AT&S Provides PCB Technology and System Integration Expertise to World’s Smallest Speaker


Reading time ( words)

Graz-based start-up USound, in partnership with several Fraunhofer Institutes (IDMT, ISIT, IIS and IZM) and utilizing PCB technology together with system integration expertise from AT&S, has developed what is not only the world’s smallest speaker, but also the first based on micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS). The product is protected with numerous patents. MEMS are silicon chips or substrates with very small feature sizes, that have mechanical and electrical functions at the same time. They make it possible to implement extremely compact, reliable and energy-efficient solutions. With dimensions of just 5 mm x 7 mm x 2 mm, the micro-speaker has a frequency range of 2-15 kHz. 

AT&S is a technology partner of USound. Development of the MEMS micro-speaker would not have been possible without innovations in materials, silicon integration and packaging. Thanks to state-of-the-art packaging solutions, the MEMS loudspeaker itself, its drive circuits (application-specific integrated circuits, ASIC) and passive elements can be integrated into a tiny component with an extremely small form factor.

To manufacture ultra-small components of this kind, innovative system integration is essential in addition to state-of-the-art printed circuit board (PCB) technology. Thus AT&S have developed not only optimised PCB technology, but also special process engineering solutions for component and semiconductor packaging – from embedding passive components to complete System-in-Boards (SiB) and System-in-Packages (SiP). A wide range of innovative products based on AT&S technologies are manufactured in large volumes, from miniaturised computer boards to medical sensor products and MEMS microphones – and now MEMS speakers too. 

While MEMS components are widely used as acceleration and tilt sensors, and as microphones, in smartphones, wearables and vehicles, MEMS-based speakers did not exist until now. By eliminating the coil and magnet found in conventional solutions, MEMS speakers achieve extremely small dimensions along with low power consumption and very good sound quality. 

USound will transfer the presented technology into mass production. The new generation of speakers based on semiconductor technology is set to come to market in 2018. They will require only half as much space and 80 percent less power than their predecessors. USound is also aiming to create better sound quality with its MEMS speakers than with conventional speakers.

About USound GmbH

USound GmbH is a fast growing audio start-up, founded with the mission of developing and producing the most advanced audio systems for mobile applications based on MEMS technology. The patented technological platform developed by USound is enabling the production of a new, revolutionary generation of MEMS micro speakers for wide-ranging mobile applications. USound is a fabless company: process R&D and manufacturing operations are outsourced to world class industrial partners. For more information, visit www.usound.com

Share


Suggested Items

Pluritec Wants to Remove Human Factor from Solder Mask

12/06/2017 | Pluritec
Solder mask remains a relatively hands-on task, which can result in human error. But equipment manufacturer Pluritec wants to change that. At PCB West, I spoke with Pluritec Vice President of Sales Lino Sousa about the company’s new spray technology that can turn solder mask application into what is essentially a push-button operation.

HDI: Today, Tomorrow and the Future

12/05/2017 | I-Connect007
For the November issue of The PCB Magazine, our editorial team interviewed some of the top HDI experts in the PCB supply chain. Joining us on the conference call were Steve Bird, PCB/flex technology manager at Finisar, and Tony Torres of APCT.

HDI: Born in the USA and Making a Comeback

11/22/2017 | Patty Goldman, I-Connect007
There is no denying that high-density interconnect (HDI) has been around a long time—over 25 years, believe it or not. From almost the moment of its conception in the U.S., the technology was adopted by and used almost exclusively in Asia.



Copyright © 2017 I-Connect007. All rights reserved.