Wednesday, July 8th 2020

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.

Montara Features:

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
Consistency
  • 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
  • <0.1 ms mechanical latency enables active noise cancelation (ANC) across wider frequency range
Robustness: monolithic piezoMEMS 10,000 g 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 1 mm thickness

Availability
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 0.985 mm) and Side-Firing (Phi 6.1 mm; 6.05 x 1.0 x 8.4 mm).

Boilerplate
Founded in January 2018, xMEMS Labs is reinventing sound with the world's first monolithic True MEMS speaker for TWS and In-ear personal audio devices. xMEMS has 10 granted patents and over 70 patents pending for its technology. The company is dedicated to designing advanced solutions and applications by integrating smart methodologies with MEMS technology for a range of consumer electronics devices. For more information, visit https://xmems.com.
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5 Comments on xMEMS Launches Montara, World's First Monolithic True MEMS Speaker

#1
TheLostSwede
It'll be interesting to see how this developers and try out how these sound.
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#2
Verpal
I am most interested in reduction in ANC latency, currently, even my XM3 can feel somewhat sluggish from time to time.
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#4
Tomorrow
Mass Production: April 2021. So products based on these are a year away - minimum.
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#5
Valantar
Might be worth the wait though. Much smaller drivers makes for more room for batteries in a TWS IEM, and these supposedly use dramatically less power than conventional drivers too. Twice the battery size and 10% the power draw, even if that doesn't include the BT and ANC hardware? Should make for some much improved battery life overall.
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