Due to its versatile mechanical and electrical properties, silicon has taken over the microelectronic and micromechanical worlds. Thanks to CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) and MEMS (Micro ElectroMechanical Systems) technologies yielded by this material, electronic devices can interact with our surroundings. This combination has created product categories such as smartphones and wearables, which would have belonged to science-fiction thirty years ago.
Originally patented in 1877, the electrodynamic speaker is a holdover from the 19th century still surviving in our 21st-century products. As one of the only two smartphone functions not having transitioned to solid-state technology, it is responsible for the lacklustre audio performance ubiquitously decried by users. USound has developed its MEMS products such as Ganymede to address that issue and bring a superior audio experience to the mobile world. The technology developed by USound will influence the acoustic market just as LED has influenced the optical sector.
USound technology principle
Our base technology relies on piezoelectricity. Crystals exhibiting these characteristics, such as PZT (lead zirconate titanate), extend or shrink when an electric field is applied across its electrodes.
Multiple cantilevers create a translation of the extension and shrinking, pushing a piston up and down. This replaces the traditional coil moving in a magnetic field as found in conventional speakers.
Finally, mounting a membrane and a plate closes the acoustic shortcut and increases the effective area, thus enabling sound generation.
USound technology enables intelligent miniaturised devices.
With its powerful and efficient piezo-actuators, MEMS speakers can be as thin as 1 mm and shrunk to a footprint as small as 3*3 mm. Additionally, various electronic elements such as amplifiers can be directly embedded in the substrate to achieve further system-level space reductions.
USound’s MEMS speakers are shock resistant and have tight manufacturing tolerances. Additionally, they can be individually adapted to the respective working environment and boast peak and overdrive control.
Boasting fast time response, our MEMS speakers produce accurate and clear sound. Their extended bandwidth allows for HD audio as well as ultrasound applications in miniature devices – all with high power efficiency, light weight and low vibrations.
With the support of USound’s international business partners, our products are manufactured with the high precision of semiconductor processes and high-volume scalability.
USound’s next-generation acoustic applications takes the audio experience to the next level.
Compact sound generation
Thanks to advanced-packaging technologies, such as embedded or 3D-SiP solutions, USound can offer fully-integrated products, combining amplification with the possibility to add DSP and other functions.
Integration with smart microphones
With the rise of voice functionalities, sound generation needs pairing with sound sensing. MEMS microphones are already ubiquitous, with billions produced each year. Using the same technology for the speakers enables integration of functions in one package.
Speaker arrays and 3D audio
Due to the small transducer size, multiple drivers can be integrated in very-small volumes. This enables the creation of hardware-based 3D-audio systems.
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