MEMS microphone startup gains funds to ramp product

MEMS microphone startup gains funds to ramp product

Business news |
By Peter Clarke

MEMS microphone startup SensiBel AS (Oslo, Norway) has raised €15 million (about US$16 million) in a funding round led by Trumpf Ventures. Other investors included The European Council’s EIC Fund, Skagerak Capital, Investinor, and SINTEF Venture IV.

SensiBel said it would use the money to ramp production of its microphone, which is based on optical MEMS technology. The company claims its technology will allow studio-quality microphone performance in a small component.

SensiBel wa founded in 2016 and uses a laser and an integrated interferometer to measure the motion of a silicon-based membrane. The technique produces a significant increase in performance compared to mainstream MEMS microphones, the company said.

The entire optical system is smaller than a cubic millimeter. Ultra-low self-noise readout provides a high signal to noise ratio (SNR) and acoustic overload point (AOP) characteristic, yet in a small MEMS package with low power consumption.

Additional benefits the optical MEMS transducer system are enhanced environmental robustness reduced likelihood for stiction (the membrane stuck to the backplate). The company’s first product – the SBM100 series – provides SNR of 80dBA, AOP of 140dB SPL and less than 0.5 percent total harmonic distortion.

Sverre Dale Moen, CEO of SensiBel, said: “We were told a few years back it would not be possible to make a MEMS microphone with 10 times better performance than today’s state-of-the art MEMS microphones. We have now proven with our microphone, tested together with customers, we have such a disruptive performance. And are looking forward to further grow the company together with our experienced investors and great team of employees into all markets where such performance is requested.”

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