Akustica and DALSA Form Strategic Silicon Foundry Relationship

Akustica, Inc., a pioneer in acoustic system-on-chip solutions, and DALSA Corporation's semiconductor-wafer fabrication division today announced the formation of a strategic silicon foundry relationship. The collaboration combines Akustica's expertise in its patented Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) semiconductor design technology with DALSA's advanced MEMS and device-manufacturing capabilities. The pairing will generate new classes of CMOS MEMS chips that offer dramatic improvements in manufacturing cost, quality, and time-to-market.

The relationship will focus on wafer production of Akustica's family of AKU200x single-chip digital-output microphones, the world's first CMOS MEMS microphones. The surface-mountable AKU200x's are designed to replace electret condenser microphones (ECMs) in PC laptops, Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) phones, PC camera modules, and other portable computing devices. Akustica has secured major design wins for its microphone with top-tier notebook PC OEMs and has garnered numerous "product of the year" awards from leading electronics publications.

"We chose DALSA as a strategic supplier because of their strong alignment with our fundamental advantage of manufacturing MEMS products using standard processes," stated Jim Rock, CEO of Akustica. "In addition to having proven experience in quality processes, DALSA has effectively demonstrated high-volume manufacturing. With rapid growth in the silicon microphone market projected to continue for years to come, Akustica is building its core supplier network to service that demand."

"We are delighted to support Akustica in the fabrication of their AKU200x microphones," said Ralf Brooks, President of DALSA's Semiconductor Division. "Our extensive experience in developing and manufacturing sensors for a wide variety of industries, combined with our proven MEMS capabilities, allows us to participate successfully as a strategic supplier to the industry's leading semiconductor companies. We are especially pleased to be working with Akustica, the industry innovator in CMOS MEMS devices, while leveraging DALSA's patent-pending deep-etch technologies at the same time."

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