A new MEMS microphone could make it easier for makers of
smart phones, video cameras and voice recognition systems to employ multiple microphones
in a constrained space.
Known as the ADMP441
MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) microphone, the new product is said to be
the first of its kind to incorporate an I2S (Inter-IC Sound),
a standard serial bus interface for audio devices. By doing so, it is said to
reduce complexity and cost, while freeing up space on printed circuit boards.
"Today, designers of microphone applications have to design
an amplifier circuit, a codec circuit and a converter circuit," notes Kieran
Harney, product line director for Analog
' MEMS/Sensors Technology Group, maker of the new microphone.
"Whereas with an I2
S device, the only thing between the microphone
and the microprocessor is a wire. It totally simplifies the design of those
Harney says the technology is particularly well suited for
applications that need multiple microphones, but don't have a speaker
associated with each of the microphones. "In a lot of cases, people are trying
to put two, four, six or even eight microphones in their system," he says. "And
they're finding themselves having to buy codecs or converters or amplifiers
that they really don't need. If they can get rid of all that, it saves them a
lot of cost and space."
Candidate applications for the new technology include video
cameras and voice recognition systems, which don't necessarily need a speaker
attached to every microphone. The microphone is said to be well suited for
those applications because it measures a scant 4.72 x 3.76 x 1.00 mm.
"Many new applications are trying to incorporate more than
one microphone," Harney says. "For customers in those high-performance,
space-constrained applications, this MEMS microphone is an ideal solution."