Using a Display to Generate Sound in Electronics

March 27, 2023
By using piezoelectric amplifiers under the screen, Synaptics’ Resonate reduces power consumption and enables slimmer form factors.

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Smartphones have been delivering sound since their inception, but it's usually done using a conventional speaker. Synaptics has a technology called Synaptics Resonate that instead utilizes the glass display via haptic feedback technology (see figure). I talked with Reuben Espitia, Product Applications Engineer,  about Resonate (see video above)

Synaptics was already providing haptic feedback through the screen, whereby a finger would pick up the vibration as it touched an area that the software was presenting as a button. The same piezoelectric system simply operates at a higher frequency when delivering soundit essentially performs double duty generating sound and haptic feedback as needed. 

The advantages are significant. One or more speakers are eliminated and the system can be sealed more effectively. It also shrinks system real estate as well as reduces power due to more efficient sound generation. 


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William G. Wong | Senior Content Director - Electronic Design and Microwaves & RF

I am Editor of Electronic Design focusing on embedded, software, and systems. As Senior Content Director, I also manage Microwaves & RF and I work with a great team of editors to provide engineers, programmers, developers and technical managers with interesting and useful articles and videos on a regular basis. Check out our free newsletters to see the latest content.

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I earned a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology and a Masters in Computer Science from Rutgers University. I still do a bit of programming using everything from C and C++ to Rust and Ada/SPARK. I do a bit of PHP programming for Drupal websites. I have posted a few Drupal modules.  

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