Engineers at ABI Research have torn apart a high end smartphone and discovered that one of its components, a MEM microphone made by Cirrus Logic is the smallest made yet.
The Cirrus MEM microphone is 30 percent smaller than other devices and includes an amplifier/interface integrated circuit as well as the MEM sensor.
Jim Mielke, VP of engineering at ABI, said: “Rather than simply shrinking the typical MEM microphone, Cirrus Logic’s WM1706 MEM microphone is the first to integrate an amplifier/interface IC and the MEM sensor.”
ABI did not say which phone the engineers took apart to examine the device but as a hint includes a Qualcomm MSM8949 chipset, a Skyworks power amplifier, Qorvo RF switches and a Broadcom NFC component.
Apple shares briefly dipped below $400 on Wednesday, hitting their lowest level since December 2011. Apple closed at $402.80, down 5.5 percent, after one of its key suppliers issued a disappointing forecast.
Cirrus Logic announced that its gross margin is likely to drop to 40.4 percent, well below its own guidance of 50 to 52 percent. Due to Cirrus’ strong ties to Apple, the market went into a fit and a flash selloff ensued.
Apple’s market capitalisation is now $380, a few billion dollars short of Exxon. Apple hit its all-time high of $705 back in September, but it has been downhill ever since. Although quite a few analysts claimed that Apple would hit $1,000 by the end of 2012, it is clear that Wall Street’s love affair with Cupertino is nearing an end.
Many investors fear that Apple’s new leadership simply lacks the vision of Steve Jobs and that the company won’t be able to come up with innovative, game changing products. This of course is rubbish. Apple is still in the game and it has some of the best and brightest designers and developers on its payroll. It is not a one-man show.
However, the company is in the middle of a dry spell. No new product has been announced since the iPad mini and it will be at least a couple of months before we see a refreshed iPad or new iPhone. Competition from the Android alliance is getting stronger and Apple needs to pull a rabbit out of the hat soon.