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KYOCERA Develops Ultra-Thin, Lightweight 'Piezo Film Speaker' for TVs, PCs, Tablets



  KYOCERA Develops Ultra-Thin, Lightweight 'Piezo Film Speaker' for TVs, PCs,
  Tablets

 High audio quality “Smart Sonic Sound” utilized in flat-screen TV for first
                                     time

Business Wire

KYOTO, Japan -- August 29, 2013

Kyocera Corporation (NYSE:KYO)(TOKYO:6971) today announced that it has
developed an ultra-thin, lightweight (medium-size model thickness: 1mm;
weight: 7g) audio device, called “Smart Sonic^® Sound.” The new product is
based on the company’s long history of pioneering fine ceramic technology and
utilizes a piezoelectric actuator combined with a special film to create a
piezo film speaker. Smart Sonic Sound will not only contribute to making
digital devices even thinner — such as flat-screen TVs, PCs and tablets — but
also enhances audio quality for a much more realistic audio experience. Its
low directivity characteristics broaden the sound projection range, providing
180-degree sound quality and bringing delicate and minute sounds to life.

Kyocera's "Smart Sonic Sound" ultra-thin, lightweight piezo film speaker
(medium-size model thicknes ...

Kyocera's "Smart Sonic Sound" ultra-thin, lightweight piezo film speaker
(medium-size model thickness: 1mm; weight: 7g) (Photo: Business Wire)

This innovative piezo actuator audio technology is being utilized in a
flat-screen television for the first time^*1 by LG Electronics, Inc. in the
company’s new 55” curved-screen OLED TV.

Smart Sonic Sound comes in three different sizes (large, medium and small),
and Kyocera plans to expand its use in a broad range of applications including
digital devices and automotive applications with strict weight requirements.

This is the second audio innovation from Kyocera in recent years. The company
launched the award-winning Smart Sonic Receiver^® in early 2012,
revolutionizing how sounds are heard exclusively on Kyocera mobile phones for
the Japan and U.S. markets. Smart Sonic Receiver uses a ceramic actuator to
send vibrations via tissue conduction and traditional air conduction through
display screens without the need for a traditional earpiece or loudspeaker,
making it ideal for clear audio in exceptionally noisy environments. The new
Smart Sonic Sound technology uses the same base technology but with a
different implementation that amplifies air conduction.

Development Background

Currently there is a growing demand for even further downsizing (thickness and
weight) of flat-screen TVs, PCs and other digital devices. However, up until
now there has been a limit to the achievable thinness of such devices due to
the size of conventionally-used cone-shaped electromagnetic speakers, which
has confined design and engineering layouts. Furthermore, as organic
light-emitting displays (OLED) and 4K high-definition screens create a
superior visual experience, it has become necessary for audio technology to
rise to new heights as well.

Main Characteristics

1. Ultra-thin, lightweight size allows flexibility in end-product design

The piezo actuator used in the new product was born from Kyocera’s proprietary
fine ceramic material technology and lamination technology, combined with a
special film. Smart Sonic Sound can create the same audio volume as
conventional electromagnetic speakers in just a fraction of the width and
weight. This allows for the speaker device to be built onto the front face of
an end-product with ease — contributing to flexibility and enhancements in
end-product designs.

 
Model             Large           Medium          Small
Size (mm)         70×110×1.5      35×65×1.0       19.6×27.5×0.7
Weight (g)        23g             7g              1g
Frequency range   200Hz - 20kHz   500Hz - 20kHz   800Hz - 20kHz
 

2. Low directivity, and high responsivity create a high-quality audio
experience

As the new product’s piezo actuator and film create sound through vibrations,
the directivity (directional projection of sound waves) is more balanced than
a conventional speaker, meaning that sound quality and volume are delivered
almost completely equally within a 180 degree range. Moreover, the high speed
of responsivity in the Smart Sonic Sound is able to reproduce delicate and
minute sounds such as raindrops and background effects with greater clarity,
thus providing an even more realistic audio experience.

3. No rare earth elements used

Electromagnetic speakers use the repulsion force of magnetic fields created
between the magnet and coil to produce sound, which is achieved through the
use of rare earth elements such as neodymium. Conversely, the core component
in the Smart Sonic Sound is made of a piezo actuator (fine ceramics) and
resins, so the new product eliminates the use of rare earths.

Kyocera will continue to develop new applications for the use of its piezo
film speaker, helping to contribute to the further downsizing of electronic
equipment.

Other products using Kyocera piezo actuators

Kyocera has developed a range of piezo actuator products using the company’s
proprietary technology. Among the wide range of applications, some notable
examples include: actuators^*2 for diesel-engine vehicles requiring high
reliability; actuators^*3 in the world’s fastest inkjet printhead^*4 used for
on-demand printing applications; as well as Kyocera’s Smart Sonic Receiver.

*1 The world’s first use of a ceramic piezoelectric actuator as the sound
device for a flat-screen television. As of July 31, 2013; based on research by
Kyocera.
*2 These actuators control fuel injection, thus enhancing fuel efficiency and
reducing emissions.
*3 These actuators are used to control the ejection of ink drops in inkjet
printheads.
*4 As of July 31, 2013; based on research by Kyocera.
“Smart Sonic” and “Smart Sonic Receiver” are registered trademarks of Kyocera
Corporation.

For more photos and graphics, please visit:
http://global.kyocera.com/news/2013/0805_ndit.html

About KYOCERA

Kyocera Corporation (NYSE:KYO)(TOKYO:6971) (http://global.kyocera.com/), the
parent and global headquarters of the Kyocera Group, was founded in 1959 as a
producer of fine ceramics (also known as “advanced ceramics”). By combining
these engineered materials with metals and integrating them with other
technologies, Kyocera has become a leading supplier of industrial ceramics,
electronic components, mobile phones, solar power generating systems,
printers, copiers, semiconductor packages and cutting tools. During the year
ended March 31, 2013, the company’s net sales totaled 1.28 trillion yen
(approx. USD13.6 billion). The company is ranked #492 on Forbes magazine’s
2013 “Global 2000” listing of the world’s largest publicly traded companies.

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available:
http://www.businesswire.com/multimedia/home/20130828006364/en/

Multimedia
Available:http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=50699217&lang=en

Contact:

KYOCERA Corporation (Japan)
Judah Reynolds, +81-(0)75-604-3416
Corporate Communications
webmaster.pressgl@kyocera.jp
Fax: +81-(0)75-604-3516
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