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Piezoelectric MEMS mic offers 68dB SNR

08 Jun 2015  | Peter Clarke

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US-based Vesper Technologies has launched its first branded analogue output MEMS microphone with a 68dB typical signal-to-noise ratio.

The VM101 is based on the company's piezoelectric MEMS technology that, besides bringing superior signal performance, is superior in terms of dust and particle-resistance. The component package measures 3.35mm by 2.50mm, making it a drop-in replacement for capacitive MEMS mics as used in smartphones, wearable equipment, home appliances and internet-of-things devices.

Vesper VM101

The MEMS microphone achieves a 68dB SNR, double that of high-end single-membrane capacitive microphones, which typically show 65dB. This has benefits for far-field audio typically doubling the distance over which sound can be captured and is useful for ambient noise cancellation. This provides an improvement for voice-enabled equipment.

The VM101 has a start-up of about 10µs and has a typical power consumption of 150µA.

Vesper is fabless company but Vesper CEO Matt Crowley declined to discuss who is manufacturing the VM101 except to say it is "a large Asian CMOS foundry."

Vesper is funded by Atlas Ventures, University of Michigan, and some unnamed strategic partners. As well as selling its own components, such as the VM101 and digital versions and higher performance components Vesper also has a business model where it will sell its MEMS transducer and mixed-signal ASIC to microphone manufacturers who will assemble and brand the product.

VM101 is currently sampling from Vesper with production volumes slated for Q4 2015.

Crowley—who joined Vesper from Sand9 where he was business development manager—said that Vesper, founded in 2009, has already raised "millions of dollars" and would probably have another round of equity finance early in 2016 to help fund acceleration into multiple consumer electronics markets.

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