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.
Dual 13A or single 26A μModule regulator integrates digital power system management
July 25, 2014
Datacenters and server farms contain vast amounts of digital electronics, such as ASICs, FPGAs and CPUs. Powering, monitoring ...
What's that smell? An app for that soon, says Sensirion
GE phosphor powder creates more vibrant LED displays
Foremost Electronics to distribute NKK's switches in the UK
Traffic light switches to smart mode
Sony investing in stacked image sensor manufacturing capacity
July 24, 2014
Sony Corp. has said it plans to invest 35 billion yen (about $340 million) to increase its production of stacked CMOS image ...
The Filter Wizard: 'three-legs' and the 4-20 mA current loop
Set-top boxes morphing into MHGs
Imagination positions itself for 802.11ah for the Internet of Things
- Testing GPS with a Simulator
- DSM presents: Select the best plastic for DDR4
- Dual 13A μModule Regulator with Digital Interface for Remote Monitoring & Control of Power
- Exploring the Business Model Evolution of High-Tech Equipment Manufacturers
InterviewCEO interview: China, not Apple, is way to go, says mCube CEO
Ben Lee, CEO of MEMS startup mCube, explains why he wants to spend $37 million on being a supplier of sensors to Chinese ODMs and avoiding a design win with Apple or Samsung.
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, Altium Ltd is offering EETimes Europe's readers the chance to win one TASKING VX-Toolset for ARM Cortex-M Premium Edition, normally licensed for 2.395 Euros, for ultra-rapid prototyping and code development around ARM Cortex-M based microcontrollers.
The VX-toolset for ARM is the first TASKING compiler suite to receive the Software Platform technology, which is seamlessly...Read more
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.