Vesper launches piezoelectric MEMS microphone

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By eeNews Europe

The VM101 is based on the company’s piezoelectric MEMS technology that, besides bringing superior signal performance is superior in terms of dust- and particle-resistance. The component package measures 3.35mm by 2.50 mm making it a drop-in replacement for capacitive MEMS mics as used in smartphones, wearable equipment, home appliances and IoT devices.

"Voice is expected to supplant touch as the dominant user interface in consumer products," said Matt Crowley, CEO of Vesper, in a statement. "You can actually drop VM101 into Boston Harbor or bury it sand at the beach, and it will still work properly," he added. "With microphone failure the second most common reason for smartphone returns after cracked screens, reliability is vital. Having such a robust microphone potentially alleviates major headaches, and returns, for manufacturers."

The VM101 achieves a 68dB SNR, double that of high-end single-membrane capacitive microphones, which typically show 65dB. This has benefits for far-field audiom typically doubling the distance over which sound can be captured and is useful for ambient noise cancellation. This provides an improvement for voice-enabled equipment.

The VM101 has a startup of about 10-microseconds and has a typical power consumption of 150-microamps. Th

Vesper is fabless company but Crowley declined to say who is manufacturing the VM101 except to say it is: "a large Asian CMOS foundry."

Next: More about Vesper

Vesper is funded by Atlas Ventures, University of Michigan and some unnamed strategic partners. As well as selling its own components, such as the VM101 and digital versions and higher performance components Vesper also has a business model where it will sell its MEMS transducer and mixed-signal ASIC to microphone manufacturers who will assemble and brand the product.

VM101 is currently sampling from Vesper with production volumes slated for Q4 2015.

Crowley – who joined Vesper from Sand9 Inc. where he was business development manager – said that Vesper, founded in 2009, has already raised "millions of dollars" and would probably have another round of equity finance early in 2016 to help fund acceleration into multiple consumer electronics markets.

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