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Apple iPhone 7 Plus: MEMS Microphones from Knowles, STMicroelectronics, and Goertek-Infineon

7 500 €

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Apple MEMS Microphones flyer

Introducing a brand-new design and process from three of Apple’s main MEMS microphone suppliers.

The MEMS microphone market has enjoyed continuous growth since its debut, and Yole Développement forecasts a 10% CAGR from 2015 - 2021 due to increased smartphone and home appliance integration. Indeed, MEMS microphones’ penetration rate in smartphones is already close to 100%.


The Apple iPhone 7 and 7 Plus each have four MEMS microphones: a front-facing top microphone, two front-facing bottom microphones and a rear-facing top microphone.  In every iPhone 7 Plus we examined, we observed a Knowles design win for the rear-facing top microphone and a STMicroelectronics design win for the front-facing top microphone. The two front-facing bottom microphones were sourced by either Knowles or Goertek.

On the process side, we observed for the first time full in-house manufacturing by STMicroelectronics, which now makes the MEMS die internally without relying on OMRON. This new integration confirms  a new manufacturing process developed by STMicroelectronics. Goertek, which still relies on Infineon for die manufacturing, integrates the latest Infineon MEMS microphone process, which delivers a differential MEMS microphone using a dual backplate technology. The third manufacturer, Knowles, made strategic technical choices which allowed it to have the smallest MEMS die. Lastly, all four microphones share the same Apple-specific package dimensions, but with different internal structures (number of substrate metal layers, embedded capacitance, etc.).


These three reports can be purchased separately or all together in order to compare the technology and pricing of these three key Apple iPhone suppliers. In fact, the three-report bundle includes a complete comparison of the three components.


 Apple MEMS Microphones Anti Stiction Bump SystemPlusConsulting Oct2016Apple MEMS Microphones Package Cros Section SystemPlusConsulting Oct2016





















Table of contents

Overview / Introduction


Company profile & Supply Chain


iPhone 7 Plus – Teardown


Physical Analysis

> Package
- Package views and dimensions
- Package opening
- Package cross-section
> ASIC Die
- View, dimensions, and marking
- Dicing
- Delayering and process
> MEMS Die
- View, dimensions, and marking
- Dicing
- Bond pads
- Membrane and backplate
- Anti-stiction bumps
- Cavity
- Cross-sections




































Manufacturing Process Flow

> ASIC front-end process
> ASIC wafer fabrication unit
> MEMS process flow
> MEMS wafer fabrication unit
> Packaging process flow
> Package assembly unit


Cost Analysis

> Yields hypotheses
> ASIC front-end cost
> ASIC back-end 0: probe test and dicing
> ASIC wafer and die cost
> MEMS front-end cost
> MEMS back-end 0: probe test and dicing
> MEMS front-end cost per process steps
> MEMS wafer and die cost
> Back-end: packaging cost
> Back-end: packaging cost per process steps
> Back-end: final test cost
> Microphone component cost


Estimated Selling Price



About the authors


System Plus Consulting specializes in the cost analysis of electronics, from semiconductor devices to electronic systems. Created more than 20 years ago, System Plus Consulting has developed a complete range of services, costing tools and reports to deliver in-depth production cost studies and estimate the objective selling price of a product. System Plus Consulting engineers are experts in Integrated Circuits - Power Devices & Modules - MEMS & Sensors - Photonics – LED - Imaging – Display - Packaging - Electronic Boards & Systems.

Through hundreds of analyses performed each year, System Plus Consulting offers deep added-value reports to help its customers understand their production processes and determine production costs. Based on System Plus Consulting’s results, manufacturers are able to compare their production costs to those of competitors.

System Plus Consulting is a sister company of Yole Développement.

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  • Detailed photos

  • Precise measurements

  • Material analysis

  • Manufacturing process flow

  • Supply chain evaluation

  • Manufacturing cost analysis

  • Estimated sales price

  • Comparison between each supplier (Knowles vs. STMicroelectronics vs. Goertek-Infineon)