Worlds Smallest Silicon Microphone

Worlds Smallest Silicon Microphone


A company called Sonion has created the world’s smallest digital silicon microphone. At 2.6 x 1.6mm squared it has pretty neat implications for future cell phone technology and other digital devices. It does all this with equal or better acoustic performance than today’s conventional manufactures.

The microphone is small but it packs tons of features that a regular sized microphone would. For a full list of the capabilities check out the press release below as I am not a sound specialist and won’t even attempt to understand it as no matter how hard I try, I can’t hack it.

See press release below.

It’s silicon, digital and with a tiny 3 cubic mm size – the new DigiSiMic fits perfectly into tomorrow’s mobile phones, PDAs, and headsets

Sonion is proud to announce the launch of the DigiSiMic microphone, the world’s smallest digital, silicon microphone. Sonion products, such as the DigiSiMic help mobile phone manufacturers design smaller, lighter products with cost in mind.

‘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.

With a footprint of only 2.6 x 1.6 mm2 the DigiSiMic is ideal for applications where minimum microphone size is key.

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.’

‘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 speciality miniature audio receivers and loudspeaker,’ 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 in e.g. a mobile phone, 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 mm2.