Vesper: The World’s Most Advanced Acoustic Sensors

Overview

Vesper offers the first MEMS microphones that withstand real-world use in smartphones and other connected devices. Vesper’s are the only MEMS microphones rugged enough to withstand water, dust and particle contaminants. They’re high-performance and enable acoustically rich experiences for any application – from smartphones and wearables to Internet of Things (IoT) devices and connected automobiles.

What We Do

Technology changes, but the natural human preference for communicating by voice is constant. As the number of electronic devices in our world grows, our need for natural communication is even greater. And whether we are communicating with people or machines, the quality and reliability of the voice interface becomes increasingly critical. Microphones are the gateway between the digital world and the natural world of human voice.

Vesper’ mission is to dramatically improve the reliability of the voice user interface for smartphones, smart speakers, connected automobiles and any connected device using our proprietary piezoelectric MEMS technology invented by our founders at the University of Michigan.

The Piezoelectric Difference

Vesper piezoelectric microphones operate on a completely different physical principle from all other MEMS and electret condenser-style audio devices. Using the piezoelectric effect, first discovered by Jacques and Pierre Curie, Vesper’s MEMS microphones directly convert sound wave energy into an electrical signal.

Beyond just delivering an excellent signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), Vesper microphones are stably matched, making them uniquely suited for large array applications in smartphones, tablets, smart home devices and other connected products. Vesper’s are the most durable, waterproof, shockproof, and both dust- and particle-resistant microphones on the market.

About Us

With roots at the University of Michigan and initial funding from National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Science Foundation (NSF), Vesper’s leadership team has is one of the most experienced in the MEMS industry. Based in Boston, MA, the company is privately held and is funded by Accomplice, AAC Technologies, XinGang Electronics, Hyperplane and strategic partners.

Meet the Vesper Team.

Collectively, Vesper’s management team has developed over 20 MEMS products, shipped hundreds of millions of MEMS devices, pioneered the commercialization of piezoelectric MEMS, secured dozens of patents and raised tens of millions of dollars and sold hundreds of millions of components to the world’s largest and most respected OEMs. Together we are reinventing sound.

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Bobby Littrell

Bobby Littrell

CTO and Co-Founder
Matt Crowley

Matt Crowley

CEO
Karl Grosh

Karl Grosh

CSO and Co-Founder
Craig Core

Craig Core

VP, Engineering and Operations
James Jeong

James Jeong

VP, Business Development
Claus Stetter

Claus Stetter

VP, Sales and Marketing
  • The recognized thought leader in piezoelectric MEMS transducers.

    Innovator of the Year Award Winner – ACE Awards

    Bobby Littrell is the recognized thought leader in piezoelectric MEMS acoustic transducers, is widely published and holds numerous patent filings in the area. He developed Vesper’s piezoelectric-acoustic MEMS transducer design, based on his PhD thesis at the University of Michigan.

    Bobby is also a successful entrepreneur. At Vesper, he raised significant funding from NASA, NSF and NIH to perfect his microphone design, supporting the manufacture of several generations of prototype devices. Bobby received both a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and a Department of Homeland Security Graduate Research Fellowship. He earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Dayton. He holds dual MS degrees in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering and received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan.

  • Pioneer in piezoelectric MEMS, leading great teams to bring disruptive technologies to market.

    Matt Crowley’s passion for building great teams to bring disruptive technologies to market is fully evident at Vesper – which introduced its first product to market nearly five times faster than the industry average.

    Prior to joining Vesper, Matt was founder and vice president of business development at Sand 9. At Sand 9, Matt pioneered the mass commercialization of piezoelectric MEMS devices and led partnerships with industry leaders such as Intel, Ericsson, Analog Devices and CSR. Analog Devices acquired Sand 9 in 2015.

    Sand 9 was spun out of Boston University Office of Technology Development, where Matt was responsible for evaluating new inventions, forming new companies to commercialize those technologies and managing a venture capital program. Before joining BU, Matt worked at Mars & Co strategy consulting, where he advised Fortune 500 companies on operational and strategic issues.

    Matt received an interdisciplinary degree in Physics and the Philosophy of Science from Princeton University. He is fluent in Japanese and has lived in Japan.

  • World-renowned researcher in biomechanics, piezoelectric MEMS transducers, structural acoustics.

    Karl Grosh is a world-renowned researcher in biomechanics, cochlear mechanics, piezoelectric MEMS transducers and structural acoustics.

    In addition to his role at Vesper, he is currently a professor of Bioengineering and professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Michigan. Karl is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America. He is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards including University of Michigan College of Engineering Teaching Excellence Award, University of Michigan Mechanical Engineering Excellence Award, ONR Young Investigator Award and NSF CAREER Award.

    Karl has 57 refereed articles in leading journals, has written four book chapters and holds several patents.

  • Expert in MEMS processes and manufacturing for extreme high-volume production. 20+ MEMS products exceeding 1B units shipped.

    Craig Core is an internationally recognized leader in bringing innovative MEMS technologies into extreme high-volume production. During his career, Craig has overseen the development and high-volume manufacture of over 20 different MEMS products, ranging from life-safety critical inertial sensors, microphones, optical devices, pressure sensors, flow meters, RF components and others with aggregate volume exceeding several hundred million devices. He is an expert in all types of MEMS processes and manufacturing, including fab build-out, IDM manufacturing and foundry process transfer.

    Prior to joining Vesper, Craig served as VP of operations for Qualtré, leading the productization of novel MEMS inertial sensors invented at Georgia Tech. Previously, at Evergreen Solar, he oversaw the greenfield build-out of a high-volume solar panel facility’s wafer, cell and panel fabrication.

    Earlier in his career at Analog Devices, Craig drove some of the MEMS industry’s earliest commercial MEMS production and process development, including wafer scale packaging and bulk micromachining.

    Craig received his BS in Chemical Engineering from Pennsylvania State University and his MBA from Northeastern University.

  • Forging relationships with the world’s largest and most recognizable consumer electronics companies.

    James has over 25 years of experience selling advanced components to the world’s largest and most recognizable consumer electronics companies. Prior to Vesper, he was senior leader in business development at a number of technology startup and international trading and consulting companies in wireless and consumer electronics.

    While living in Korea for 10 years, James directed sales and marketing activities for Littelfuse, which serves the electronics and automotive industries. His varied experience includes field sales management, M&A transactions and integration, new market development, and OEM component programs with large Asian firms. James brings valuable “on-the-ground” operational experience, a vast network and market knowledge to Vesper with a special focus on China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan and North America.

    James received his BS from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and has completed executive global business programs in Korea.

  • Secured design wins at the world’s largest technology companies and built sales and support organizations for some of the most respected MEMS and semiconductor companies in the industry.

    Claus Stetter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vesper. He joined Vesper in 2017 with 20+ years of experience in the sensor and communication integrated circuit market and 10+ years of building and managing sales teams. Most recently, Claus spent over 7 years at Bosch Sensortec, the world’s largest provider of MEMs sensors, where he managed the entire North American sales and field applications team for MEMS sensors and microphones across key tier-1 OEM accounts. Prior to Bosch Sensortec, Claus was director APAC Sales at NetLogic Microsystems, a fabless semiconductor company that Broadcom Corporation later acquired. He also held senior sales and marketing positions at Vitesse Semiconductor, Broadcom Corporation, and Allayer. Claus holds a masters in electrical engineering from Hochschule Reutlingen, Germany and has broad expertise in sales and marketing for MEMS microphones and sensors like accelerometers, pressure sensors, eCompasses, IMUs, and gyroscopes, as well as networking and telecom semiconductors. Claus was born and raised near Stuttgart, Germany and is a car and cigar aficionado.

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