xMEMS Solid State Silicon Drivers
xMEMS Labs out of Santa Clara, California, is aiming to replace century-old coil-based speaker technology with silicon-based micro speakers and has launched three Solid-State Silicon Drivers solutions for use in upcoming true-wireless earphones, in-ear monitors, digital hearing aids, and other audio-packed wearables such as smart glasses, VR headsets, and sleep buds.
“Unlike conventional coil speakers, our speakers are monolithic, with silicon membranes offering far better material stiffness and exponentially faster impulse response than conventional speakers, resulting in the superior sound performance of xMEMS Solid-State Fidelity technologies,” said the company’s VP of Marketing and Business Development, Mike Housholder.
The silicon membrane in the patented solid-state speaker effectively replaces the paper or plastic diaphragm in conventional speaker driver design and is claimed to be some 95 times stiffer for improved clarity in the mids and highs while the silicon architecture also delivers 150 times faster impulse response for improved precision. Meanwhile, thin-film piezo actuators do the job of the coil and magnet to excite the silicon membrane and produce sound waves.
xMEMS has produced the industry’s first monolithic TRUE MEMS speakers, eclipsing early hybrid-MEMS speakers by implementing the entire speaker (actuator and membrane) in silicon, reducing package height and eliminating driver matching and calibration due to inherent variability in traditional membrane assembly.
Through the combination of design innovation and monolithic capacitive piezo-MEMS manufacturing, xMEMS delivers a new level of performance, size, energy efficiency, and uniformity not possible with traditional voice coil or hybrid MEMS approaches.
- Full bandwidth (20Hz-20kHz) with flat frequency response for occluded applications
- High-performance tweeter or midrange tweeter for open/leaky applications
- +/-1° phase consistency for improved spatial audio performance
- No in-band resonances
- Superior high-frequency response vs. coil speakers improves:
- Speech-in-noise performance for hearing health applications
- 0.5% THD (94dB @ 1kHz)
- Better SPL/mm3
- Monolithic piezoMEMS 10,000g mechanical shock resistance
- Highly uniform frequency response and phase
- Reliable semiconductor process (JEDEC-qualified)
- Eliminates driver matching and calibration
LONGER LISTEN TIMES
- Capacitive vs. current-driven architecture reduces driver power consumption
- IP58 water immersion and dust resistance without special membrane
- The monolithic design eliminates spring and suspension recovery of coil-based speakers
- Fast mechanical response (<50μs group delay) enables improved ANC bandwidth of nonstationary noise
- Near-zero phase delay increases the maximum noise suppression bandwidth of stationary noise
- World’s First SMT-ready micro-speaker
- Companion piezo amplifier IC (xMEMS Aptos)
- 1mm thickness
- More space for larger batteries or more components
- Top or Side-firing package orientations