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Montara: The World's First Monolithic, TRUE MEMS Speaker

10 July 2020, Friday By M. Konwar
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A traditional speaker is a mechanism in which sound is generated due to the movement of an inductive coil in a magnetic field. This technology was invented more than 100 years ago and is still used today. American startup xMEMS has announced a revolution in the world of acoustics, introducing the world's first full-silicon MEMS speaker. 

MEMS speaker

Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) combine microelectronic and micromechanical components. Traditionally, they are used to produce all kinds of sensors, but xMEMS was able to adapt the technology to create a monolithic silicon-based speaker system. The development was called Montara, and its production is very similar to how various chips like processors are obtained.

Montara has a completely monolithic design, which greatly simplifies the production of such speakers since traditional models consist of many components that must be fitted to each other with high accuracy. 

Montara

The size of the MEMS speaker is 6.05 x 8.4 x 0.985 mm. At the same time, the outputs can be located both on the big side of the chip and on the side, which allows you to create headphones of various form factors, including flexible ones. On the speaker plate, there are six MEMS diffusers, each of which covers its own frequency range. Together they are capable of reproducing sound in the range from 10 Hz to 20,000 Hz with a sound pressure level> 110 dB and a THD of not more than 0.5%. 

The above-described engineering sample of a headphone with a body printed on a 3D printer gave the best THD at a sound pressure level of 94 dB than a pair of professional headphones, the price of which is around $900. It is further noted that such results were obtained without any optimization of the MEMS dynamics. 

MEMS speaker

At the moment, xMEMS has already produced engineering samples of MEMS speakers and plans to begin accepting orders in February 2021. By April of that year, the company intends to establish mass production. Representatives of xMEMS note that headphones based on MEMS speakers will be comparable in price to reinforcing models.
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