xMEMS Launches Montara, World’s First Monolithic True MEMS Speaker
Today xMEMS Labs emerged from stealth mode to reinvent sound with the introduction of Montara, the world’s first monolithic true MEMS speaker, delivering 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 the world’s first IP-57 rated microspeaker, enabling water and dust-resistant earbuds. Consumers will 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 labor-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.”
Montara eclipses early hybrid-MEMS speakers by implementing the entire speaker (actuator and diaphragm/membrane) in silicon, reducing package height and eliminating driver matching and calibration due to inherent variability in membrane assembly. The combination of Montara’s design innovation and monolithic capacitive piezo-MEMS manufacturing material results in precise actuation, quality sound, speaker-to-speaker uniformity and repeatability.
“It’s exciting to see the first monolithically integrated MEMS (transducer and membrane), full-bandwidth microspeaker for the rapidly growing hearables market,” said Dimitrios Damianos, Technology & Market Analyst at Yole Développement (Yole). “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.”
“I have reviewed the audio test data from xMEMS and from this it appears to be a viable product, maybe even a game changer for TWS and IEM earphones. One small step for audio, one giant step for MEMs speakers,” said Michael Klasco, president of Menlo Scientific.
- 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
- 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 cancelation (ANC) across 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 orders 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).