X-Fab, Akustica partner for CMOS MEMS microphones

June 1, 2006 – Akustica Inc., a start-up that is developing acoustic components in silicon using micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) manufacturing processes, has signed on with X-Fab Semiconductor Foundries AG to produce its MEMS-based single-chip microphones.

The companies claim Akustica’s technology is the first semiconductor technology application to produce MEMS microphone chips using a CMOS process flow. The chips are composed of the metal-dielectric structures within a standard CMOS wafer, and fabricated in high volumes using CMOS process flows and existing IC manufacturing equipment.

Pittsburgh, PA-based Akustica raised $15 million in a Series B round equity funding in April 2005, after closing a second round equity funding totaling $8 million in January 2004, and Series A funding of $4.5 million in January 2003.

Akustica quoted Richard Dixon, analyst with Munich-based Wicht Technologie Consulting (WTC), saying that the market for MEMS microphones will grow from around $55 million in 2005 to $680 million in 2010, mainly for applications in mobile phones, laptops, and digital media electronics.


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