Vesper, developer of the world’s most advanced acoustic sensors, today demonstrated the first commercially available quiescent-sensing MEMS device, opening the possibility of acoustic event-detection devices at practically zero power draw. Drawing a scant 3 µA of current while in listening mode, Vesper’s newest piezoelectric MEMS microphone — VM1010 — will dramatically advance voice and acoustic event monitoring.
Vesper's proof-of-concept board for VM1010, first quiescent-sensing MEMS microphone
“Our quiescent-sensing MEMS microphone, VM1010, is the only device that uses sound energy itself to wake a system from full power-down,” said Matt Crowley, CEO, Vesper. “Even when fully powered-off, batteries in smartphones and smart speakers naturally dissipate 40-80uA, which is far more current than VM1010 needs. This means that there is no difference in battery-life for a system using VM1010 in listening mode and a fully powered-down conventional system.”
Even in sleep mode, VM1010 preserves its very high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) — which is essential to improving acoustic range. In fact, there is absolutely no SNR penalty from going into low power, extending the distance of far field voice control in battery-powered systems.
“Once embedded in a voice-powered TV remote control or smart speaker, for example, VM1010 could allow you to turn on your device from across the room without having to push a button and without diminishing battery life,” added Crowley. “Like all Vesper microphones, VM1010 uses a rugged piezoelectric transducer that is immune to dust, water, oils, humidity, particles and other environmental contaminants, making it ideal for deployments outdoors or in kitchens and automobiles.”
“For years the electronics industry has envisioned the development of quiescent sensors that consume no power until the appropriate stimulus occurs, but no company has demonstrated this previously in a real commercial device,” said Peter Cooney, principal analyst and director, SAR Insight & Consulting. “Vesper’s latest piezoelectric MEMS microphone has the potential to advance quiescent sensing into the commercial realm, ushering in a new era of ubiquitous always on sensors that can run indefinitely on small batteries.”
VM1010 is a single-ended analog piezoelectric MEMS microphone. Engineering samples of VM1010 are available now to highly qualified customers developing technologically advanced systems. Production samples will be available in Q4 2016.
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or visit Vesper on the web: [email protected] www.vespermems.com.