This study describes a novel fiber optic extrinsic Fabry–Perot interferometric (EFPI) ultrasonic sensor comprising a low-cost and high-performance silicon diaphragm. A vibrating diaphragm, 5 μm thick, was fabricated by using the Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) processing technology on a silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafer. The Fabry–Perot (FP) cavity length was solely determined during the manufacturing process of the diaphragm by defining a specific stepped hole on the handling layer of the SOI wafer, which made the assembly of the sensor easier. In addition, the use of cheap and commercially available components and MEMS processing technology in the development of the sensing system, limited the cost of the sensor. The experimental tests showed that the minimum detectable ultrasonic pressure was 1.5 mPa/sqrt(Hz) –0.625 mPa/sqrt(Hz) between 20 kHz and 40 kHz. As a result, this sensor has the potential to successfully detect weak ultrasonic signals.