During the past twenty years, changing acoustic requirements in consumer electronic devices have required innovation in microphone design. In order to support these new applications, microphone technology has evolved to provide high quality voice input to the end user.
Akustica MEMS Technology
Akustica is the only MEMS (micro-electromechanical systems) microphone supplier who designs and manufactures products using two completely different MEMS technologies depending on product requirements for a given customer or application. The monolithic CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) MEMS technology enables highly-integrated, cost-effective solutions while our 2-chip MEMS technology provides more flexibility for additional features. Because we also maintain complete in-house MEMS, IC (integrated circuit), and packaging design teams as well as in-house MEMS manufacturing for all of our MEMS products, we have a complete understanding of the microphone system and the ability to innovate rapidly in design and processing to develop custom solutions for our customers.
Monolithic CMOS MEMS
Since 2006, Akustica has been designing and manufacturing MEMS microphones using its unique and patented CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) MEMS technology developed at Carnegie Mellon University. CMOS MEMS microphones are monolithic devices with the mechanical functionality of the microphone integrated with analog and digital electronics all on the same silicon die. Unlike other MEMS manufacturing technologies, CMOS MEMS employs standard CMOS processes to fabricate microstructures within the metal-dielectric layers that are deposited during the standard CMOS processing flow, resulting in mechanical structures that are merely microns away from the analog and digital electronics. CMOS MEMS technology enables Akustica to deliver the world's smallest MEMS microphones.
Surface Micromachined MEMS
Since Akustica's acquisition in 2009, Akustica has developed microphones using the same surface micromachining technology that Bosch pioneered and used to manufacture inertial sensors for more than 20 years. Using this MEMS approach, the microphone is fabricated in polysilicon on top of a silicon substrate using deposition and sacrificial etching processes to release the mechanical structures. The IC is manufactured on a separate silicon die using standard semiconductor process flows. The overall result is a modular microphone technology which provides additional flexibility in strucutral design and MEMS processing - enabling Akustica to efficiently integrate new features into our microphone products.
More about MEMS at Bosch
Bosch has been active in the field of MEMS since 1988 and is one of the pioneers in micro system-technology. Bosch surface micromachining has been used by Bosch in the development and shipment of more than 2 billion MEMS sensors. Starting with integrated pressure sensors for the automotive market, the product portfolio diversified rapidly and now includes high volume, high quality MEMS sensors for both automotive and consumer applications. With more than 900 MEMS patents and two MEMS fabrication facilities in Reutlingen, Germany, Bosch has been a leader in the MEMS industry for more than 25 years.