Identifying a critical need for stable, reliable and accurate microphone arrays that do not degrade over time, Vesper has developed a new iteration of its piezoelectric MEMS microphones that directly targets the needs of smart speaker manufacturers. While improving basic specifications for far-field capture, the new VM2000 piezoelectric MEMS microphone adds the strongest level of environmental robustness, further contributing to the reliability of the most demanding applications.
"The growth of voice-enabled smart speakers — which use up to seven microphones per device — as well as smart home automation systems and diverse IoT products is spurring demand for MEMS microphone arrays,” says Matt Crowley, CEO, Vesper. “The problem with capacitive MEMS microphones, however, is that they degrade over time when exposed to contaminants. If one microphone in the array drifts or gets wet, dirty or dusty, the entire microphone array will fail, severely limiting acoustic system performance and far-field accuracy. Only piezoelectric MEMS microphones such as the VM2000 remain stable and reliable throughout a product’s lifetime. This ensures long-term acoustic performance of voice-activated systems built with Vesper microphones.”
The VM2000 is Vesper’s highest-performance MEMS microphone to date. It achieves a typical 66 dB signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and offers an acoustic overload point (AOP) of 133 dB sound pressure level (SPL), providing exceptional “barge-in” performance to support clear speech recognition in loud environments. Also, according to Vesper, piezoelectric microphones cut material costs up to 50 percent, enabling them to cost much less than capacitive microphones.
As with all Vesper microphones, the VM2000 is a piezoelectric MEMS device that is natively immune to environmental contaminants such as dust, water, humidity, oil, particulate matter and shock. The VM2000 has a small 3.76 mm X 2.95 mm X 1.3 mm package, and is reflow solder-compatible with no sensitivity degradation. In addition, only Vesper microphones are immune to stiction, which can cause catastrophic system failure.
The VM2000 is currently sampling and will be in volume production in Q1 2018.