STMicroelectronics, one of the leading supplier of semiconductors, recently released its first set of silicon based micro-speakers, a result of its technology collaboration that took place almost an year back. The engineering samples of these speakers have been sent to prime customers while the trade demonstrations are slated to take place at the CES 2018 in Las Vegas. The size of these speakers is extremely small and these are expected to be thinnest ones in this category all over the world. Even their weight is less than half of the conventional speakers. These new speakers can be worn as earphones or headgears in Augmented Virtual Reality (AR/VR) making these more comfortable and compact for wearers. Apart from this, these also consume very less power giving huge savings in terms of battery size and emission of negligible heat.
A distinct type of Micro Electro-Mechanical System, these speakers take full advantage of technology that was already into play for improvement of wearables and smartphones capabilities. Advanced high-performance MEMS pressure sensors, motion sensors, as well as microphones based on silicon chips also play a crucial role in several new mobile features like context sensing or tracking or navigation. This new MEMS advancement in speakers would allow the designers to contract the size of audio systems and bring down their power consumption and bring up several innovative features like 3D sound production.
As the Vice President and GM Of MEMS Microactuators Division of STMicroelectronics, Anton Hofmeister puts it, “This successful project combines USound’s design flair and ST’s extensive investment in MEMS expertise and processes, including our advanced thin-film piezo technology PeTra (Piezo-electric Transducer). Together, we are winning the race to commercialize MEMS micro-speakers by delivering a more highly miniaturized, efficient, and better-performing solution leveraging the advantages of piezo-actuation.”
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