STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), the leading supplier of MEMS for consumer and portable applications, has introduced a high-performance, low-power stereo microphone that throws down the gauntlet in sound quality and reliability at reduced size and cost.
ST's innovative MEMS microphone targets existing and emerging audio applications across a range of market segments, including cell phones, portable media players, games, digital cameras, security systems, learning devices and hearing aids, where small size and high sound quality, reliability and affordability are critical.
ST's MP45DT01 digital-output stereo microphone enables dramatic advancements in sound quality by providing omni-directional sensitivity to detect and filter out background noise. Ever more important with the increasing use of audio-input devices in noisy and uncontrollable environments, sound quality can be further improved by incorporating multiple microphones in one device. Such microphone arrays are made possible with the small form factor and the superior characteristics of ST's MEMS microphones.
Leveraging established high-volume silicon manufacturing processes, MEMS microphones meet price points set by the traditional electret condenser microphones (ECM), while boasting superior reliability and robustness. ST's new microphone uses sensor technology from OMRON that is inherently less susceptible to mechanical vibration, temperature variations and electromagnetic interference. These features are vitally important in cell phones and other devices with an audio input.
ST's industry-unique capability to manage the whole supply chain and leading-edge MEMS production capacity enables short product-development cycles and time-to-volume for high-performance, cost-competitive silicon acoustic devices. As it did in the consumer markets for accelerometers, this combination of benefits will accelerate the growth of the MEMS microphone market by promoting the development of new application areas such as voice-enabled gaming, automotive voice systems, acoustic sensors for industry and security applications, and medical telemetry.
According to iSuppli's research, dated September 2009, the market for micro-machined acoustic devices for consumer electronics and mobile handsets is forecast to grow revenue at a CAGR of 18% between 2008 and 2013, when the number of units shipped should exceed one billion parts per year.
Samples of ST's MP45DT01 MEMS microphone are available and volume production is starting now. Unit pricing is $1 for volumes in the range of 10,000 pieces.