Bio-inspired MEMS mic replaces traditional arrays

Bio-inspired MEMS mic replaces traditional arrays

New Products |
By Rich Pell

Audio technology company Soundskrit has announced the availability of what it claims is the world’s first bio-inspired directional MEMS microphone built for current and future consumer electronics devices. Offered as a superior solution to traditional microphone arrays, the SKR0400 MEMS microphone leverages a new transducer design for maximum audio performance, and taps into proprietary software that optimizes the audio experience for a wide range of devices and use cases in any environment, including laptops, webcams, smart speakers, connected TVs, headsets and earbuds, AR/VR, medical devices, wearables, and connected vehicles.

The SKR0400 is offered as a first-of-its-kind directional MEMS microphone that inherently eliminates unwanted noise at the hardware level. With a highly directional pickup pattern, the SKR0400 significantly reduces background noise and reverberation, isolating a user’s voice with high-fidelity.

As the industry’s lowest noise directional MEMS microphone, says the company, the SKR0400 eliminates the need for large omnidirectional microphone arrays providing a small, low power, and lightweight solution. With minimal signal processing it enables a breadth of features from noise and echo reduction, true stereo recording for highly immersive audio content, and voice tracking.

“We experienced and saw the need for elevated audio without compromises – high performance, pristine sound, and that engineered new ways for humans to experience sound and not necessarily in the same manner we process sound ourselves,” says Stephane Leahy, Vice President of Hardware and Co-founder of Soundskrit. “We needed to create something small and directional, so we took inspiration from the smallest auditory systems in nature. We’ve created a microphone that truly isolates a speaker’s voice and delivers the highest-quality sound. We’re not stopping at just one microphone, Soundskrit is building and engineering audio for the future.”

The company’s audio sensory technology reimagines sound capture based on how insects process sound versus humans – by responding to air flow rather than pressure. Smaller auditory systems in nature (i.e., insects) all use a different method to sense sound, says the company.

The microphone transducer was designed from the ground up, based on these principals, to improve performance in directional microphones. By moving in sync with the surrounding air motion (sound) the transducer is able to accurately sense an incoming sound wave and convert it into a high-quality electronic signal.

Just two SKR0400 provide the same prowess as four omnidirectional microphone arrays, says the company.

“Add to that a lighter DSP chipset, shorter signal path, better performance and an easier product design to work with,” says the company, “and OEMs can save on costs while addressing design constraints and time to market. All within the microphone size standards established by the industry.”

The company says it also developed in-house AI – based on a deep understanding of acoustics around directional microphones and the latest advancements in neural networks – to unlock the full potential of the SKR0400 and bring a pallet of new features to end users. It eliminates background noise and reverb, tracks multiple speakers around a room, and/or detects the distance of a sound from the microphones so that everyday devices can isolate voice and eliminate unwanted background noise.

OEMs interested in learning more about the company’s technology or obtaining a development board should contact the company.


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