micro systems technologies and their applications in consumer, automotive, industrial, Life sciences, diagnostics and medical device industries. He holds an Engineering diploma from INSA Rouen & a DEA in fluid mechanics from University of Rouen.
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
About Yole Développement
Founded in 1998, Yole Développement has grown to become a group of companies providing marketing, technology and strategy consulting, media in addition to corporate finance services.With a strong focus on emerging applications using silicon and/or micro manufacturing, Yole Développement group has expanded to include more than 50 associates worldwide covering MEMS, Compound Semiconductors, LED, Image Sensors, Optoelectronics, Microfluidics & Medical, Photovoltaics, Advanced Packaging, Nanomaterials and Power Electronics. The group supports industrial companies, investors and R&D organizations worldwide to help them understand markets and follow technology trends to develop their business. For more information about Yole Développement, go to: www.yole.fr