Electronic Products & Technology

Boréas and Cirque collaborate on piezo haptic trackpad module

Manufacturer-customizable platform offers HD haptics, adjustable force-sensing for thin, light, responsive trackpads

December 1, 2021  EP&T Magazine

Boréas Technologies, Bromont Quebec-based developers of ultra-low-power high definition (HD) piezo haptic semiconductors, has joined forces with touch-interface technology specialists Cirque Corp., Salt Lake City, to unveil GlideSense – a trackpad module that helps PC manufacturers meet rising demand for richer, more responsive tactile experiences in trackpads that are slim, light and cost-efficient.

Featuring Boréas’ Piezo Haptic Trackpad technology, GlideSense is also the first trackpad module to take advantage of Microsoft’s operating systems-level support for haptic trackpads in Windows 11 machines. PC notebook and laptop manufacturers will be able to access the many benefits of piezoelectric haptic architectures that include miniature size, light weight, ultra-low power, and customizable feature sets—in their Windows 11 notebooks and laptops.

Manufacturer-customizable platform offers HD haptics, adjustable force-sensing for thin, light, responsive trackpads.

“Microsoft’s move to support haptic trackpads in Windows 11 reflects a growing shift away from older mechanical-touch trackpads toward newer, thinner haptic-touch trackpads that offer users more satisfying sensory experiences in PC notebooks and laptops,” said Simon Chaput, founder and CEO, Boréas. “In addition to supporting the user-adjustable click-force sensing built into Windows 11, Boréas piezo haptics offers so much more—making PC trackpads competitive with Apple’s Force Touch trackpads for the first time.”

Boréas designed module’s haptic layer

In addition to contributing its high-definition piezo haptic driver chip, the BOS1901, to the new module, Boréas also designed the module’s entire haptic layer to improve performance and manufacturability.

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“GlideSense gives PC manufacturers the best of both worlds,” said Brian Monson, president, Cirque. “Combining Boréas’ HD piezo haptic driver architecture with Cirque’s proven high-volume manufacturing capability, the new module pairs innovation with quality and reliability, to enable the most compelling touch experiences for users of premium and mid-range PC laptops and notebooks. In partnership with Boréas, we look forward to raising the bar on the user experience with PC trackpads.”

About the module

GlideSense integrates four layers: glass, a touch printed circuit board assembly (PCBA), a piezo haptic layer, and a bracket, facilitating easy assembly in PC hardware. As the core technology in the module, Boréas’ BOS1901 enables:

* Industry’s thinnest form factor—makes possible trackpads as slim as 2.3mm;

* Larger trackpads—facilitates the design of larger trackpads without requiring additional piezo actuators (unlike competitive platforms), saving bill of materials and board space;

* Customizable touch experience allows manufacturers to achieve discernable ‘click’, as it supports force-variation and a range of different haptic sensations, through a variety of off-the-shelf piezo actuators;

* Available in mass quantity—benefits from an established supply chain that can produce 20-million units annually;

* Delivers to 10x greater power efficiency than other piezo drivers.


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