Bosch partners to make a noise in MEMS microspeakers

Business news |
By Peter Clarke

Bosch Sensortec GmbH has formed a development partnership to try and help it gain ground in the field of MEMS-based acoustic microsystems.

Bosch is partnering with microsystems design house Hahn-Schickard (Baden-Württemberg, Germany) to develop MEMS microspeakers for use in audio and voice-based consumer applications, Bosch said.

Bosch added that it expects to see a shift in communication from typing and reading to speaking and listening and that novel technologies are needed to enable innovative audio- and voice-based consumer applications.

MEMS microspeakers are smaller than conventional voice-coil actuators and can be more powerful with lower energy consumption. However, voice-coil speakers are the incumbent technology with high volumes and low prices.

Early-mover rival

However, one startup has an early-mover advantage with MEMS-based speakers, having pioneered the field for the last four years. USound GmbH has partnered with leading MEMS vendor and foundry supplier STMicroelectronics to come to market (see USound confident of beating Bosch in MEMS microspeakers).

Bosch Sensortec is a leading provider of MEMS sensors for consumer electronics and has extensive experience in the development and industrialization of high-volume MEMS products. The application-oriented research institute Hahn-Schickard from Baden-Württemberg, on the other hand, draws on many years of experience in the development of MEMS innovations and their small-scale production with its own state-of-the-art clean room in Villingen-Schwenningen, Germany.

“Research collaborations are a promising approach for the development of innovative technologies,” said Stefan Finkbeiner, CEO of Bosch Sensortec, in a statement. “The collaboration with Hahn-Schickard allows us to expand our expertise in MEMS microspeakers. This strengthens our market position as a leading manufacturer of sensor solutions for consumer electronics and positions us as a key player for mobile and audio based applications for the Internet of tomorrow.”

Related links and articles:

News articles:

USound confident of beating Bosch in MEMS microspeakers 

ST, USound demo MEMS-based speakers in headphones

USound, ST deliver samples of MEMS micro-speakers

Are MEMS speakers ready to kick out the voice coil?



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