Bosch snaps up Fraunhofer MEMS microspeaker spinout

Bosch snaps up Fraunhofer MEMS microspeaker spinout

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Bosch Sensortec has acquired Arioso Systems in Dresden, Germany, for its micromachined MEMS micro speaker technology.

Arioso was founded in 2019 as a spinout of Fraunhofer IPMS and research activities at the BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg as one of the world’s most innovative providers of MEMS micro speaker technology for consumer headsets and hearables. The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the company had raised $2.6m in 2020 according to funding database Crunchbase.

The technology allows lower power consumption for manufacturers of TWS (true wireless stereo) earphones and other hearable devices, giving expanded battery run time and easier system integration.

The sound from the MEMS microspeaker is generated through movement of vertically oriented lamellas inside a silicon chip. Unlike conventional membrane, the Arioso technology uses the chip volume rather than surface. Therefore, it is possible to build a miniatured MEMS micro-speaker to generate up to 120 dB SPL (sound pressure level) out of 10mm2 active area.

The power reduction comes from the electrostatic actuator of all-silicon MEMS and the low capacitance.

“It is remarkable that a new technology can go so quickly from concept to spin-off and now already to an acquisition by such a renowned company as Bosch. This underlines the innovative power of the cooperation between Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems IPMS and BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg, where all the foundations were laid,” said Prof. Dr. Harald Schenk, Institute Director of Fraunhofer IPMS.

“The planned acquisition of Arioso Systems further enlarges our sensing solutions expertise for consumer electronics in the field of micro speakers and makes us even more diversified. We are thus consistently expanding our strong position as technology leader in this area,” says Dr. Stefan Finkbeiner, CEO at Bosch Sensortec.

Market researcher Yole predicts the total market for micro speakers is expected to grow from $9bn in 2020 to $11bn in 2026, while MEMS micro speakers will have a fast-growing share in this area.

“The whole Arioso Systems team is excited to become part of the most powerful global provider of sensing solutions and to take the next step in expanding our leading-edge technology,” says Hermann Schenk, CEO of Arioso Systems. “Joining our forces means we can leverage the full potential of our MEMS micro speaker technology.”

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