Cochlear implants

Allowing patients, also very young children, to hear again

For many people with moderate to profound hearing loss, conventional hearing aids are not always sufficient. Our customer developed a cochlear implant, also adapted for very young children, which allows sound transfer to the hearing nerves and enables patients to hear.

Project Challenges and Solutions Provided by Valtronic

Valtronic was contacted to develop and manufacture part of the device, more precisely the receiver/stimulator, which receives signals from the speech processor and converts them into electric impulses. Our customer provided the ASIC and Valtronic’s team defined how to place it onto the PCB in order to ensure best manufacturability. The PCB layout and the stack-up were carefully defined especially the PCB base material and the PCB manufacturer.

Technical Details

The process flow was basically as follows:

  • Chip on Board: screen printing non-conductive glue; stamping conductive glue, automatic pick & place of 5 dies, dam & fill glob top
  • Dispensing of solder paste, pick & place, SMDS, reflow

Test sequence in production:

  • Trimming test, pre-burn in test, post-burn in test, tuning test & final test

The prototypes were manufactured using full traceability, components and operations.

Benefits

From product development to full production, our customer found a very reliable partner. For more than ten years, Valtronic’s cross-functional team has been providing a close collaboration to develop this innovative implant.

About Ear Implants

A cochlear implant is a surgically implanted electronic device made of a sound processor and of the implant itself. The sound processor is worn behind the ear or on the body, captures the sound and turns it into digital code. This processor transmits the digitally-coded sound through the coil on the outside of the head to the implant, which then converts the digitally-coded sound into electrical impulses and sends them along the electrode array placed in the cochlear (the inner ear). The implant’s electrodes stimulate the cochlear’s hearing nerve, which then sends the impulses to the brain where they are interpreted as sound.

 

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