SOURCE: Akustica

May 14, 2007 11:34 ET

Akustica Microphones Enable High Definition Voice Quality on Laptop PCs, Internet Phones

PITTSBURGH, PA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 14, 2007 -- Akustica, the pioneer in acoustic system-on-chip solutions, announced today that it has developed a new family of digital microphones that will guarantee High Definition (HD) voice quality for Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) applications in mobile PCs and other portable communications devices. Akustica's new HD Microphones are a family of wideband, digital-output microphones that have been designed and developed using the company's patented Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) platform.

The combination of narrow bandwidth and analog audio signals -- which are highly susceptible to electromagnetic (EM) and radio frequency (RF) interference -- has resulted in the poor voice quality that users get today on a phone. Akustica's HD Microphones overcome these limitations and ensure that the original voice input quality is captured and maintained through the acoustic signal chain.

Since voice starts at the microphone, manufacturers are realizing that high-performance microphones are essential for delivering high-quality audio input for voice applications. Akustica's HD Microphones provide a robust digital output signal that is immune to interference, thereby eliminating "static" from the audio path.

Additionally, HD Microphones deliver guaranteed wideband performance, which dramatically improves intelligibility and allows users to hear the nuances and sense the emotions that are absent from phone calls today. Coupled with wideband speech CODECs, VoIP applications that are optimized for wider bandwidth, and wideband offerings from companies like Texas Instruments and Skype, the microphones' digital-output and wideband frequency response deliver a true HD voice experience to the user.

"Akustica recognizes that HD voice quality does not depend solely on the availability of wideband CODECs and networks. It is just as important to use a microphone that maintains the original voice input quality as closely as possible," said Jonathan Christensen, head of audio and video development at Skype. "The market is finally starting to realize the dramatic improvement in intelligibility and nuance that HD voice quality brings to an Internet call. We welcome Akustica's innovation and look forward to working with them to delight our users."

Together with Akustica's system-level design expertise, the new HD Microphone family will allow manufacturers to quickly and easily design next-generation laptop and phone platforms that comply to the TIA-920 wideband digital transmission telephony standard and provide unprecedented HD voice quality to the end user.

"The improvement in video quality one experiences when watching a digital, HD broadcast, compared to an analog television, is obvious," said Davin Yuknis, Akustica's vice president of marketing and product management. "The audio quality enhancement when comparing HD to standard voice quality is just as dramatic. Akustica is driving the industry toward a new standard: voice communications that are comparable to face-to-face conversation."

About Akustica

Founded in 2001, Akustica, Inc. is a privately held company based in Pittsburgh, PA. Manufactured using their revolutionary CMOS MEMS technology, Akustica's Sensory Silicon™ products enable electronic devices to sense and respond to the world around them. By leveraging standard CMOS processes and MEMS technology, Akustica's acoustic system-on-chip solutions combine the functionality of transducers with microelectronics and software onto a single chip. Only Akustica's CMOS MEMS microphones -- pioneered by Akustica chief technologist and co-founder Ken Gabriel, Ph.D., during his tenure at Carnegie Mellon University -- enable single-chip solutions with arrays of transducers and integrated signal processing that disrupt both conventional microphone and speaker technologies. Smaller and more reliable than electret condenser microphones, Akustica's silicon microphones can be customized with advanced sound-capture features and noise-reduction capabilities. Since Akustica microphones were introduced last year, the semiconductor industry has recognized Akustica's technology with accolades and honors, including: an EDN Innovation award in the "Mixed-signal Application Specific Standard Product" category; an Electronics Products Magazine "Product of the Year" award; and most significant Leapfrog technology of the year from Electronic Design readers.

Akustica digital output microphones are now reaching the market in commercial volumes, helping to fulfill demand for improved voice input in a host of voice-enabled applications, from Internet telephony on notebooks to PC camera modules and mobile phones. Companies such as Fujitsu Computer Systems, Gateway Computers and Tablet Kiosk have designed Akustica microphones into their mobile PC platforms.

More information about Akustica can be obtained via Phone: (412) 390-1730, Fax (412) 390-1737, Email: or Web:

Akustica and the Akustica logo are registered trademarks and Sensory Silicon is a trademark of Akustica, Inc. All other product and company names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

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