Large-Area Microphone Array for Audio Source Separation Based on a Hybrid Architecture Exploiting Thin-Film Electronics and CMOS

Josue Sanz-Robinson, Liechao Huang, Tiffany Moy, Warren Rieutort-Louis, Yingzhe Hu, Sigurd Wagner, James C. Sturm, Naveen Verma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


We present a system for reconstructing-independent voice commands from two simultaneous speakers, based on an array of spatially distributed microphones. It adopts a hybrid architecture, combining large-area electronics (LAE), which enables a physically expansive array (> 1m width), and a CMOS IC, which provides superior transistors for readout and signal processing. The array enables us to: 1) select microphones closest to the speakers to receive the highest SNR signal; 2) use multiple spatially diverse microphones to enhance robustness to variations due to microphones and sound propagation in a practical room. Each channel consists of a thin-film transducer formed from polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF), a piezopolymer, and a localized amplifier composed of amorphous silicon (a-Si) thin-film transistors (TFTs). Each channel is sequentially sampled by a TFT scanning circuit, to reduce the number of interfaces between the large-area electronics (LAE) and CMOS IC. A reconstruction algorithm is proposed, which exploits the measured transfer function between each speaker and microphone, to separate two simultaneous speakers. The algorithm overcomes 1) sampling-rate limitations of the scanning circuits and 2) sensitivities to microphone placement and directionality. An entire system with eight channels is demonstrated, acquiring and reconstructing two simultaneous audio signals at 2 m distance from the array achieving a signal-to-interferer (SIR) ratio improvement of ∼ 12 dB.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7361744
Pages (from-to)979-991
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Amorphous silicon (a-Si)
  • critically sampled
  • flexible electronics
  • large area electronics
  • microphone array
  • source separation
  • thin-film
  • thin-film transistors (TFT)


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