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Fujifilm Develops Revolutionary “Φ(phi)” Speaker Technology
Producing Clear Sound Quality and Natural Sound

It Achieves Exceptionally Fast Sound Control with Unique Film for Electro-acoustic Conversion
- New technology available to be experienced at OTOTEN, Japan's largest domestic audio exhibition -

June 14, 2018

FUJIFILM Corporation (President: Kenji Sukeno) has developed revolutionary new “Φ (phi)” speaker technology to produce clear sound quality and natural sound that is designed to replicate the sound of a live music performance. The “Φ (phi)” speaker technology utilizes the power of the unique electro-acoustic conversion film “B.E.A.T.,” developed by Fujifilm, which is contained in a new prototype speaker unit (Fig.1).

The “Φ (phi)” speaker technology achieves some of the world's fastest sound control speeds*, with sound waves ramping up to maximum amplitude or back down to start the reverberation phase within 0.1 ms. The speaker unit is designed in a column shape, allowing delivery of uniform sound in every direction.

The new technology will be displayed at OTOTEN, one of Japan's largest audio exhibitions, at the Tokyo International Forum on June 16 and 17. Visitors to the exhibition will be able to experience the sound of a 2.2 channel audio system** combined with prototype speakers that harness this technology, used together with a subwoofer***.

Standard speakers produce sound through a combination of magnets and coils, which are used to vibrate vibrating plates. Key characteristics of the vibrating plates used in standard speakers are the propagation speed of vibration, as well as the loss tangent, which dampens vibration. If a speaker has a low propagation speed, then not only does it take more time for the sound to reach the appropriate volume, it also becomes difficult to produce high-quality sound at high-tone range. If the vibrating plate has a low level of loss tangent, the damping of the sound is also delayed, resulting in unnecessary noise. Therefore, in order to produce clear sound across a wide range of sound levels, a speaker's vibrating plate requires both a high propagation speed and strong damping by appropriate level of the loss tangent.
Furthermore, while the human voice and various musical instruments are characterized by producing sound that radiates out in all directions from a single point, standard speakers tend to emphasize the production of high-tone sound in a single forward direction, making it difficult to re-create natural sound.

Fujifilm has harnessed the materials design technology, dispersion technology and precision coating technology nurtured over the years of through the engineering and manufacturing of photographic film in order to develop B.E.A.T., a revolutionary new electro-acoustic conversion film that vibrates in response to electronic signals without using any coils or magnets. As one of the applications for this film, Fujifilm has successfully incorporated B.E.A.T. film as the vibration plate and developed “Φ(phi)” speaker technology which generates clear sound that approaches the sound of a live performance, re-creating natural sound by imitating the characteristics of sounds emanating out in all directions from a single point.

<Characteristics of “Φ(phi)” speaker technology>

  1. 1. World-leading sound control speed, reaching full saturation or returning to zero to begin the reverberation phase within 0.1 ms, to produce a clear sound reminiscent of a live performance
    • This technology incorporates B.E.A.T. film into the speaker's vibration plate. It combines piezoelectric ceramic particles with viscoelastic polymers to create a film that vibrates in response to electrical signals without needing to use either a magnet or coil, accelerating the speed of sound volume increase. In addition, although ceramics is the main component, as the film has approximately 3 times the loss tangent (Fig. 2) of the standard paper found in the cones used in standard vibrating plates, accelerating sound damping is also possible.
    • Uniquely designed speaker unit construction with B.E.A.T. film and sound-absorbing materials allows to accelerate the response speed when releasing the sound.
    • As a result of these innovations, the new speaker technology can both reach a saturation point and then return to the point of beginning the reverberation phase within 0.1 ms respectively. This world-leading performance is possible across a wide range of frequencies*4 (Fig. 3).
  1. 2. Creating natural sound through the creation of a balanced 360° sound field centered on column-shaped speakers
    • Using four separate thin speaker units to make a column-shaped speaker with multiple surfaces (Fig. 4) results in sound radiating out equally across a single plane in all directions (Fig. 5), producing a uniform sound across a wide range of frequencies, re-creating natural sound characterized by sound emanating out in all directions from a single point.

[Comment from Juro Ohga, Emeritus Professor at the Shibaura Institute of Technology and pioneer of acoustic science]

Around 50 years ago, I first proposed combining piezoelectric ceramic material with high molecular-weight material, and since then I have been involved in the development of such material with various different research institutions, but we have never been able to create a commercially viable film material. I am deeply impressed by Fujifilm's achievement in focusing on completely new materials and harnessing their high quality coating expertise to create the high-performance electro-acoustic conversion film B.E.A.T, and then to apply this to the creation of speaker columns with 360° sound. These speakers produce a two-dimensional sound field which is almost acoustically ideal, allowing listeners to experience natural sound cyber wide-area. I am sure this new product will generate much attention as a revolutionary new speaker system for enjoying music.

Going forward, Fujifilm will work toward applying Φ technology to in high-end consumer audio equipment and audio equipment for professional use. Fujifilm will also consider promoting open innovation with third parties.

  • * With this system, it is possible to both increase volume to maximum saturation and then to reduce volume back down to zero to begin the reverberation phase within a time of less than 0.1 ms for each response (based on research by Fujifilm).
  • ** This audio system includes two speakers, one place to the right and one place to the left of the listener. Each speaker is combined with a subwoofer.
  • *** A subwoofer is a separate commercially available speaker designed to produce low bass sounds. It is separate from the main speaker.
  • *4 This is a mid-to high frequency range between 200 Hz and 20 kHz.

For enquiries on information in this media release, contact:

Media Contact:
Corporate Communications Division
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