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Silicon Microphone (SiMic)
Start date: Oct 1, 2013, End date: Sep 30, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

MEMS (Micro-Electrical-Mechanical System) based microphones, so called “silicon microphones” - are relevant in many applications as their manufacturability is better compared to electret condenser mics (ECM). Often MEMS mics hold embedded ADCs (Analog-to-Digital Converter) on the same CMOS chip. Those “digital output mics” perfectly fit into innovative digital products e.g. smart phones. Extremely small form factors and better performance in dynamic range and high sound pressure levels (voice recognition&command, music recording) are highly requested.The project aims to develop revolutionary components for Silicon based microphones (SiMic) to satisfy challenging requirements of multiple marketplaces. On a European level innovations from academia will be directly transferred into marketable products for a global market, supporting the top level research and jobs in European semiconductor industry.UC3M is well known for its highly innovative concepts and forefront research. Quality of those concepts strongly depends on features of the technologies needed for system integration, competitiveness of academia is connected to the access to latest manufacturing technologies. SiMic collaboration approach guarantees, that UC3M system and circuitry concepts will be leading edge within the EU.IFAT is the second largest supplier of SiMiCs using ASIC designs, similar to those used with ECM. From customer feedback IFAT anticipates the need for advanced electronics and sensors with focus on developing new ASICs for novel read-out topologies for existing and new MEMS sensors.IFAT envisions possible techniques to cope with the challenges but it is extremely difficult to find the researchers (and a budget) to cover the risks related to unproven concepts. Therefore the requested funding will be used for target oriented innovation with room for creative concepts thus enabling new products for a growing market and investment in more resources at the research institute.
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