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Introduction

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 consumer electronics industry has had to take on the challenges of increasingly sophisticated design expectations from its customers as well as thinner and thinner form factors for some of their mass market products. Warwick is now working with some of the largest names in the industry to bring innovation and elegance to some of these product categories. Warwick has been chosen for these collaborations because the technology has 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. Speakers can be designed to match the new breed of thin televisions as well as the host of thin tablet products that we consumers have come to expect


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 some of the portable devices that have become so common place


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 portable devices where the speaker system can be run from an rechargeable battery source


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. Whether spreading the sound across a conference room or wishing to design a curved system that really catches your customers imagination our speaker system fits the bill


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 consumer electronics 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.

 

Sound Pressure GraphWarwick System Specification

To 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.

 

Commercial

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:

 

  • Complete product design and delivery from start to finish
  • 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.