TDK Corporation (TSE:6762) announces that its subsidiary TDK Electronics has signed a cooperation agreement with Boréas Technologies Inc., developer of ultra-low-power haptic technologies, in order to accelerate the adoption of piezo haptic solutions in a broad range of applications. Under the agreement, the partners will jointly design and market advanced touch response solutions using TDK’s PowerHap™ and PiezoHapt™ families of piezo actuators for haptic feedback combined with Boréas’ piezo haptic driver technology.
In particular, TDK and Boréas will develop demonstrators for haptic effects and drivers for high-definition piezo haptic systems and market these solutions on a global scale. This will enable customers to implement advanced haptic solutions with the world’s highest performance actuators in a broad spectrum of applications that includes smartphones and tablets, automotive displays and controls, wearables, gaming consoles, industrial equipment, medical devices, and many more.
One of the most important areas will be mobile applications. Thus far, piezo haptic solutions are not widespread in these applications because of the high power consumption and large size of piezo drivers. Now, solutions based on TDK and Boréas technologies are removing the barriers for the adoption of advanced piezo haptic technology and the creation of the next generation of user interfaces.
“Our partnership with Boréas Technologies is a further step to expand our market reach to customers, who are looking for technological superior haptic solutions,” explains Dr. Georg Kuegerl, CTO of the TDK Piezo & Protection Devices Business Group. “In particular, they will benefit from Boréas’ expert design of drivers for our wide range of piezo actuators.”
“Cooperating with TDK enables us to access their extensive sales and marketing network to accelerate the adoption of piezo haptics globally,” says Simon Chaput, Boréas Technologies’ CEO. “Furthermore, this cooperation will enable faster time to market for our customers by reducing the amount of engineering required to implement a piezo haptic solution using Boréas’ driver ICs with TDK’s piezo actuators.”
Boréas Technologies has developed the BOS1901 using its patented CapDriveTM technology. The miniature power-efficient piezo driver IC also features advanced sensing functionality and thus is a perfect fit for PowerHap actuators with an operating voltage of up to 60 V. This driver is now also available in a TDK evaluation kit that can be used by designers to develop high-performance touch response solutions. As a next step, Boréas will develop the first low-power piezo driver IC for the larger members of the PowerHap family with maximum drive voltages of 120 V. With the two driver ICs customers will be able to create solutions drawing from the entire PowerHap portfolio.
TDK’s PowerHap piezo actuators deliver unrivalled performance in terms of acceleration, force and response time and thus offer an unprecedented quality of haptic feedback. The PowerHap product spectrum includes new miniaturized types with dimensions of as small as 9 x 3.75 x 1.4 mm (0904H014V060) and a maximum operating voltage of 60 V. At the other end of the PowerHap product spectrum, a new actuator (6005H090V120) is now in development with dimensions of 60 x 5.0 x 9.0 mm and a maximum operating voltage of 120 V. PiezoHapt™ actuators feature a very short response time and a low drive voltage of 12 V or 24 V, depending on the type. They have a unimorph design consisting of a multilayer piezo element bonded to one side of a vibration plate. With a thickness of just 0.35 mm the new haptic actuator is one of the world’s thinnest haptic devices.