Bosch acquires micro speaker specialist Arioso Systems

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Bosch is expanding its expertise in MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical systems) micro speakers and strengthening its market position as a provider of sensing solutions for consumer electronics with the acquisition of Arioso Systems.

The company, based in Dresden, Germany, is to become part of the Bosch Sensortec. The acquisition remains subject to approval by the antitrust authorities.

Arioso Systems, which emerged from Fraunhofer IPMS and research activities at the BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg in 2019, is a provider of MEMS micro speaker technology.

"It is remarkable that a new technology can go so quickly from concept to spin-off and now already to an acquisition by such a renowned company as Bosch. This underlines the innovative power of the cooperation between Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems IPMS and BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg, where all the foundations were laid," said Prof. Dr. Harald Schenk, Institute Director of Fraunhofer IPMS.

The technology will complement Bosch’s MEMS sensor portfolio for wearables and hearables.

“The planned acquisition of Arioso Systems further enlarges our sensing solutions expertise for consumer electronics in the field of micro speakers and makes us even more diversified. We are thus consistently expanding our strong position as technology leader in this area,” explained Dr. Stefan Finkbeiner, CEO at Bosch Sensortec.

Arioso Systems’ technology combined with the long-lasting experience from Bosch Sensortec to develop a technology to high-volume consumer electronics market maturity is expected to help shape the emerging global MEMS micro speaker market. Manufacturers of TWS (true wireless stereo) earphones and other hearable devices will benefit from a sound generation with significant less power consumption and a smaller form factor, which means an expanded battery run time and easier system integration.

Commenting Hermann Schenk, CEO of Arioso Systems, said, “Joining our forces means we can leverage the full potential of our MEMS micro speaker technology.”

Arioso Systems’ audio transducer technology generates sound through movement of vertically oriented lamellas inside a silicon chip. Unlike conventional membranes, the technology uses the chip volume rather than surface. Therefore, it is possible to build a miniatured MEMS micro-speaker to generate up to 120 dB SPL (sound pressure level) out of 10mm2 active area.

Thanks to the electrostatic actuator of all-silicon MEMS and thanks to its very low capacitance, the Arioso Systems technology allows to save battery for new sensor application in demanding hearable devices such as TWS as well as in other wearables devices.