Digital microphone extends battery life with Adaptive ZeroPower Listening

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Vesper has claimed the industry’s first intelligent digital microphone with Adaptive ZeroPower Listening. This power-saving architecture extends battery standby life by 10× with best-in-class acoustic performance. Target applications for the new VM3011 include IoT products, portable smart speakers, smartwatches, far field remote controls, security cameras, glass break sensors, automotive, medical devices, and other battery-powered systems.

The VM3011, packaged in a 3.76 x 2.95 x 1.3 mm footprint, integrates the ASIC and the piezoelectric MEMS transducer in the same package. Other features include a digital PDM interface to stream the audio data and an I2C interface that allows “on the fly” configuration of the Adaptive ZeroPower Listening.

The Adaptive ZeroPower Listening technology automatically learns the acoustic characteristics of the environment in real-time, said Vesper. This enables the system to ignore background noise and only wake in response to keywords or other desired acoustic triggers. In addition, it allows the system to hibernate over 90% of the time, enabling the 10× extension in battery standby life.

“Existing always-listening systems run continuously and must be plugged into an electrical outlet. The VM3011 creates a new paradigm where these systems can now run for months or years on battery power,” said Matt Crowley, CEO of Vesper, in a statement.

In addition, the VM3011 is natively IP57 rated for operation in harsh environments. The microphone does not require any external protective mesh, which reduces cost and increases the acoustic performance. Dust and water tests show a zero-failure rate after being fully submerged in water and subject to extensive dust/harsh environmental testing, according to the company. The VM3011 will be available in volume production by Q4 2020.

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