Automotive-Grade MEMS Mics Raise the Standard for In-Cabin Audio

By Rich Nass

Executive Vice President

Embedded Computing Design

April 12, 2021


Automotive-Grade MEMS Mics Raise the Standard for In-Cabin Audio

There’s no disputing that the amount of electronics within an automobile is growing at a staggering pace.

I tend to think about the number of processors within the car when I consider the semiconductor content that’s also within. However, one area that’s been somewhat underserved, until now, is the in-cabin microphones. That’s changing, thanks to the availability of two new SiSonic MEMS microphones from Knowles.

The SPH1878 and SPH9855 microphones are engineered specifically for the demands of the automobile environment for hands free calling, advanced voice assistance, and in-cabin noise cancellation. They both follow the AEC-Q100/103 qualification requirements established by the Automotive Electronics Council, the standardization body for establishing standards for reliable, high-quality electronic components for use in the harsh automotive environment.

SPH1878 features both single-ended and differential analog interfaces, while SPH9855 features a PDM digital interface. The two microphones are designed for beam forming applications and are compatible with the European eCall communication system. Key features include low phase distortion for superior noise cancelling performance, high dynamic range for enhanced call and sound quality, an extended operating temperature range for automotive applications, and improved manufacturing stability and traceability.

Both SiSonic MEMS microphones are sampling and are expected to be in production later this year.

Richard Nass’ key responsibilities include setting the direction for all aspects of OSM’s ECD portfolio, including digital, print, and live events. Previously, Nass was the Brand Director for Design News. Prior, he led the content team for UBM’s Medical Devices Group, and all custom properties and events. Nass has been in the engineering OEM industry for more than 30 years. In prior stints, he led the Content Team at EE Times,, and TechOnLine. Nass holds a BSEE degree from NJIT.

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