MEMS Technology at Akustica

Engineered from the ground up

Akustica’s high-performance microphones continually demonstrate what happens when you provide an in-house team of talented MEMS and ASIC design, development, and manufacturing experts with a large technology toolbox containing monolithic and 2-chip MEMS components, a complete ASIC design library, and both traditional and first-of-a-kind packaging elements. All other MEMS microphone suppliers outsource or purchase parts of their microphones from a third party. This approach ultimately limits innovation because the final performance of a MEMS microphone depends not only on how each component of the design performs independently, but also on how all the pieces interact and perform together as a microphone system. Only at Akustica do complete interdisciplinary teams sit under one roof where they can work closely together to select the ideal technology for each application, and bring each component together in such a way that optimizes the performance of the overall microphone. Since we engineer our microphones from the ground up, our customers continually benefit from new, innovative microphones with higher performance, greater robustness, and smaller footprints.

Monolithic CMOS MEMS microphones

Akustica has been delivering products using our unique and patented CMOS MEMS technology since 2006 when the company introduced the world’s first digital microphone. CMOS MEMS microphones are monolithic devices in which the mechanical functionality of the microphone is integrated with analog and digital electronics in the same silicon die. Unlike other MEMS manufacturing technologies, Akustica’s CMOS MEMS process employs standard CMOS processes to fabricate microstructures within the metal-dielectric layers that are deposited during the standard CMOS processing flow, leveraging the reliability, capacity, and economies of scale of the global semiconductor market. The elimination of die-to-die interconnects decreases device complexity and reduces the overall size of the device.

Two-chip MEMS microphones

In 2012, Akustica expanded its product portfolio to include two-chip microphones, developed using the same surface micromachining technology that Bosch pioneered and has used to manufacture inertial sensors for more than 25 years. Using this 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 ASIC is manufactured in a separate silicon die using standard semiconductor process flows. The overall result is a modular microphone technology which provides flexibility for the rapid introduction of the high-performance, small footprint, and robust microphones that have been regularly added to Akustica’s product offerings.