MWS EU 2021 Speaker
Andrea Rusconi Clerici is Co-founder and CTO of USound GmbH, a pioneer in designing a new loudspeaker technology based in MEMS.
Rusconi has 20 years of experience in the MEMS industry involved in technology R&D, product design, manufacturing engineering, and operations, ranging from new technology IP development to mass production. He has experience in research at the Fraunhofer Institute, STMicroelectronics, Maxim Integrated and Sensordynamics. In 2014, he founded USound together with Ferruccio Bottoni and Jörg Schönbacher and, with a team of exceptional engineers, designed the first MEMS speaker in the market. In 2019, USound launched its first product to the market, audio glasses, under the brand Fauna Audio GmbH.
MEMS Speaker Technology, Challenges and Applications
MEMS technology is an enabler in the microelectronics industry for supporting ever increasing computing power and connectivity with sensors and actuators for interacting with the physical world. At USound, we are embracing the challenge to replace voice coil speaker solutions by developing and commercializing silicon based micro speakers. Audio is a key function in existing and upcoming product roadmaps in consumer electronics: the essential blocks of audio systems such as speaker drivers, microphones and audio ICs are facing key technology and integration challenges to meet the new market requirements. In the era of the virtual assistants, recent developments in wearables and hearables are opportunities to introduce new technologies to serve a market looking for radical innovation. Compared to incumbent technologies, MEMS speakers are a perfect fit because of their thin form factor, light weight and reflow solderability; these are the same key advantages at the core of MEMS microphones success. MEMS speakers are well suited for in-ear headphones in both full range or tweeter cases; for wearables like smart glasses and TWS; for array arrangement in smart speakers; for array arrangement in 3D sound headphones and more to come in the future. This is possible thanks to the availability of piezo thin films on silicon that allow for the design of large force, large displacement, linear actuators. In particular, PZT can generate enough energy per unit area and thus mechanical force and elongation to compete with voice coil transducers; the MEMS motor is realized on silicon using multiple piezoelectric actuators connected together to realize a precise vertical out-of-plane movement. The piezo linear motor is faster and more precise than traditional technology, this in the case of earphones produces deep and precise bass and crisp and clear treble with a single, very small transducer.
USound is a fabless audio company offering high-performance silicon speakers and high-quality sound solutions based on MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) technology. It is our vision to inspire music enthusiasts and acoustic professionals with crisp, natural sound for a fantastic hearing experience. With our headquarters in Graz and Vienna (Austria), as well as an office in Shenzhen, we serve international customers, enabling them to create smart audio applications with our MEMS speakers. Our products are smart components designed to fit seamlessly into earphones, headphones, hearables, wearables, and smartphones. Our micro speakers are power-management friendly and programmable for the best efficiency in a wide range of working conditions. We imagine a future where speakers and microphones are connected together into smart audio systems. With the introduction of innovative MEMS technology, we are setting new standards in terms of audio experience and low power consumption.
– Development of MEMS speakers
– High-quality sound solutions based on MEMS speakers technology for smart audio components for hearables, wearables, smartphones, earphones.