Unveiling the Marvels of MEMS Microphones: A Game-Changer in Sound Technology

In the ever-evolving landscape of technology, MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) microphones have emerged as a revolutionary force, transforming the way we capture and process sound. These tiny marvels, often overshadowed by their larger counterparts, have silently but significantly altered the audio industry. At PUI Audio, our engineers are working to optimize and enhance MEMS microphones as we continue to innovate solutions for our customers. 

What is MEMS technology?

MEMS microphones, short for Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems microphones, are cutting-edge audio devices that excel in capturing sound with exceptional precision and clarity. These miniature marvels are revolutionizing the way we experience voice communication and audio recording. With their compact size, energy efficiency, and remarkable sound quality, MEMS microphones are the go-to choice for smartphones, IoT devices, automotive systems, and more.

Whereas the electronic circuits are fabricated using integrated circuit (IC) process sequences (e.g., CMOS, Bipolar, or BICMOS processes), the micromechanical components are fabricated  using compatible “micromachining” processes that selectively etch away parts of the silicon wafer or add new structural layers to form the mechanical and electromechanical devices.

What Are MEMS Microphones?

MEMS microphones are composed of a MEMS sensor and an application specific integrated circuit (ASIC). The sensor includes a pressure sensitive movable diaphragm, perforated stationary plate and a housing.

MEMS microphones are a type of microphone that utilizes microelectromechanical systems technology to convert sound waves into electrical signals. Unlike traditional condenser or dynamic microphones, MEMS microphones are exceptionally small, typically measuring just a few millimeters in size. Despite their diminutive stature, these microphones deliver remarkable audio quality and offer numerous advantages.

The sensor converts incoming sound pressure entered through a sound inlet (top or bottom port) to a capacitance change. The ASIC manages the polarization and generates either a PDM or I2S digital output or an analog output. The diaphragm and the plate act as a variable capacitor and will, under the influence of an acoustic input, produce an AC voltage (the microphone output signal) that is processed by the ASIC.

As technology continues to advance, MEMS microphones are expected to play an even more prominent role in our lives. PUI Audio is continuing to work hand-in-hand with our customers to develop innovative solutions that solve real-world problems. Curious to learn more about MEMS technology? Check out our recent whitepaper on the subject located HERE in our Resource Center or reach out to discuss with one of our engineers.