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Warwick Audio is a UK based company specialising in the development and commercialisation of a thin flexible loudspeaker technology with accompanying amplification for Original Equipment Manufacturers. In recent years the automotive industry has been going through a design revolution. The advent of Hybrid and Electric vehicles has provided many opportunities and design challenges for both the audio and NVH teams. Our patented technology offers a very different approach to traditional audio systems, allowing innovation in design that was not previously possible. Warwick is already working with some of the largest names in the Automotive industry who have become interested because of the following features:
Thin – can be less than 1mm thick the Warwick loudspeaker can be applied to many designs where traditional loudspeakers would not be appropriate. The speakers can be designed out of the door area and integrated into many other parts of the vehicle. The head lining is one example where Warwick can provide general audio or height channels as required by the new Dolby Pro Logic IIz.
Light – without a heavy magnet and coil the Warwick speaker is significantly lighter than its electromagnetic equivalent (<120gm for an A4 sized speaker). This keeps the system weight to a minimum which is especially important for Electric vehicles
Low Power – the Warwick loudspeaker design is inherently more efficient than an electromagnetic design that loses much of the input energy in heat. Combine this with innovative Class D amplification and you have an acoustic system that uses <10% of the power required traditionally. Again this a key feature for the EV market where power consumption equates to range
Flexible – The Warwick design is made up of a number of laminates, all of which are made from flexible materials. The loudspeaker can be curved in one plane (i.e. to make a cylinder but not sphere) either for aesthetic or sound distribution requirements. This is particularly useful when considering the A-Pillar location for loudspeakers
Directional – As the speaker is flat planar surface it radiates sound waves more directionally than a traditional cone speaker. This enables the designs that will direct the sound over the audience.
Neodymium free – The technology does not use any rare earth metals like Neodymium that have increased in price 10 fold over the past year. Although the innovation of design may well be the most interesting aspect for the Automotive industry the Warwick solution may well turn out to be a significant cost saving.
Physical Attributes – Loudspeaker
The Warwick loudspeaker technology is made up of a number of laminates bonded together. The overall thickness is <1mm. The production process used allows the size of these sheets to be manufactured to fit the constraints of the design. The process also works well for volume manufacture.
The loudspeaker produces sound from both the front and back of the panel so installation of the loudspeaker requires some space behind the panel to ensure reflections do not dampen the sound. This can be optimised for individual designs
Warwick System SpecificationTo the right is a typical plot of Sound Pressure Level (SPL) from one of our loudspeakers with an active area of 210mm x 297mm (Standard European A4 paper size)
% THD plus noise (A-Weighted @ 1kHz) within the standard operating area of the system (Warwick amplifier and speaker) is typically <6%
Physical attributes – Electronics
The Warwick flat loudspeaker cannot be driven by a traditional amplifier as the panel requires what would normally be considered high voltages for audio electronics. These can be up to 450V. The current required to drive the speaker is very small at approximately 25mA.
The evaluation amplifier design has been built to allow ease of development and investigation by our partners. It is intended that this design either be provided as a complete part for customers wishing to integrate it into their products or that we would work with your electronics design team to make the amplifier part of the overall design. This would save cost and ensure the least amount of space was used.
Safety and other standards
Any product that the Warwick Audio system is designed into would be required to pass the standards required for sale of that product in the territories involved. These will differ for each product category. Warwick will assist in the in the approval process to ensure smooth progress from the drawing board to market. CE approval has already been given for our Type 1 technology.
Warwick is set-up to work with Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to facilitate the use of this ground breaking technology in new and existing products. We have a number of commercial options open to us:
- Part supply and manufacture, for those companies who do not have their own facilities
- Licensing of the technology for those who wish to produce the parts themselves
We are as innovative commercially as we are technically so that these aspects do not get in the way
of a great idea.