IPhone 4 boosts MEMS microphone shipments
December 15, 2010 // Dylan McGrath
Shipments of MEMS microphones are set to grow nearly 58 percent in 2010, thanks largely to their inclusion in Apple Inc.'s iPhone 4, according to market research firm iSuppli Corp.
MEMS microphone shipments are set to grow from 441 million units in 2009 to more than 1.7 billion in 2014, according to iSuppli, which is now owned by IHS Inc. The firm predicts nearly 696 million units of MEMS microphones will be shipped this year.
MEMS microphones are tiny microphones that employ a pressure-sensitive diaphragm etched on a semiconductor using microelectromechanical technology. They are commonly employed in cell phones, headsets, notebook PCs and video cameras, replacing conventional electret condenser microphones (ECM).
Jérémie Bouchaud, director and principal analyst for MEMS at iSuppli, said Apple's use of MEMS microphones in the iPhone 4 marked a major milestone for the devices.
"Although Apple previously used MEMS microphones in the fifth-generation iPod nano released in 2009, the company exclusively had been employing ECM technology in the iPhone line," Bouchaud said. Apple will become the world's second-largest buyer of MEMS microphones in 2010, trailing Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Bouchaud said. Apple was the sixth largest buyer in 2009, he added.
The majority of smartphones will use two or more MEMS microphones by 2014, according to iSuppli's forecast. By 2014, mobile handsets and notebook PCs will still be the largest application for MEMS microphones, followed by slate-type tablets, such as Apple’s iPad, iSuppli said.
Although they are significantly more expensive than ECM devices, iSuppli said MEMS microphones provide a host of advantages in terms of size, scalability, temperature stability and sound quality.
The iPhone 4 employs two separate MEMS microphones for noise suppression, a technique that reduces background sounds to improve the clarity of voice communications, according to iSuppli.
According to iSuppli, MEMS microphone pioneer Knowles Electronics has dominated the market since 2003. Knowles is set to account for more than 80 percent of MEMS microphone shipments this year, iSuppli said.
But competition is rising, with three of the world’s five largest MEMS microphone suppliers now being Asian suppliers of conventional ECM—AAC Acoustic Technologies Holdings Inc., BSE Co. Ltd. and Hosiden Corp.—all of which recently added the product to their portfolios, according to iSuppli. These companies buy MEMS die from Infineon Technologies, package them and sell them, using their existing channels, iSuppli said.
Analog Devices Inc. is the only other pure MEMS company in the Top 5, according to iSuppli.
ADCs for high dynamic range – successive-approximation or sigma-delta?
September 01, 2014
Maithil Pachchigar, an applications engineer with Analog Devices Inc., looks at trade-offs that must be considered when choosing ...
Microchip in Pursuit of CSR
Samsung Funds III-V FinFETs in US Lab
A question of Europe
Trinamic's stepper motor package gets you started
Winged parcel delivery: Google's way
August 29, 2014
While there is still debate about if legislation would ever allow swarms of commercial drones to fly over our heads, Google ...
Two-inch Super AMOLED display fits Samsung smartwatch plans
UK armed forces consider lithium sulfur batteries
Small cell market to hit $4.8 billion in five years
- Power Modules: The New Super Power
- Flexible Performance for Network Security Appliances
- Digital Power Management Reduces Energy Costs While Improving System Performance
- Using RF Recording Techniques to Resolve Interference Problems
InterviewA question of Europe
Sir Peter Bonfield sits on the board and has advisory roles in many international companies and universities. With more than 45 years of experience in electronics, computers and communications, here he ...
Filter WizardCheck out the Filter Wizard Series of articles by Filter Guru Kendall Castor-Perry which provide invaluable practical Analog Design guidelines.
Linear video channel
READER OFFERRead more
This month, Trinamic Motion Control is offering you to win one of four TMCM-1043 development kits for its highly integrated, NEMA 17-compatible TMCM-1043 stepDancer stepper motor module.
Offering designers an easy-to-use PC-based GUI that allows one-click modification of motor drive current, micro-stepping and other key parameters, the intuitive kits are custom designed and developed for...MORE INFO AND LAST MONTH' WINNERS...
December 15, 2011 | Texas instruments | 222901974
Unique Ser/Des technology supports encrypted video and audio content with full duplex bi-directional control channel over a single wire interface.