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MEMS & Sensors

An article written by Jonathan Shieber for Techcrunch - Vesper Technologies, a new microphone technology developer, has raised $23 million from some of the biggest names in audio technology to finance the commercialization of its piezoelectric microphones.

As audio technology and voice controlled devices become more ubiquitous, manufacturers are hoping to turn to higher performance MEMS (micro-electro mechanical systems) microphones that use acoustic sensors made on semiconductor production lines using silicon wafers.

The technology allows for far smaller microphones that are incredibly sensitive, but the mics themselves typically don’t withstand the wear and tear of harsh environments all that well. Enter Vesper. It’s piezoelectric microphone technology received a full-throated endorsement from Amazon last year (after the company invested through its Alexa Fund).

Traditionally, manufacturers have used arrays of MEMS microphones to pick up sound, but as systems become more complex, they’re more susceptible to breaking down thanks to the sensitivity of the microphone technology. Amazon (and others) are betting that Vesper can solve the problem thanks to its novel approach to manufacturing MEMS using piezo-electric technologies.

The innovation from Vesper basically hinges on the company’s design for a MEMS microphone that doesn’t require a back plate, which lets flexible microphone plates bend and respond to stress without degrading, according to Amazon senior sound engineer, Dave Berol... Full article


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