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January 15, 2003

Akustica to codevelop MEMS, SoCs for hearing aids

From: Semiconductor Business News - 15 Jan 2003

By Peter Clarke
Semiconductor Business News
(01/15/03 07:23 a.m. EST)

PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania --- Akustica Inc., a developer of acoustic components in silicon using micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) technology, has entered into a joint development agreement with GN ReSound Group, a maker of hearing aids and a subsidiary of GN Great Nordic A/S of Copenhagen, Denmark.

The two companies are to collaborate in the development of prototype acoustic System-on-Chip circuits for GN ReSound's next-generation hearing aid products, Akustica said. Further terms of the development agreement or its duration were not disclosed.

Pittsburgh-based Akustica claims its 'AkuSound' sound capture and sound reproduction devices deliver unprecedented capabilities and can be custom-designed in collaboration with OEMs to improve the performance of products, including hearing aids and mobile phones.

“Akustica's CMOS-MEMS transducers could go beyond cost reduction and increased reliability. We view Akustica's technology as having the potential to break from the constraints and limitations of current transducers in our pursuit of a more intelligent hearing aid,” said Stavros Basseas, corporate chief technologist at GN ReSound, in a statement.

Akustica's acoustic MEMS technology originated at Carnegie Mellon University's MEMS Laboratory. That technology and several related patents were licensed to Akustica in late 2001 on an exclusive basis. In October 2002 the company announced that it had raised $2.25 million in a first round of financing (see October 16 2002 story).

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