Module stacking enables sensation-free compact hearing aid

Module stacking enables sensation-free compact hearing aid
Fraunhofer researchers are developing a new microsystem designed to make

hearing aids small enough to be concealed out of sight within the ear. 

“Part of the EU WiserBAN project, the research is expected to lead to hearing aids that are more comfortable and efficient.

‘Ideally, patients should not even be feeling of wearing the hearing aid over long periods of time,’ said Dr. Dionysios Manessis from Fraunhofer Institute of Reliability and Microintegration IZM in Berlin.

With dimensions of 4mmx4mmx1mm, the new microsystem is fifty times smaller than the current models for body area network (BAN) applications. To achieve this, the project partners first developed miniature antennas, system-on-chip integrated circuitry and high frequency filters.

The Fraunhofer researchers then integrated a total of 19 components into a single module.

‘This is a real challenge as all the components are of varying sizes and thicknesses. But having exploited various embedding technologies, which lead to advanced system-in-package (SiP) miniaturisation, we have managed to arrange all the components in the smallest possible space – just as in a package,’ Manessis said in a statement.

The Fraunhofer team saved extra space by building the components into several smaller modules and then stacking these on top of each other.”