Vesper reveals GloFo as microphone maker

January 20, 2016 //By Peter Clarke
Vesper reveals GloFo as microphone maker
Fabless piezoelectric microphone pioneer Vesper Technologies Inc. (Boston, Mass.) has that foundry Globalfoundries Inc. (Milpitas, Calif.) is its manufacturer of MEMS microphones for high volume markets.

These markets include smartphones, wearable equipment, automobiles and Internet of Things devices.

Vesper announced its first product, the VM101, back in June 2015 (see Vesper launches piezoelectric MEMS microphone ). This is an analog MEMS microphone with a 68dB typical signal-to-noise ratio. The high signal-to-noise ratio is a defining characteristic and not one usually associated with high volume cos-driven microphones.

However,there are benefits for far-field audio typically doubling the distance over which sound can be captured which in turn can be useful for ambient noise cancellation. Vesper's piezoelectric MEMS microphones are also inherently waterproof, dustproof and particle-resistant, which can be a problem with single membrane capacitive microphones.

At the time of the launch of the VM101 Vesper did not name its foundry partner except to say it was "a large Asian CMOS foundry." Globalfoundries, although headquarterd in California, has MEMS operations in the 200mm wafer fabs formerly owned by Chartered Semiconductor in Singapore.

"Globalfoundries' high -volume MEMS manufacturing experience enabled Vesper to move from first wafers to full process validation in under twelve months, while using a new material and process. That's unprecedented in the MEMS industry, where this process can easily take five years or more," said Gregg Bartlett, senior vice president of the CMOS platforms business unit at Globalfoundries, in a statement issued by Vesper.

Worldwide, more than four billion MEMS microphones will ship in 2016, according to IHS Technology and the market research firm expects the market to exceed six billion units in 2019.  

"Piezoelectric MEMS microphones are well positioned as higher-performance devices that can be built into arrays for smartphones, smart home devices and other products that use multiple microphones for noise cancellation and beamforming," said Jeremie Bouchaud, director and senior principal analyst at HIS, in the same statement.

Related links and articles:

News articles:

Vesper launches piezoelectric MEMS microphone

16 analog, MEMS and sensor startups to follow in 2016

Startup's piezoelectric MEMS

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