October 21, 2008: Wolfson Microelectronics has launched the first devices in its new family of silicon microphones due for release over the next 12 months. The WM7110 and WM7120 are compact, high signal/noise ratio (SNR) analogue microphones for use in consumer applications requiring low power consumption and excellent signal quality.
Using Wolfson’s proprietary CMOS/MEMS membrane technology the new devices deliver high reliability and performance in a miniature low profile package. Wolfson is also offering enhanced WM7110E and WM7120E versions of the two devices, which deliver a sensitivity tolerance of ±1dB. As well as removing the need for costly production line testing and calibration software algorithms, the tighter ±1dB sensitivity tolerance give the microphones better matching — a crucial element in the design of microphone arrays for beam-steering. Noise cancellation design can also be substantially improved with closer matched microphones.
These new devices are the first results from Wolfson’s acquisition of Oligon in January 2007 and the first deployment of Wolfson’s AudioPlus True Mics technology. Wolfson’s technology is based on its unique MEMS transducer IP which uses standard CMOS foundries to deliver greater reliability, repeatability and scalable production capacity, enabling cost and flexibility benefits to be passed on to the end customer. MEMS microphones can withstand the temperatures used in surface mount reflow soldering techniques and can be used with automated pick and place technology. This removes the need for manual insertion of the microphone and reduces time and cost of assembly.
The compact WM7110 (4.72 × 3.76 × 1.25mm package size) and ultra compact WM7120 (3.76 × 2.95 × 1.10mm package size) devices typically consume 160μA making them ideal for use in portable applications, such as mobile phones, portable media players, digital still cameras, video cameras, navigation devices, and noise-canceling headphones.
Peter Frith, CTO at Wolfson, said in a statement that the new True Mics products “bring Wolfson quality sound recording to a wide range of consumer applications. Through our proprietary CMOS/MEMS membrane technology and ±1dB sensitivity tolerance we’re bringing innovative multiple microphone applications into cost-effective reach for OEMs/ODMs.”
Wolfson: World’s highest-performing ultra-compact MEMS microphones