MEMS microphones are very small devices that employ a pressure-sensitive diaphragm etched on a semiconductor. The microphones are commonly employed in cellphones, headsets, notebook PCs and video cameras, replacing conventional electret condenser microphones (ECM) while providing greater clarity and reception of sound for the commands spoken by users into their devices.
Although they are significantly more expensive than ECM devices, MEMS microphones provide a host of advantages in terms of size, scalability, temperature stability and sound quality. These attributes have spurred the adoption of MEMS microphones among major brand names like Apple and Samsung, resulting in rapid sales growth.
Apple uses two analog MEMS microphones in its iPhone 4 and 4S phones, one analog MEMS microphone in the headset sold with the iPhone, and one digital MEMS microphone for Pad 2 tablets.
Samsung uses dual MEMS microphones for its smartphones, and the microphones are also utilized in the company’s Galaxy 10.1 tablet.
Other notable MEMS microphones buyers include LG Electronics for its phones and G-Slate tablet; as well as Motorola Inc., an early adopter via its Razr phones as early as 2003.