DB HiTek said Thursday that it has successfully developed a high-performance microphone based on micro electro mechanical systems (MEMS).
The microphone had a signal to noise ratio (SNR) of 65dB, the company said at the online MEMS & Sensor Forum hosted by SEMI.
Jung Min-Hyun, a developer at DB HiTek, said the microphone was sized 101x0.9 millimeter square.
The South Korean chip firm started development for the MEMS microphone in 2016. It launched a 56dB microphone in 2017. In 2018, the company launched 58dB and 63dB microphones. The latest 65dB one is the company’s fourth generation MEMS microphone.
Jung said the company aims to wrap up development of a MEMS microphone with SNR at 70dB by the second half of 2022.
Apple puts in MEMS microphones with SNR over 65dB on its iPhone series.
According to Yole Development, 1.326 billion 65dB microphones will be shipped this year, which will account for 19% of all microphones. They will account for 25.2% of the total by 2022.
DB HiTek had competence in packaging the MEMS microphone die with the read-out integrated circuit. 85% of the manufacturing will use its 200mm CMOS fab process while 15% will use specialized equipment for MEMS, which will guarantee cost efficiency and yield rate, Jung said.
DB HiTek has clinched foundry, or contract making, deals with a Chinese company last year for the microphones. The South Korean company is working hard to clinch a customer from the US.
MEMS utilizes semiconductor manufacturing process to integrate ultra-small mechanical components and electric circuits __ inkjet printer head, camera autofocus actuator, oscillator and various sensors are made using the technology.
Gyro, pressure and compass sensors on smartphones are made through MEMS.
Microphone is by far the most ship good made using MEMS. According to IHS Markit, MEMS microphone market was worth US$1.1 billion in 2017, and this will grow close to US$1.5 billion in 2021.
MEMS microphones are small and consumers less power compared to electronic condenser microphones, but falls behind in SNR. It is being used in smartphones, tablets, ear mics and artificial intelligence speakers.