MEMS Speaker With High-Fidelity and Full Bandwidth Sound Quality

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  • xMEMS Labs MEMS speaker delivers enhanced audio quality and extended listening times
  • Takes over earlier coil-based speaker technology and replaces it with semiconductor technology

xMEMS Labs, a developer of speaker technology for personal audio devices has introduced Montara, a MEMS speaker that can deliver high-fidelity, full-bandwidth sound and low total harmonic distortion (THD) for sealed in-ear personal audio devices, including true wireless stereo (TWS) earbuds. Montara is also an IP-57 rated micro-speaker, enabling water and dust-resistant earbuds without special protective mesh or coverings. Consumers can benefit from enhanced audio fidelity with raised levels of clarity and detail for instruments and vocals, extremely low latency, waterproof earbuds and longer listening times.

“With on-the-go media consumption on the rise such as subscription music, podcasts, video, audiobooks and mobile gaming, consumers are increasingly demanding enhanced audio quality and extended listen times between charges,” said Joseph Jiang co-founder and CEO. “Until now, the industry has relied on antiquated, centuries-old multi-component voice coil speakers requiring labour-intensive, high variability factory assembly lines. Our revolutionary Montara product is a game-changer for delivering a new combination of audio fidelity, size, energy consumption and uniformity not possible with traditional voice coil approaches.”

Semiconductor technology incorporated

Montara replaces the previous highly-variable voice-coil speaker technology with a high-precision, high consistency, monolithic semiconductor process by implementing the entire speaker (actuator and diaphragm/membrane)  in silicon, thus reducing package height and eliminating driver matching and calibration due to inherent variability in membrane assembly. Montara’s design innovation and monolithic capacitive piezo-MEMS manufacturing material result in precise actuation, quality sound, speaker-to-speaker uniformity and repeatability.

“The replacement of traditional voice coil speakers and balanced armatures with a complete semiconductor component provides a scalable design that claims significantly lower power and latency, while xMEMS’ fabless model ensures high volume repeatability. Technology advancements like these could improve the quality and adoption of in-ear personal audio devices,” said Dimitrios Damianos, Technology & Market Analyst at Yole Dévelopement (Yole).

“I have reviewed the audio test data from xMEMS and it appears to be a viable product, maybe even a game-changer for TWS and IEM earphones,” said Michael Klasco, president of Menlo Scientific.

Features:

  •  Sound Quality
    • Full bandwidth (20Hz-20kHz) with flat frequency response at >110dB SPL
    • Ability to replace multiple balance armature drivers with a single chip
    • Better SPL/mm3
  • Consistency
    • Highly uniform and reliable semiconductor process
    • Eliminates driver matching and calibration
    • Consistent silicon membrane movement enables active compensation for low THD (< 0.5% (200Hz ~ 20KHz))
  • Low Latency
    • <0.1ms mechanical latency enables active noise cancellation (ANC) across a wider frequency range
  • Robustness: monolithic piezoMEMS 10,000g mechanical shock resistance
  • Longer listen times
    • Montara’s capacitive vs. current-driven architecture reduces driver power consumption
  • Water-proof: IP57 water immersion and dust resistance without special membrane
  • Small size with very low profile at 1mm thickness

Montara samples and evaluation kits are available in July to select customers, with mass production expected in the first quarter of 2021. Montara will offer two LGA package options: Standard (6.05 x 8.4 x 0.985mm) and Side-Firing (Phi 6.1mm; 6.05 x 1.0 x 8.4mm).


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