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Sonion Launches World's Smallest Microphone


September 25, 2005

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September 26, 2005 Sonion this week launched the DigiSiMic microphone, the world's smallest digital, silicon microphone. With a footprint of only 2.6 x 1.6 mm squared the DigiSiMic is ideal for applications where minimum microphone size is key, such as very small mobile phones. As analogue electric condenser microphones (ECM) are the standard in today's mobile terminals with analogue silicon microphones emerging, the DigiSiMic represents a technological leap towards the fully digitalized mobile phone architectures of tomorrow.

"After more than a decade of research, the DigiSiMic is a development breakthrough for the industry. It is a minute, feather light but still a very robust microphone that has stable high quality acoustic performance," said Jacob Philipsen, president of Sonion MEMS.

"The launch of the DigiSiMic allows Sonion to strengthen our position as a one-stop shop for mobile phone acoustical equipment as the company can now add advanced microphones to its range of specialty miniature audio receivers and loudspeakers," said Peter U. Scheel, CEO of Sonion.

The DigiSiMic, which is SMT compliant, integrates a microphone chip and an ASIC assembled onto a carrier chip to form a single pinhead-sized "all-silicon" component.

The microphone chip holds the acoustic sensor structure and the ASIC contains a bias-circuit, a low-noise pre-amplifier and a sigma-delta-based A/D converter. The output is a single-bit digital output stream that can be connected to downstream digital electronics for a high degree of flexibility and freedom. Acoustic performance of the DigiSiMic is equal to or better than today's conventional microphones.

An important benefit of the DigiSiMic is its reduced susceptibility to temperature and humidity, as well as its high immunity to electromagnetic interference (EMI). The closely integrated microphone and ASIC in a sealed, all-silicon chip scale package, dramatically reduces parasitic electrical elements, while the digital output eliminates EM interference for transmission over long distances. This allows product designers flexibility in the system design, including the possibility to implement arrays of microphones for directionality or noise cancellation.

The DigiSiMic has been selected by one of the major mobile phone manufactures and is currently undergoing production ramp-up in Sonion's clean-room based production facility. Key features and benefits of the DigiSiMic:

    Size, all silicon package and surface mountability -- Ease manufacturing costs and increase efficiency. Integrated Solution -- Integrated microphone, analogue pre-amplifier and sigma-delta modulator reduce component count and board space, as well as RF/EM interference. High Suppression of RF and EM Interference -- Digital output eliminates EM interference over long transmission distances, enabling microphone arrays that increase performance. Digitalization -- Enables high performance microphone array applications. Left/Right feature enabling stereo application over a single data wire. In addition to the DigiSiMic, Sonion is also launching the SiMic, the industry's smallest analogue microphone this week. The product brings an unparalleled level of performance and fidelity, including a typical signal-to-noise ratio of 61 dB in a previously unachievable small package size with a footprint of only 2.4 x 1.6 mm squared.
About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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