USound receives sizeable grant from the European Commission to further develop its MEMS speakers technology.

Graz, July 1, 2019 – Austrian innovator and micro speaker developer USound has received a 2 million EUR from the European Commission in the framework of the Horizon2020 programme. These funds will be used in further developing its high-performance piezoelectric MEMS micro speakers, especially towards energy efficiency.

The current MEMS microspeaker generation, named Ganymede, reaches a total of 7 hours battery life span measured at constant sound reproduction. This, in itself, is already a great advance towards novel applications like true wireless earbuds and other wearable devices, and with the addition of USound’s amplifier Leda, the power consumption is reduced even further.

However, USound wants to take it one step further: Kore, the next-generation MEMS micro speaker, will be a fully integrated system with an all-around reduction of parts, making it the most efficient speaker on the market, offering a significantly lower power consumption as well as more space for battery units.

Just like its predecessor, Kore is a MEMS-based silicon micro speaker that works with the piezoelectric principle. A membrane is mounted on a number of cantilevers built from PZT (lead zirconate titanate), a material that exhibits the properties required for piezoelectric applications. When a voltage is applied to this material, the crystals in den material extend or shrink; thus, the cantilever move and, ergo, the membrane vibrates, creating the sound waves. This approach offers a number of advantages over conventional speaker systems: Less heat production and fewer distortions due to fewer moving parts, a consequent reduction of size and weight, less power consumption, and, overall, a more robust system. Kore will become the first fully integrated smart speaker with additional functions such as voice fingerprint.

Furthermore, with the special construction and design, Kore will excel in clarity and naturalness of sound, creating an immersive sound experience for audiophiles around the globe. With this advanced sound solution that combines high-quality audio and countless design possibilities, USound enables tackling the challenges found in many modern audio devices.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 858342.

More info about Horizon 2020
Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020) – in addition to the private investment that this money will attract. It promises more breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts by taking great ideas from the lab to the market.

Learn more