AAC Technologies Opens New MEMS Microphone Design Center in Scotland

May 1 2020, 00:50
Expanding its commitment to invest in the build-out of a worldwide network of R&D centers that advance the technologies critical to the performance of smartphones and other mobile devices, AAC Technologies Holdings Inc., announced the opening of a MEMS microphone center in Edinburgh, Scotland. The new facility, focused on the design of next generation microphone system-level solutions, joins a growing worldwide network of R&D centers located in China, Denmark, Finland, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and the United States.

"As a globally-focused and internationally diverse company, AAC is committed to developing system-level solutions across the world, wherever talent and expertise can be leveraged,” says David Plekenpol, AAC Chief Strategy Officer and Chairman of the American & European Region. “The opening of Edinburgh strengthens our ability to continue developing innovative MEMS microphone solutions in an evolving mobile marketplace.”

With the opening of the Edinburgh office, AAC is expanding its MEMS research and development, pursuing microphones with smaller physical sizes, better signal-to-noise ratios (SNR), lower power draw, and improved ruggedness and reliability. These attributes, along with advanced programming, will enable MEMS microphones to be used in new situations or devices that offer improved keyword detection, user recognition, multi-language recognition and custom wake-up words. Optimizing the signal pathway and processing is another key goal, which can result in dramatic power savings by limiting the need for a power-hungry DSP to process audio signals.

Colin Jenkins, who has an extensive career developing MEMS microphone technology, will serve as R&D Director and on-site lead for the group. He will be joined by former colleagues, as well as strategic hires involved in AAC’s expansion plans.

"Our team brings more than 40 years of MEMS experience to AAC, a company that is already very well established in the field," states Jenkins. "The combination of our experience and AAC’s market knowledge and long-term commitment to the industry will result in some very exciting product developments. Furthermore, as one of the UK’s top technology hubs, Edinburgh offers us a wealth of university lab access and the opportunity to recruit top-tier local talent with extensive MEMS expertise."

AAC Technologies (Scotland) Ltd. strategically positions AAC to continue to lead the industry as a wave of voice-controlled artificial intelligence applications increasingly become central to the smartphone and mobile user experience. AAC is already a global leader in providing MEMS microphones for smartphones and, as such, the company understands the growing use and value of the technology in a range of devices – from smartphones with multi-mic arrays to smart light bulbs with on-board voice control.

"AAC is focused on leading the industry in the development of multi-microphone system-level solutions that improve clarity and directionality, and leverage the potential offered by voice control," concludes Plekenpol. "As a supplier, our success leads to device makers’ success, and every investment we make in new technologies benefits the entire smartphone industry by enabling new capabilities and enhancing the user experience of their devices."

AAC's existing suite of MEMS microphone solutions is currently used by OEMs such as Amazon, Samsung, Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo. Other AAC product lines can be found in all types of smartphones and portable electronic devices. High-precision, high-quality manufacturing have also made AAC a partner of choice for many OEMs and ODMs, with 9 production sites in China, Vietnam and the Philippines. Founded in 1993, AAC has over 52,000 employees worldwide, including over 1,500 R&D engineers.
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